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Issue126: The Best Way For A Society To Prepare Its Young People For Leadership - With A Free Essay Review

Prompt: “’The best way for a society to prepare its young people for leadership in government, industry, or other fields is by instilling in them a sense of cooperation, not competition.’ Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the claim. In developing and supporting your position, be sure to address the most compelling reasons and/or examples that could be used to challenge your position.”

Which one can be the better way for society to prepare for its young people: developing a sense of cooperation or competition? The author gives his favor to the former. Actually, I primarily believe that both of the two abilities are significant to new generations. And my points of contention with the speaker are listed as follows.

The threshold necessary thing for young people is the sense of cooperation. As we all know, in various realms, cooperation is an important skill. As for tomorrow's leaders, their responsibilities are to serve their companies and subordinates. Therefore, they may face numerous challenges and problems which are handled only by collaborating with others. Additionally, cooperation advocates that one plus one is larger than two. Here comes an illustration. Generally speaking, a good basketball team is not the one with a lot of stars, but must have a good leader who can organize the effective attacks. These attacks need the cooperation between the leader and members because basketball is a game for five people. No matter how excellent personal abilities he or she has, one still can not complete all the tasks. In short, a good leader should value the competence of the members and emphasise the cooperative spirits when facing challenges.

The second necessary ability is the competitive spirit. Here, the competition does not mean selfish and materialistic. It is just a process to compete with others and ultimately get oneself promoted. It is known to us all, the slogan of the Olympics is faster, higher and stronger. Assuming that if there is no competition, who can get the Olympic medals or be the records breaker? In the political area, the American election is a competition among the candidates. Assuming if there was no election, who will be the leader of the country among a large number of people? As for children, the school entrance examination or the monthly exams also require the sense of the competition. Can the young generations have the sense to catch up with their classmates without competing with others? In short, Olympics spirits, democratic policy, and education provide powerful reason for developing a sense of competition.

Additionally, to some extent, leader's sense of competition is not inconsistent with his or her ability to cooperate with companies. In contrast, a good combination of the two may help to make the lives of the public more harmonious. As a student, majoring in civil engineering, I deeply know that a leader should have sensitive business sense. On the one hand, the competence to grasping the information of the opponents is important for a construction company before submission of Tender. Also, an effective work team should do better to compete with the potential rivals to assure the quality of the constructions and bring more business opportunities. On the other hand, the construction work is enormous thereby requiring the cooperation between the workers and engineers. Thus, in a word, only when a leader efficaciously deals with the relationship between cooperation and competition, can he or she do a good job.

All in all, both the sense of competition and the cooperation play indispensable role in people’s life. Put it another way, grasping the competence of the both two comes from the requirements of various realms, so that they both are good ways for the society to prepare for its future leader.



Your argument as far as it goes is reasonable enough, with the exception, I think, of the third paragraph, for there you rely too much on questions rather than logically supported claims to advance the argument. I would recommend not using questions at all, except perhaps as a transitional element between paragraphs.

One of the obvious problems with the essay, however, is that it does not fully respond to the prompt. According to the instructions, you must “be sure to address the most compelling reasons and/or examples that could be used to challenge your position.” You don’t do that and for that reason alone your essay might receive a lower score than one might hope. In order to follow the instructions, of course, you need to establish a position that is arguable; i.e., a position that some person might reasonably disagree with. (You can’t address reasonable objections to your argument if there are none.) To say that both cooperation and competition are important aspects of leadership is not to say something that others would be inclined to disagree with, so I can appreciate the difficulty you have in identifying and addressing compelling reasons or examples that could be used to challenge your position.

I think the solution to that difficulty is to reconsider the significance of the original claim. You write as though you believed the original claim misses a very obvious point, but I think the truth here is that the answer “we should do both” is a good answer only to a very superficial interpretation of the significance of the claim. It is probably a presupposition of the original claim that leaders are competitive. There would be no reason to promulgate the idea that one ought to instill the cooperative spirit rather than the competitive spirit if it were not true that leaders are competitive. The point of such a claim is that it goes against one of the things one might be inclined to think. It’s saying that it’s more important to teach the virtues of cooperation even though the competitive spirit is generally an accepted attribute of leadership. But if it is a presupposition of the original claim that leaders tend to be competitive, there is obviously not much point in basing one’s disagreement with the claim on the basis that leaders tend to be competitive.

I think one way to proceed, then, would be to ask why someone might suggest that we should foster the cooperative spirit instead of the competitive spirit. There are a variety of possible reasons for this. One might look around at society today and see that the competitive spirit is everywhere, and so perhaps innate, but the cooperative spirit is often lacking. Focusing on instilling the cooperative spirit might be a way of improving society’s next leaders. One might think that the competitive spirit in many fields is destructive rather than creative, and so peace or progress will be better served if the next generation of leaders were more inclined to be cooperative than competitive. So one way to develop your essay, then, might be to disagree with such claims. To insists on the virtues of competition, say, in terms of economic development or political progress.

Best, EJ.
Submitted by: Joan

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