People become leaders in life not always by choice, but in some circumstances they have leadership thrust upon them. It could be by becoming a parent or taking a step towards picking a future major.

My first real exposure to becoming a leader was through the program M.I. Ready, a preparation class for college.

It allowed me to establish what leadership meant to me. In M.I. Ready we traveled to colleges, took public speaking classes and tried to touch base with whom we wished to become as adults. Being a leader fell into every option. I discovered leadership was not only a type of action, but a choice in lifestyle.

It's the choice of asking, "Am I planning on letting my life coast freely, or am I willing to grab life by the reins and steer it in the direction I desire?" Leadership is about prospering and breaking down barriers that prevent you from achieving your goals.

It's about being there not only for yourself, but for others as well. When one person fails in a group, everyone fails. As my band instructor says, "One band, one sound." And he's right. When one person is out of harmony, the entire band is too.

A leader helps each individual find the right beat, not just bark orders. Leaders give guidance to those who need it and boost morale of those who could use it. That, to me, is a leader. It only takes one step forward to pass it on and show someone they too are a true leader.