Leadership, Success, and Phi Theta Kappa


Darian Houle
Vice President of Chapter Leadership
Northcentral Technical College


When I think about leadership and what it means, I try to understand the word itself. I have looked up the definition of what the word leadership means, but the truth of the matter is it’s more than just a definition. Leadership is something that is not easily defined and it’s not something that you can learn overnight. There are many ways to be a leader and to show leadership. For me a being leader is more about listening and the giving of ideas. Also, leadership is about communicating with others and letting them know that they are valued.


Similarly, I realized it is hard to define success, and I never knew what success was until I returned to school. For many years, failure was the norm for me and Phi Theta Kappa was not on my radar and it was not even a goal. Achieving honors and getting an invite to Phi Theta Kappa meant something more than just academics, to me it meant success and self-confidence. I realized that having self confidence in who you are and what you do can go a long way. I know people ask,why join PTK?  For me PTK has meant three things: success, growth, and leadership. PTK is more than just an honor society.  It’s about people who encourage and inspire others to do things that they normally would say they cannot do. For example, applying to be a chapter officer and challenging yourself to step outside of your comfort zones. That to me is success. Challenge yourself and ask yourself,why notme?You will find the definition of success and you will start to understand leadership.


Phi Theta Kappa is a family that works toward supporting its members when they are struggling and helps in celebrating your achievements. With that being said, Phi Theta Kappa has allowed me to challenge myself in wanting to learn more about leadership, and how to be a better leader. For me leadership is about being approachable and about not being afraid to say I don’t know, or I was wrong. Those words can be the hardest words to say and to admit. Leadership is about having self confidence in who you are and what you can do. Also, never be afraid to fail or admit that you have failed.  For me a leader is someone who knows when to lead and when to follow. We are all leaders but sometimes we just don’t know that we are leading. Case in point, me! Sometimes it just takes someone to point out your leadership skills and PTK has certainly given me the opportunity to shine and be recognized.

PTK has taught me that I can be a leader and not always a follower. It has taught me what success looks like, and it has taught me that growth and self-confidence are achievable. Though my time in PTK I’ve recognized that I CAN be a leader and help others. Challenge yourself and recognize that you can achieve anything by believing in who you are and your abilities.