When I first arrived at Agnes Scott, my perception of leadership was slightly different from what is is now. Throughout the course, I’ve learned about leadership both by first-hand experience in the assignments we’ve completed, and through the course readings. Before taking this course, my perception on leadership was such that a “good leader” is supposed to possess qualities that will enable him/her to influence others in a positive way. After one of our first assignments which was to elaborate on “Only Connect… : The Goal of a Liberal Education” by William Cronon, my outlook on leadership began to expand as I started to understand leadership from a liberal arts perspective. This essay clarifies the meaning and importance of a liberal arts education while emphasizing its core values. Cronon expresses that a true liberal education “aspires to nurture the growth of human talent in the service of human freedom”, and likewise, truly liberally educated people “have been liberated by their education to explore and fulfill the promise of their own highest talents.” Cronon then proposes the idea that an institution should focus predominantly on generating a list of personal qualities that embody the values of a liberal arts education. In doing this, an institution yields a more successful making of liberally educated students. Having the well-roundedness that a true liberal arts education offers is crucial to a leader, both academically and socially. Having people that model a liberal arts education in our society, will in turn result in a more productive and diverse community. For this reason, I chose to become part of a liberal arts institution, as I like Cronon believe in the importance of a diverse teaching approach. Part of being a well-rounded individual, is also understanding other’s beliefs and ideas. In the “All About Me” assignment I was given the chance to share something that represents who I am as well as listen to what others find representative of themselves. This exposure to differing perspectives was eye opening in the sense that I was able to see the way people perceive themselves and what they find important or valuable. In addition to these assignments, readings about the atomic era have also contributed to my new perception on leadership. The book we read “The Girls of Atomic City”, highlights the many struggles women in the Manhattan project faced as they contributed to the victory of WWII. One of these women, like myself moved from the northeast to the south. Although this change was dramatic, we both made a similar sacrifice for something that was important to us would contribute significantly to our futures. Such act shows great leadership in the sense that one must look beyond these challenges in means to find their own kind of success. In reading about such obstacles these women had to face, I became even more aware of different types of leaderships. This ability to persistently work towards an objective despite the difficulties of the times and lack of proper recognition, shows a level of leadership beyond one I’m familiar with. One of the class’ last assignments involved evaluating and classifying one of two important figures of the Manhattan project in their style of leadership. In this assignment I leaned significantly about positive and negative types of leadership and that perfection is not needed to lead efficiently. For example, J. Roberts Oppenheimer who despite having a rough childhood, an emotional character, and a sometimes prominent rude attitude, was an exceptional leader and physicist who in addition to influencing others and leading a team of scientists to war victory, made significant contributions to science during the atomic era. Although many of Oppenheimer’s leadership qualities can be seen as “negative”, ultimately used them wisely and lead his team to war victory. Oppenheimer was not a perfect leader in the sense that he did not possess qualities such as humility, empathy, and selflessness, which I initially thought were qualities one needed to posses in order to be considered a “good leader”. After having read several texts however, I observed that this lack of usually favorable qualities did not undermine his ability to lead efficiently. In fact, his superficial lack of vulnerability showed people “not to mess with him”. This allowed for proper order in his specific department and for a sense of urgency and importance to be taken with the project. People lead in different ways under different circumstances, and despite this difference in styles of leading, success can still be achieved. Oppenheimer’s type of leading was effective in this scenario but may not be acceptable in others. This understanding of variety of leadership, changed and expanded my perception of effective leadership. Having leadership diversity amongst a society is what makes it an effective environment for beneficial outcomes. As a result of learning all new perspectives on leadership, my capacity to lead has become stronger and it is my hope that it grows in the years to come.