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The five (5) leadership voices are an invaluable tool—useful for application in nearly any imaginable leadership situation. Knowing your leadership voice and understanding how to use it effectively when interacting with others can be very beneficial to you, and your entire BPA chapter.  My primary leadership voice is Creative, my secondary is Pioneer, my third is Connector, my fourth is Nurturer, and my fifth and final is Guardian. This order does not mean that I don’t have access to the tools of my lower voices, it simply means that those higher on the list (Creative, Pioneer etc.), come more easily to me and I am more likely to have similar “Weapon Systems” as these voices. The same applies to anyone else’s results on the leadership voice test. If your primary voice is Nurturer and your last is Pioneer, that doesn’t mean that you don’t have the ability to practice the Pioneer leadership voice, it simply means you will likely have to make the decision to use that voice when engaging in a situation where using a Pioneer leadership voice would garner more beneficial results. As a Creative Pioneer (#crioneergang), I am more inclined to view situations through the logical and statistical benefits it may offer and try not to process situations with emotion in mind. Being a Creative Pioneer means that I am very goal and detail-oriented, try to be organized (and often don’t entirely accomplish that task), and have lots of ideas that seem outlandish or ridiculous to my peers. Your voice may have tested the same as mine, but we may not have the same traits. The most important take away from the leadership voices assessment is that we are each our own breed of leader, and we all need to make sure to play to our strengths and ensure that we do our best to reduce those areas where we are less effective. I can’t always *just* use an analytical and objective tone for every leadership situation and still expect to be effective, nor can a Nurturer always focus on ensuring everyone’s happiness and still be effective at finishing the tasks at hand.

At our recent Fall Leadership Conference (FLC) we learned all of the above information and more! Each member attendee should have gotten the chance to find their leadership voice in addition to learning lots of information about how to properly wield it and interact with other voices. This is especially important when working with teams, classmates, and coworkers. As we now turn our direction towards state competitions, this knowledge will help you serve in an increased leadership capacity and ensure all voices are acknowledged. I know I personally enjoyed getting to interact with our members at FLC and look forward to an amazing State Leadership Conference (SLC) later this year 😊


-Jacob Schonfield, Oklahoma BPA President

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