Olivia cattabriga / art director

Erin McNemar

Managing Executive Editor

Often when people think of leaders they think of the loudest person in the room. The person who has the most presence or is the quickest to speak up and say their idea. The person whose voice comes up out on top of all the noise.

I have never been that person. Yet here I am in this position of leadership as the Managing Executive Editor of my college newspaper. In my position, I have to make a lot of decisions, many regarding the content that goes into the paper each week. I have to approve all the story ideas, help edit every article and give one of the final okays on each layout before the paper gets sent to print. For some, this may seem like a lot of tasks to do weekly. However, there hasn’t  been a week when I didn’t look forward to the opportunity to do my job and help others.

According the Forbes, the most important quality in a good leader is sincere enthusiasm. In order to be a leader, you have to honestly believe in your cause. Passion is not something that can be easily faked and if you are faking it, people can tell.

Additionally, if a leader is an enthusiast, it can be contagious. A leader’s feelings about a project or a cause can be transferred on to the other members of an organization. So by contrast, if you act like you don’t care, others will probably feel the same way.   

Looking over the course of history, Livescience.com has identified Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. as the greatest leaders of all time. While all three fought for different forms of human rights, they all also shared a passion for their cause: A passion that was able to bring together thousands of people to join and support them.

Although there are about a hundred other reasons why the three of them became such powerful and influential people in history, none of it could have been accomplished if they weren’t passionate about what they believed in.

You do not have to be the single person breaking through the noise to be a good leader. To be a good leader you have to show enthusiasm about your position and make sure people in your organization know you support them. You have to always be willing to help and listen to any of their concerns and you have to be empathic.

While I may not be the loudest person in my room, I’m very passionate about The Equinox. Week after week I strive to support the paper’s writers and photographers to make each issue the best it can possibly be. Of course sometimes I make mistakes, but part of being a leader is being around to take responsibility for them when you do. While some days being a leader can be beyond stressful, the stress is a reminder of how much I care.

I love my job, I love this paper and I love being a leader that hopefully people can look up to.

Erin McNemar can be contacted

at emcnemar@kscequinox.com