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Maj. Gen. Linda Singh Speaks on What It Means to be a Leader
Photo courtesy of the Maryland National Guard

Photo courtesy of Maryland National Guard

Major General Linda Singh, Adjutant General of the Maryland National Guard, came to Loyola on Tuesday, Nov.17 during Leadership Week for her lecture “Being the Change You Want to See.” Maj. Gen. Singh is responsible for all of the daily operations of the Maryland Military Department and serves as the liaison between the governor’s office and the National Guard Bureau. She is a member of the governor’s cabinet and recently gained publicity during the Baltimore riots where she became the face of the National Guard’s actions in Baltimore.

Maj. Gen. Singh started her speech by saying that everyone has the potential to be a leader. She joked that we’re all born leaders saying, “think about it, when we’re babies all we do is cry and our demands get met.”

On a more serious note, Maj. Gen. Singh discussed her humble upbringing in Frederick County, Maryland and the difficulty she faced when she dropped out of high school. But Maj. Gen. Singh always knew she wanted to be a leader, so she joined the military. Once in basic training, her natural leadership skills emerged and she rose through the ranks quickly.

Her long military career has taught her a variety of valuable lessons.  Firstly, the importance of teamwork and being a team player. “Being a good follower is also a leadership skill that is necessary” said Maj. Gen. Singh.

Empathy is another key element of a strong leader, according to Maj. Gen. Singh, and it is essential for success. She said that building relationships is necessary for understanding what your team members’ strengths are. Maj. Gen. Singh believes everyone has useful skills to contribute to the situation, and that it’s just a matter of finding out what those talents are.

Lastly, transparency is vital to Maj. Gen. Singh’s leadership abilities. The clearer you can set goals for others, the easier it will be able to follow them. Maj. Gen. Singh mentioned that anyone has the potential to be a leader, but sometimes we can be our own worst enemies. She says it’s just a matter of overcoming your self-esteem, something she calls her “little monster” — that voice of doubt.

Maj. Gen. Singh’s message was one of inspiration and of encouraging others to be the best leader they can in whatever they do, whether in their career or for their community. She ended her speech by encouraging everyone to pursue their passions. “If you can’t have fun, it will end up being the most miserable thing,” Maj. Gen. Singh told the audience. “You have to find the enjoyment in any field you go into, and when you face something difficult think of the fine moments that make you smile.”

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Maj. Gen. Linda Singh Speaks on What It Means to be a Leader