Its never easy being the one they call on to lead, even when it’s a trip to the local Wendy’s and you’re the DD.
I bet as you are reading this, you can remember the good leaders and the not so good leaders during your lifetime. As the leader, you are the one who inspires action in the darkest of times and comfort when it all goes downhill. You’re the last one to take any credit for the successes and the first one they blame when everything seems to have gone awry. Leadership is difficult, especially when it means taking care of others or even your peers. When I first was given this opportunity at my Alma mater Merrimack College as a Resident Assistant for the Residence life office, it was daunting to say the least, especially after years of other leaders saying I may not be that good. “You’ll never be more than a follower” Yeah maybe that wasn’t cut for me, maybe I wasn’t meant to be a leader and keep people safe.
Or maybe I was the absolute best fit for it.
Never letting the doubters in your head, although tough, has never been an option for me. “I appreciate the feedback guys but there’s a job for me to do and traffic you guys should be playing in.” I found my path although dimly lit and unpaved, I developed myself into a leader who is kind but stern and knows he can get the best out of everyone he works with. The first year and many years on I held myself to a high standard of leadership and always kept adapting and molding my style into what i have today. With the work I have put into myself, I have created opportunities where I can shine, especially as a newly hired Resident Director.
Leadership is something that everyone has it just may not be cultivated until the right moment. As a full-blown adult now I realize now that although leadership is within each of us it takes a certain time or moment for the leadership to shine through; if it is tragedy, triumph or just that right moment when the times call for a person like you. We will all have our time to take up the mantle of being a leader, my time has come as I currently lead a staff of ten fantastically driven Resident Assistants that I hope one day will take up a bigger mantle in their lives and be the good people I know they can be. I just hope they can someday say “I became a leader because of him.”