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Talking It Over -- Seeking the traits of a good leader

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I used to be very shy.

I know it is hard to believe but in high school I would hardly talk to other people unless they started the conversation. I listened, formed my opinions but very rarely spoke up to voice them. I quickly learned that shy people are often taken advantage of and used by others for their own gains.

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Naturally, that has all changed and I have a lot of good teachers, friends, family, co-workers and bosses to thank (or, maybe in some cases, blame) for my outspoken ways today. I continue to try and think before I speak (or write) but sometimes it just doesn't work out that way. I find it necessary to say what I feel and suffer the consequences later. I have a hard time simply saying what I think people want to hear but say what I think they need to know.

Therefore, when I watch and listen to our candidates, I have to wonder if what they are saying is really what they feel in their hearts. The best way I have come up with for judging people and taking in what they say is to trust my gut feelings. Watching facial and body language helps a lot, and listening carefully, hearing the little things that are not being said can indicate an entirely different story.

This is what I will be doing for the next few weeks as I make my political decisions. I know I will find very little shyness in the candidates so instead will be seeking a core of humility and determination when it comes to their personal beliefs and even their personal lives. These are traits that I feel can make a good leader.

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