When asked the question, “what is leadership?”, no two answers are exactly the same. Why is that, you might ask? What is leadership and what it means to be a leader is different for everyone. Whether they know it or not, each leader lives by their own leadership philosophy, or in other words, they lead based on how they believe true leadership is demonstrated. After looking at myself as a leader, I believe my leadership philosophy centers on helping others and knowing when to lead and when to follow
Thinking about myself as a leader, I believe part of my leadership philosophy is based around servant leadership, or in other words, leading through others. I wholeheartedly believe that being a leader is about being selfless and how you can help others grow instead of what others can do for you. To be a leader, you have to be compassionate towards others, empathize with others, build relationships with others, and challenge others to be the best that they can possibly be. Growing up, my family always emphasized the importance of living your life to help people. In fact, one of my favorite quotes is by Pablo Picasso, “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away”. Growing up with this philosophy has lead me to a passion for volunteering and a dream of becoming a high school teacher so I can inspire and empower my students the way my teachers have inspired and empowered me. I believe that I lead through spreading positivity and love, and bringing happiness into the lives of others.
Additionally, I believe that being a leader isn’t about always being the one to speak up and take charge. In fact, one of the most important aspects of leadership is knowing when to lead and when to follow. As a leader with a considerate leadership style, I have never been the most outspoken one in the group or the first one to take charge of a group. Throughout my life, I’ve found that you don’t have to hold a position, such as a group leader, to demonstrate leadership. For example, during the Spark Leadership series, my group had the challenge of building a tall, stand-alone structure with only a paper plate, tape, cardboard, and a few straws. At the beginning of the challenge, I was not the first one to say “okay what ideas do you guys have” but rather I contributed my own ideas and shared a structural idea I had that would incorporate all of my group members’ ideas. In the end, the idea I came up with was the reason our structure was the tallest and withstood all of the tests. Even though I wasn’t the first person to be the leader of the group, I still demonstrated leadership through my sharing my ideas and collaborating with other group members.
While leadership has a slightly different meaning to everyone, my leadership philosophy focuses on helping others and knowing when to lead and when to follow. I believe that leadership is about inspiring and empowering others to make a difference in the world. I also believe that to be a leader, you don’t always have to be the most outspoken person in the group, but rather you can lead through sharing your ideas and assisting others. By demonstrating servant leadership and being a considerate leader, I know that I will put my stamp on the world.