Leadership: The Courage to Lead

Pepe is currently the president for the National Society of Hispanic MBA’s Austin chapter, a member of the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s
Membership Committee, and president emeritus of the Mexican American Comptroller Employees Association. He is a certified Mediator and holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from St. Edward’s University.

A story of leadership doesn’t have to be extraordinary, famous, or wealth building; it just has to be your own. In the last few years, I have come to love and appreciate my humble leadership journey, from a young kid working the fields in Mexico, to receiving a graduate degree in the greatest country in the world, the United States of America. This is my story, it is not flashy, it is not amazing, but it is mine.

As a six year old child living in Mexico in a fairly poor community, I spent a considerable amount of my time working in the fields picking jalapenos and creating lasting memories with my dad and two sisters. I was a happy kid with a very loving family. Our family struggled to make ends meet, but we were fortunate to have one another. My parents always maintained a roof over our heads and plenty of “frijoles (beans) and tortillas” on the table.

When most of us think of Leadership, we tend to think of extraordinary things that create big changes within our community or the world. It is this mindset that doesn’t allow us to see the many leaders in our lives, as well as the leader within ourselves. I have to tell you that my parents are great leaders in their own right. I admire the exemplary leadership they showed my sisters and I while growing up. My parents came to this country with the high hopes of giving us a better opportunity to be successful and attain a higher education. This meant leaving their home, family, friends, and everything else they had known all of their lives to venture into the unknown, a country with a different language, no friends, no job, and no roof over our heads.

This leap of faith exemplifies the daring leaders my parents were and continue to be to this day. They were willing to sacrifice their lives to venture into the unknown with one thing in mind, HOPE! It is through this HOPE that they found the strength to seek a better life. This courageous act of leadership did not change the world, nor did it create millions of dollars, but it did give three kids a better and brighter future.

So what is leadership? Leadership can be defined in so many ways and it is very subjective. In the end, it is up to you to define what leadership means to you. My parents didn’t realize that they were courageous leaders, because in their eyes they were fulfilling their duties as parents.

In the end, I believe that the courage to lead is in all of us. We all have hopes and dreams, but it is the true leaders that take action to pursue them. Have you found the courage to pursue your hopes and dreams? If you haven’t, look around you and you will see other leaders that are pursuing their hopes and dreams. It is never too late, so find the leader in you, and go conquer the world. You are a leader! Go lead; the world needs you.

Today’s post is the ninth of the SOS Leadership Men Who Lead Blog Series. The purpose of this blog series is to share the stories and insights of men who are answering the call to leadership in their lives. Come back each Friday to read more!

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