Leadership is more than about influencing people by what you say and do. I believe it is about being humble, and willing to learn as well as having the courage to stand in the face of great challenge. I believe a good leader possesses the quality of reliability, integrity and perseverance. John C. Maxwell once said, "A good leader is someone one who takes a little more than his share of the blame and a little less than his share of the credit." One who strives to be a good leader has to be honest, inspiring, intelligent, and stand firm for what he believes. Truly committed leaders strive to know more and study continually to improve their skills.
Over the summer, my friends and I started a community outreach ministry in downtown Tulsa. I was responsible for organizing and leading sandwich runs. At that stage of my leadership career, I was very task-oriented. I completed everything that was assigned to me and oftentimes went beyond what was asked of me. I created teams that made the care-packages and bought the materials.
The ministry was successful on many levels; we had hundreds of youth participate, and also had many opportunities to share the gospel. Looking back now I realize that true leadership meant so much more than authority and recognition from the outside world. Instead, it was about making decisions that are not self-serving but in the interests of the people that we serve. Another experience I encountered with leadership was when I played sports in middle school. Playing in both losing and winning teams made me realize that even if I fail or lose that is no reason to give up.
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I learned from my mistakes and prepared myself to benefit the team. By listening to my peers, and learning from my errors, I became a better leader. Through this, I learned that even when failing, great leaders believe in their abilities. Acknowledging and learning from mistakes allowed me to lead by example, and encouraged my teammates to see mistakes not as the end of the line, but as the beginning of growth. In doing this, we create a common sense of purpose in which we can all thrive, and deliver that common purpose while still providing the resilience to face the difficult challenges.
There is nothing easy about leadership. It is one of the most difficult jobs in the world, but it is also one of the most rewarding things you can do. Through every experience I learned that true leadership is about developing people and helping others reach their full potential. One day I want to use my leadership skills to not only maximize the success of an organization, but also the lives of individuals. I want to help break down barriers and lead others through the uncertainty of the future.
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