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I am so thrilled that I had the chance to Maximize my Momentum at the Emerging Leader Summit (ELS) conference that was hosted in June. This was my second year attending the virtual conference, and it was another incredible experience. I learned so many valuable skills that will further my leadership journey on Council 79. One of the lessons that spoke to me discussed the importance of ethical leadership. Ethical leadership is “leadership that is directed by respect for ethical beliefs and values and for the dignity and rights of others.” During this session, we were given real world situations that might occur, and then we were placed in breakout rooms to discuss what thought should be done in a certain scenario. This exercise resulted in two key lessons. One is that other people may not share your same beliefs or values–but that is a good thing because it brings in a diversity of perspectives to the situation. The second crucial takeaway is that while people may have different opinions, we must respect them and hear their perspectives on an issue. This lesson will be beneficial during the planning stages of our future meetings. Finally, I am very grateful for the chance to connect with new people, learn more lessons, and become the best leader I can be.

Mackenzie Bolino serves as the Oklahoma DECA Council 79 Vice President of Career Development and attends Norman North High School.