Almost all programs value leadership. They want to breathe it, see it, hear it, smell it, and touch it in your applications. But how can you, young adults, show leadership? You are usually close to the bottom of the totem pole, if you're even on it. For most of you, extra-curricular activities provide the opportunity.
Today's Wall St. Journal article "A High-Seas Race Can Tell Some Tales About Executive Roles" is a great example of an essay using a non-professional topic to discuss leadership and to a lesser extent teamwork. (Although I am providing the link, if you don't subscribe to the WSJ Online, you will need to read a hard copy of the article).