- What are my strengths?
I use empathy in all of my relationships. It’s how I form friendships with other people and also a large basis of how I am able to get along with others. Since I am able to place myself in their shoes, I am able to understand where they’re coming from and as a result, I am more confident with how to talk and work with them. In on campus activities, such as the Newman Club, this is the strength I use most often when we work at creating a strong community of authentic friendship.
This strength enables me to think through the best path to achieve the most effective result. This helps me in school with completing assignments in a timely fashion. It also works hand in hand with empathy to help me determine how best to talk and work with others. In my summer job at a restaurant, I would often have to be strategic in organizing the tasks I had to complete, especially when we got really busy and it would become necessary for me to help the servers and bussers in addition to hosting.
Adaptability is a strength I connect to very personally, because I feel it developed largely from a family situation which has always required me to be very flexible. It is in my family that I use this strength most often. Plans are constantly changing and it helps any situation if I can be flexible and adjust accordingly. This strength also helped me in the work place as I would have to be flexible with costumer needs while still keeping in mind the needs of the servers so as not to over-seat any section and create a stressful environment.
Connectedness is reflective of my religious beliefs. I try to have a strong faith which enables me to get through difficult times. It also makes me believe that we are all connected. As a result of that, I am very respectful of people. Even if I don’t particularly want to work with or spend time with someone, I am able to put aside those thoughts and respect who they are as a person. This creates an effective and respectful environment with limited conflict.
Intellection is reflected through my introverted desires. I like to spend time alone, because it does allow me to think without necessarily being distracted by other things. This strength compliments my other strengths as my thoughts are often centered around how I can further build my relationships with others, as well as building a strategic plan to get through all the tasks I need to get through.
2. What are my values?
These values influence my view of leadership by focusing on leading through relationships with others. Because I have always been quiet, I have always preferred the “lead by example” route of leadership. However, to effectively be a leader, it’s important to build up strong relationships with the people you’re working with. Compassion, helpfulness, love, respect, patience, and trustworthiness build up honest and open relationships in which everyone is valued. These relationships are necessary in any community – whether in the workplace or at school or in other organizations. I believe they are necessary to leadership. Creativity and humor add an element of fun, which are necessary so everyone may find a level of enjoyment in the community. Faith and hope are also reflective of my religious beliefs and the environment in which I grew up. They help me, as a leader, keep a positive outlook throughout life, even in difficult situations. Keeping a positive outlook is something I feel is important for any leader and is one of the most encouraging things one can do for others.
3. How do I define leadership?
Leadership is the ability to create a cohesive, cooperative, and welcoming environment in which everyone is known and valued personally so that they can strive together as a community for the betterment of society.
This definition has changed since beginning LEAD to emphasize the relationships needed in leadership. When I started LEAD, even though I believed I could still be a quiet leader and lead by example, I was nonetheless under the impression that the most effective leaders are the leaders with the loudest voice. However, through LEAD, I have come to understand the importance of relationships to leadership – it’s about knowing one another’s strengths and finding ways to work together respectfully and compassionately in order to move forward.
4. What skills and abilities have I gained through LEAD?
I have gained many skills through LEAD, beginning with having an awareness for my strengths and my abilities. This will be extraordinarily useful as it helps me to be more confident and recognize what jobs and tasks I have the resources to do. Knowing my strengths will help me in all my relationships and in any future job or activities, because I will know how best to connect with others and how best to get the job done. I have also learned interview skills, networking skills, how to write a cover letter, and how to build a resume. These skills will help me in any job I apply for in the future. Last summer I applied for a summer job and did secure a position at a restaurant, however now I know how to improve my application materials for future opportunities. I will need these skills as I look for internship opportunities and possible editing positions as I begin my career as a writer.
I’ve also improved my goal setting abilities and have learned stress relievers, which have assisted in my academics and time management. These skills will continue to help me in school, but they will also help me in future jobs to ensure I stay on top of deadlines and meet specific writing goals.
Facilitation and public speaking have helped me as I begin to take on a larger leadership role with the Newman Club, as well as in the classroom. Learning about delegation has helped me with group projects and is sure to help in the future when I need to work with others in my career. Learning about conflict mitigation will also be extremely useful in the future in my ability to work with others. Costumer service will continue to be very useful as I likely will return to my restaurant position over the summer and/or if I get a job on campus that will require me to work with others.