My name is Alex Tews, and I am currently a Freshman at the University of Pittsburgh. As of right now, I’m just a student in the business school who hasn’t yet picked his area of focus. Yet, I expect this to change in the coming year when I will likely elect to pursue a degree in Finance. I am also part of the Leadership and Ethics program within the college of business administration, and I’m hoping to graduate with my certificate in Leadership and Ethics.
I’ve lived my entire life in the small town of Northampton Pennsylvania, which is located just outside of Allentown PA. Where I grew up has had a big influence on what things I enjoy doing in my free time. It has given me a love for the outdoors and exploring nature with friends. During the summer I love playing backyard sports with people from around my town, and in the winter I’ve developed a passion for skiing. Other hobbies of mine include fantasy sports and strategy-related video games. I enjoy anything that allows you to look at data, and create strategies from that data to achieve something greater.
Being from a small town, I was drawn to the University of Pittsburgh for one primary reason; the city. The city of Pittsburgh offers opportunities for places to go, things to do, and firms to work at that aren’t available in my home town. When I’m on campus, I feel a unique sense of freedom compared to when I’m at home. This freedom stems from the abundance of opportunities created by the city. The Pittsburgh College of Business Administration does a great job integrating the city of Pittsburgh into the education here at Pitt. This city has made my college experience overwhelmingly enjoyable.
In a way, my experience with the city aided in my decision to enroll in the Leadership in a Global Context program. When I came here, I truly realized for the first time that the world is a whole lot larger and more diverse than the world I had lived in so far. This was a wake up call. If I wanted to be an effective leader one day, I would need to be capable of obtaining a more global perspective. I would need to be able to look at things through the eyes of my employees, competitors, and partners if I expected to be able to make effective decisions. That means gathering experience in a global context. My hope, is that this course will prove to be a key step in developing a more comprehensive understanding of what it means to be a leader in such a complex and diverse world.
This brings me to my definition of leadership. Similar to the definition within Peter G. Northouse’s book, my definition includes influencing people as one of its key tenants. Yet, I believe there is a little more to it than that. I believe that leadership is the organization of multiple elements (people, supplies, logistics, etc.) into a process that effectively produces a desired outcome. This perspective looks at the creation of an effective process as the key to leadership, and the followers as key instruments in creating that process. A process that does not utilize people to their fullest potential is a sub-optimal process, and thus reflects poor leadership.
I hope that this brief overview of myself did a decent job of giving you some insight into who I am as a person. If you are a part of the Leadership in a Global Context program, then I look forward to seeing you this coming week. Hopefully, throughout this program, we can all learn and grow as leaders together.