The first few weeks of the first year at HBS can certainly be overwhelming: meeting 900 new people, learning how to prepare for cases and how to jump in at the right time in class, managing an influx of social events, determining which clubs to join, and what role to have in them.

It’s easy during this period, surrounded by 89 of the most impressive people you’ve ever met in your section, to feel like you should already have a comprehensive understanding of business and leadership fundamentals to stay afloat. I certainly felt some of this pressure in the first weeks of school, especially after I was elected President of Section A.

As the weeks pass and the section dynamics fall into place, you’ll soon realize that this pressure is merely self-inflicted and better let go, as the sooner you do, the more quickly you can start doing what you, and everyone else, came here to do: learn how to become a better leader. I left RC year with more lessons than I can count, but I’d like to share with you five that I’ve taken away specifically around leadership.

1. There is no single best leadership style

Prior to HBS, I looked to the leaders I admired at work and sought to identify the common elements of their styles that I could adapt into my own way of working. In retrospect, this exercise confined me to a quite narrowly defined view of effective leadership. There was a clear moment during our Taran Swan case in our Leadership & Organizational Behavior (LEAD) class when I realized that it is impossible to take parts of styles that work for others and hope you are creating an optimal model for yourself. Instead, the best type of leadership is one that is most authentic to you.

Taran was one of many leaders we studied who had a different style than I was accustomed to, but one that was true to her strengths, extremely effective for her and her team and lead her to great success and admiration within her organization. An organization can sense authenticity and appreciates when a leader’s actions are consistent and aligned with his/her beliefs. This freed me from the confines of defining leadership in a certain way.

2. You don’t need to know everything

And you definitely should not pretend to. Toby Johnson, another protagonist in LEAD, took on a managerial role in a plant of 200 tenured employees immediately after graduating from HBS. Instead of allowing insecurities about experience and age translate into a strong armed dictatorship, she allowed herself to be vulnerable, to ask questions and to spend significant time early on investing in relationships and learning before impatiently driving to what would have likely been short term results.

It’s impractical to think you need to know it all. In fact, the best leaders seem to excel in knowing where their weaknesses are and either hiring to fill those gaps, or spending time to learn the work themselves, like Toby.

3. It’s OK to make mistakes

Our section was lucky enough to have Ron Johnson come in to speak live. I was anxious to hear how he would address his time at JCPenney given the number of challenges the company faced under his leadership. I was impressed by his candor and his calm demeanor; he shared with us what worked for him, what did not and what he took away from the experiences.

A failure that some may have perceived as career shattering turned into a learning opportunity. While difficult, it’s important to remember that careers are marathons, not sprints. How you respond to adversity and, specifically, how you leverage the advocates you’ve established along the way, is what determines your ultimate success.

While I have clearly learned a lot about leadership through our cases and professors, some of the greatest leadership lessons I’ve learned have come from my sectionmates.  Here are two I’ve taken from Section A.

4. Empower your team

Prior to exams, we had a handful of sectionmates volunteer to organize and lead review sessions. It was inspiring to see, for example, people with years of finance experience patiently cover concepts from our Finance I class (often multiple times in a row) to classmates new to the topic. What I took away from this is, as a leader, it’s not very valuable to have a perfect vision in your mind if you cannot articulate it well or provide your team or client with the tools they need for it to be well executed. This transition of information is time consuming, but so important, as it empowers your team to work confidently towards, and even improve upon, that vision.

5. Lead with passion

One of the most fulfilling parts of my first year was learning about the passions of my sectionmates. It’s truly inspiring to see someone effectively communicate a goal, why it’s important to them and why it should be important to you, as well. The ones who can do it well, who can allow others to not only see their same aspirations but also be motivated enough to join in working towards them, have a gift.

In the best case, it’s easy to do this as a leader because you are genuinely passionate about your work. Sometimes you won’t be this lucky. It’s even more critical in these circumstances to really think about why what you’re doing is important and share that with your team often so they too can understand how their daily work fits within a larger and meaningful effort.

I know this is just the start of a lifetime of lessons from HBS. I’m looking forward to continuing to add to this list in EC year and beyond!