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Lessons in leadership

“Participation in extra-curricular activities allows a student the opportunity to go from managing themselves to managing others,” says Robert Gerace, management development trainer at Paychex Inc. “They have the opportunity to test themselves and experience success, and that begins to establish a pattern.”

In addition to his work providing training for Paychex managers, Gerace teaches management and marketing as an adjunct faculty member in the small business management certificate program offered through RIT’s College of Applied Science and Technology. He’s also a popular speaker in RIT’s Leadership Education And Development (LEAD) program sponsored by the Center for Campus Life in collaboration with Student Affairs (see accompanying article).

“Are people born with leadership skills? I would say no,” says Gerace. “People become leaders by filling a void, taking on a task that arises. You discover ‘I can do this,’ and that allows you to step forward.”

These experiences do more than develop leadership skills, “They allow you to become a total person,” says Gerace, who served on the