Saturday, November 01, 2014

What I've learnt of leadership

FYI, this picture is only related to the first few sentences of the first paragraph. Hahaha.

I have officially 30 days left to being a university student. It's quite a bittersweet feeling knowing that I will be leaving the place I've completely and publicly detested for the past 3 years. As much as I hate the administration at Taylor's, I realise that the memories I will be taking with me won't be so much of the physical place but of the people I have met and worked with IN Taylor's. Granted there were (and there's still time for more) bad experiences and frustrating incidents but I know that some day down the road those instances will be of benefit to me in the sense that I'll know what NOT to do. Does that make sense? Lol. I have learnt so much from just this semester alone and it's not even done yet. I've learnt/discovered new things about people, about how to deal with people and about my own self. I've made more new friends this semester than I have in the last two and a half years of being in uni. Anyway, the point of this post was really to remind myself of what I've recently discovered about leadership.

Don't get me wrong though. I am in no way claiming to be a good or perfect leader. I myself struggle with the very same things I am about to mention.

A leader is defined as a person or thing that holds a dominant or superior position within its field, and is able to exercise a high degree of control or influence over others. Before this, I wasn't really aware of how much impact a leader has on his/her followers or team. When a person is put in a leadership position, that person instantly has the power to set the tone of whatever he/she is put in charge of. I don't mean it in a "I demand all of you to be excited and happy" way but more of a latent or concealed kind of power. I'm not quite sure of how to describe but I just hope you get what I'm trying to say. If a leader is excited over something, it is only a natural response that the rest of the team will be just as excited. If a leader isn't thrilled or happy, the team will only reciprocate in the same way. I guess what I'm trying to say is that the attitude of a leader has an effect on the rest of the people involved. Basically, leaders need to be a good example to their followers.
Titus 2:7-8 In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.

A good leader cares about his followers/team. Compassion and patience - it's important, and also getting to be somewhat of a rarity, sadly. Leaders should guide and not just instruct, and when they guide, they should be patient. I think it's sometimes difficult to remember that everyone learns and progresses at different rates, some slower and some faster. But good leaders will help their followers become better. Bad leaders leave them hanging.
Isaiah 4:10 He who has compassion on them will guide them and lead them beside springs of water.
2 Timothy 2:24 God's servant must not be argumentative, but a gentle listener and a teacher who keeps cool, working firmly but patiently with those who refuse to obey. 

Good leaders are good followers. This is something I've always kept in my heart and in my mind. It is simply not enough to have the ability, skill and influence to lead a group of people. Leaders need to not only be able to give orders but to also follow them. I suppose it's got a lot to do with ego and pride and humility as well, to be able to come down to a lower level and not let power go to one's head.
Mark 10:43-44 ...whoever wants to be great must become a servant. Whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave. 

I am still trying to apply the Word to whenever I am put in positions of leadership in uni. Being a leader, in whatever capacity, is not simple. But I am super thankful that this semester (which is arguably one of the toughest ones), God has surrounded me with numerous beautiful, like-minded and God-focused people who encourage me and my faith each day (whether or not they realise it).

I promise a happier update next time. Lol. 

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