By Ravi Desai
On December 16th, 2017, the students of YLDP attended an invigorating presentation at Houston TranStar by County Judge Ed Emmett. Emmett was born in Houston, Texas and graduated from Bellaire High School in 1967. Four years later, Emmett would graduate from Rice University with a B.A. in Economics. In 2007, Emmett was first appointed county judge by the commissioners court, a position he continues to hold to this day.
Throughout his presentation, Emmett proposed four ‘quirks’ of an effective leader. Firstly, tell the truth in every circumstance. Here, Emmett convinces the audience that telling the truth is the right move all of the time. For example, throughout his work with Mayor Turner on releasing important information regarding Hurricane Harvey to the public, he would only tell the truth. In other words, Emmett pleads the next generation of leaders to tell the truth as lying destroys a leader’s credibility among people. Secondly, Emmett strongly recommended to remember that, as a leader, it is not about you, but about the people you serve. As a leader, the trust of the people you represent is placed in you. Therefore, to think selfishly and only for one’s benefit would be a disservice to those around you. Emmett also discussed the importance of accepting change. He stated, “Change is always going to happen. It’s whether or not you accept that fact and adapt accordingly will determine your effectiveness as a leader.” Lastly, Emmett exhumed the thought of being open-minded. Only through open-mindedness will leaders be able to adapt to change and their environment or situation. As a leader, it is important to be open to new ways of thinking due to the changing world around us. Through being open-minded, people are able to become efficacious managers and leaders.
As we all know, no leader is perfect. Everyone has their own unique flaws. However, what separates the truly great leaders from the ‘good’ leaders is their ability to recognize and be cognizant of their faults and to adapt accordingly. Emmett’s presentation opened our eyes to these ‘quirks’ of effective leaders and in that, instilled a solid blueprint for us to go on and use throughout our lives.