Susan Komives

One of the most respected leadership writers, Susan Komives has had a profound impact on student leadership development through her scholarly work.

Born or Made?

“I don’t think you’re born with any of that kind of thing. I think there are characteristics that one can be born with. I mean, one of my dear faculty friends in my department at the University of Maryland studied childhood temperament and prenatal and natal, early childhood temperament development. And, certainly, you see that with your own kids, you see they have different personalities, even as they’re becoming little people. And I see those carry forward in both our son and daughter, even as the adults they are now. And I do believe that’s true. But not that you are born caring about issues external to you, I think all that is learned.”

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Leaders Are Readers

  • “The same thing with ideas, I love ideas, and I love other people’s ideas. They call me this human Rolodex, my students do, and talk about my magic files. But I’ll read an article or, these days, find a link to something on the web that I read and remember who was studying that or who was interested in that, and zap that out to them. And often, that comes just at the right time, or they’re just so tickled that you remembered that was their interest.”

Books I Recommend

  • The Handbook For Student Leadership Development
    —by Susan R. Komives, John P. Dugan, Julie E. Owen, Craig Slack, Wendy Wagner and Associates
    Non-Fiction, College Life
  • The Power of Servant Leadership
    —by Robert Greenleaf
    Leadership, Business

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