Recently I had an amazing experience at a leadership camp in the DC area. We learned the six traits of leadership but I want to go into the three that are most important to me. These three traits are teamwork, respect, and having a purpose. These are all very important pieces of being a good leader. I also got to listen to a very interesting presentation by a leader that I will also talk about.
The first piece of the puzzle is teamwork. When someone is a leader, they are a leader of some type of group or team. When the group is doing something, anything, the leader must know how to work with the team and listen to all the ideas. No type of leader can be stubborn. That would mean that the group or team would feel unimportant and like they have no say in the problem or what the group is trying to accomplish. There should never be bickering on who’s right and who’s wrong. Then nothing at all would be accomplished. These are the reasons why a leader needs to have teamwork skills or else the whole team would shatter, then the leader would be leader of nothing.
Another thing that is critical to leadership is respect. There are always so many people a leader is going to work with, and help guide. Many people will be different, have different thoughts, and have different personalities. Even if people do things, or say things that the leader does not agree with the leader still needs to know how to put their selves in someone else’s shoes and at least try to see someone else’s point of view, and even if that doesn’t work the leader still needs to respect someone else’s opinion because two minds are truly better than one, and together they could create something, that is without a doubt amazing.
The last piece of the puzzle is having a purpose in what you want to do, and the change that you want to make as a leader. As a leader the point is not just to be in charge. The point is to do something you truly believe in. Not just that, but to improve what you are the leader of. Whether someone is a leader of group or team, or even a company the whole reason the leader became a leader was because he wanted to do something, to help change, or improve what was already happening. The little or big changes are all part of the purpose, or vision. The leader has a game plane on where they want to go and what they want do, and most importantly how they are even going to get there. If the leader is lost and wants to do nothing, that is not the meaning of a leader anymore.
Now, I would like to address someone who worked so hard and for a long time just to get rights for kids. This amazing person’s name is Marry Beth Tinker. She and a few of her friends wore black wristbands to support the Vietnam War veterans on each side. The school said it was a distraction to work and just would not be tolerated. They also said if any child was seen with it on again that they would be expelled from the school. So, what she decided to do is still wear it. She wanted to stand up for what she believed in and show that kids have freedom of speech. She did get expelled, but she decided to take the conflict to their local court. Everyone there said no, and that they agreed with the teachers. They kept working and working and never gave up. They took it all the way up to the Supreme Court and eventually the amendment of Freedom of Speech was passed.
Mary Beth Tinker portrayed a very important skill of leadership as well. She showed dedication, and perseverance. She never chose to give up, and kept on going. The strength of her own feelings kept her going. At the time she was doing this she was very young. She was only in 8th grade. For a kid to show this much passion, this much dedication is just amazing. A leader has to be devoted and has to have a passion on what they are doing. The can never give up no matter how much they fail. They have to have the power within them to carry them, and keep them going. A leader’s secret weapon is their feelings, and their passion.
This camp really inspired me as a person and a leader. It inspired me to never give up no matter what I am doing. Even if I hit a bump in the road, or have obstacles in my journey, to just get back up and keep on trying. Think about it this way: If someone is walking to a friend’s house and they are half way there, then it starts to rain, would you walk back home or would you keep going. That’s what you should do in a problem: KEEP GOING! “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”- Jhon Adams