Leadership is not as much a blessing as it is a curse. Leadership is not a walk in the park, and it surely should not be taken for granted. In my opinion, leadership stems from passion. If one does not have the love for a group, then there is no conceivable way to lead the group. As a leader myself, I understand what it takes to be an example to others. I understand that I have more responsibility and accountability. I have realized that people look up to me and respect my decisions because of the power I hold. But I also know to never misuse that power....
Being a leader is not easy. Being a leader is stressful and exhausting and it’s sometimes so tempting to give it all up. There have been times where I just couldn’t take it anymore. I was so close to losing myself because I thought I couldn’t handle the pressure of leadership. I am a leader but I am not close to perfect. Leaders are not meant to be high and mighty. They carry the same weight on their shoulders as does everyone else in the group. Leaders must work harder and dedicate themselves more than everyone else in the group to ensure that their peers are on track to success. To motivate others, leaders themselves need to be able focus on what they want and envision a way to reach that goal.
I am a leader but I have my faults. People assume that leaders always have the answers, I mean isn’t that why they were chosen in the first place? People assume that leaders always do what is right. But we’re only human and from time to time, we make bad decisions.
I am a leader because I love to lead.
I am the section leader of the clarinets in my high school’s band. I am the leader of 27 very different people. Dysfunctional, loud, and quirky. But we all have the same passion – the passion for music. I am the section leader because I love the people that I lead. They are my family. We support one another, we sass one another.
We have our own section song which we sing at the top of our lungs. We dance like no one’s watching. We adore group hugs, especially when one person in the group is feeling low. We find amusement in roasting each other. But at the end of the day, we stick up for each other. Because that’s what family does.
I am a leader because I have a vision.
I am the section leader because I want to see my family grow and thrive. In the past, we’ve faced problems where the section would get blamed left and right; we were put in a bad position and ultimately had a bad reputation. I wanted change. Yes, we are a big group and we make mistakes. But I also know that we are an amazing collection of individuals with talent and fierce spirit, and we deserve better... Leadership is not about the position. It’s not about bossing people around. It’s not about being hypocritical and assuming immunity to all responsibilities.
Leadership is purposely getting close to the fire where burns are inevitable. It’s about taking all the blame for the group even if you weren’t necessarily at fault. It’s taking initiative even when you have no title.
It’s being humble and kind.
It’s having the courage to be firm and the perseverance to try again and fail again.
It’s loving what you do and who you do it with.
Because when all is said and done, the memories as a leader will be worth so much more because of the hardships along the way.
To all my fellow leaders out there – never lose hope, even in tough situations. You are appreciated and loved.