Sunday, January 29, 2017

So You Want to Be a Leader?

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By: Sabrina Y.

I have learned many tips through my high school leadership experience that I would like to share with you today. It’s not easy being the president of a volunteer club, the head of my school’s literary/arts magazine, an editor for our school’s newspaper, and an active Girl Scout all at once, but I’ve managed to become the best leader I can possibly be by following these rules:

 Be brave sometimes - Be courageous always

I always thought bravery and courage were synonyms for one another, but then as I really thought about it, for me bravery is temporary and courage is the stuff that lasts forever. Bravery is auditioning for the school musical freshman year and courage is auditioning for the next five shows the school will put on. Bravery is raising your hand to answer a question in class, while courage is raising your hand during every class discussion. Bravery is singing during an optional school music recital, while courage is singing in front of 300 people at a summer camp. Bravery is the initial push that helps you put aside your fears for just a moment in order to do something you’ve never done before. Courage is the everlasting result of being brave. Don’t miss out on an opportunity. Get outside of your comfort zone.

  Plan in advance

In the summer, if you know that you promised to give a presentation sometime early in the school year on How to Conduct a Good Interview to your school newspaper staff writers, then create that power point over the summer. Working ahead of time when you know you have time, is always the best and most efficient use of time.

Also, create calendars! Plan out club meeting dates or club events in advance. As a result, more can get accomplished and everyone in your club can be on the same page. In addition, create goals for your club/event/organization ahead of time. Detailed and meaningful goals fuel the fire that will keep you going, even when times get a little more stressful and tough.

Collaborate

Everyone has a different story, a different perspective, and a different strength, talent, or passion than you. Use these pieces of knowledge to your advantage and work together with others! This is especially useful when it comes to planning events or fundraisers with clubs. Even though you are officially the leader, you need to hear the voices of all your club members!

Create the environment that you want

I believe respect is such an important and necessary virtue. This is why I build any of the clubs or groups I’m in charge of around respect. I’ve learned that everyone will not like everyone in the group and everyone will have really bad days, once in awhile. However, I like to tell everyone that whatever negative feelings you have for someone or whatever negative feelings you had that day, you leave at the door because it is the only way to have a productive, enjoyable, and peaceful meeting. Create the environment that you want for your fellow peers, and make sure they know about it.

    Ask for help

Understand that no matter how hard you try, it is impossible to do everything on your own. You are not perfect. Also, it doesn’t benefit anyone if you take on all the work by yourself because it will ultimately make you tired and stressed and no one else is able to learn from the group’s accomplishments.

Ask for help! If you are stressed, go to a teacher, your advisor, your parents, or any other trusted adult. To prevent this stress in the first place, ask friends, peers, or club members to help you with club projects. This will not make you seem weak. In fact, it’ll make you a stronger leader. You’d be surprised how willing people are to help you.

 Be modest

You achieve many goals. Good for you! Be proud of these accomplishments. Celebrate these accomplishments. However, don’t use these accomplishments as a weapon by bragging about them all the time. Don’t use your accomplishments to put down someone else’s accomplishments. Be kind, be grateful, be modest.

  Commit – Commit - Commit

If you volunteer to do something, do it. Don’t make excuses for why you can’t, try your best to get it done. Remember, you volunteered to do this. I know it’s hard and frustrating and stressful sometimes. I know that we all have bad days, and don’t feel like doing the task we volunteered to do. I know that this is perhaps one of the hardest tips to follow, especially if you have several other commitments to complete around the same time.  If you fail to commit, you will not only let yourself down but you will let others down as well. Commit, commit, commit!

Learn from your mistakes.

It may seem hypocritical to be writing tips that sometimes are hard for me to follow. But I want you to know that that everybody makes mistakes. You may feel disappointed or guilty, but know that failures can easily be turned into lessons.  

It takes a true leader to own up to their mistakes. Grow from them and don’t be ashamed. All leaders in today’s world have all been in the same position at one point in their lives. Admit when you’ve made a mistake, don’t blame your mistakes on anyone else.



I hope these tips helped! Be active, be involved, and lead with confidence. I wish you all luck with your leadership endeavors.

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