Try On Small Leadership Roles
Let yourself shine
Often people think of leadership as being in charge, making decisions, and showing the way. While all of these aspects of leadership may be true, they are only part of the position. You do not need to be an expert to be the leader.
Are you someone who would like to lead but you are not sure how? Would you like to be the experienced one in the group? I suggest trying small leadership positions to build confidence on your way to the next opportunity.
I know I have built leadership skills over the years in certain areas of my life. As a teacher, being the leader is a major component of the job. I tell my students I am actually a “lead learner” most of the time. Even if I know the content and the progression of a lesson or unit, I am learning constantly from my students and about what works best for them.
One of my favorite parts of being a teacher is building leadership in others. With a constant rotation of team building, academic activities, partnerships and group work, students are expected and encouraged to take on different roles. It is very interesting to watch a louder, insistent child put in the role of listener, while letting a quieter child be in charge of the decisions.
I teach kids that being a listener is an important leadership skill, possibly more important than speaking sometimes. While some of these roles may not come naturally, my hope is that students learn that everyone plays a part in the success of the group.
How does this apply to adults? I would suggest starting with something you want to get better at. Or try something new and watch for a while. Or look for opportunities within a group of like-minded people — people who are looking to be successful in a similar realm, and be of service.
As a personal example, I am using my own skills of editing and my passion for writing as a way to help a group of writers. I volunteered to help in areas that were new to me: being an editor for a publication or taking charge of some management aspects for a large Facebook group. I knew I was capable, but these small leadership roles are helping me in ways I didn’t expect.
I am making connections with so many writers. I am learning about communication and social media. I am being exposed to so many different styles of writing, and I am inspired to take further action in my own writing projects and goals daily.
Be in the service of others. Volunteer. Empower others to learn and do the same. Be humble and generous. Admit when you’re wrong. Listen. Find the connections that will help you do more, be more, and live the life you want.
Together we shine much brighter in the world when we are all willing to lead once in a while.
Samantha Lazar 2020