“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”
—John F. Kennedy
I never had a single regret in joining youth organizations. Aside from the fun, I get to know a lot of people with different backgrounds and eventually, became my friends. Being in a community is one of the greatest blessings I ever had. And I’m privileged enough to lead them. I’ve led a number of different organizations since my teenage years. And in there, I get to develop skills that I find valuable in the real world. Things you don’t learn in school. And aside from that, I gained wisdom from the realizations I had. Of course it’s not at all sunshine and rainbows all the time, but even then I still consider them as great learning experiences. Sure I learned a lot, and I’m sharing with you five of them.
- You can’t please everyone
It’s the cold, hard truth for every leader out there. Members have different opinions. They take sides and they criticize. And one disagreement could hit you mentally and emotionally. I had my share, lots of it. How to overcome? Just live with it. You can’t shut people’s mouths but the important thing is to continue to do what you consider is true.
- Feedbacks are vital for your improvement and effectiveness
I met my fiancé in my favourite group, the CFC Singles for Christ (Talk about great blessings). And she is my biggest critic. She really spends time to reflect on what I can do to better myself. Either be in the way I give my talk, my mannerisms, etc. Her feedbacks are precious to me. I keep in mind these things so that I can be a more effective leader. Who is your critic? If you have none, ask someone to be. But not just anybody else. That person should be someone important to you as well as you are to him/her.
- Friends are your treasures (especially when you’re vulnerable)
You’ll experience a lot of downs while leading an organization. There are times when you just want to stop. Fortunately, I have been blessed with a lot of good friends who push me up and remind me that they are here for me and that they got my back. Think about who your real friends are. Keep them.
- A small act of kindness can change a person
As a leader, people look up to you. Many of them will respect you. They will value your words, your stories, your attention and even your presence. In fact, some of them will be honoured just by speaking with you. No kidding. Now here’s a time where you can be a good influence to someone. A smile, a small chat, isang kamusta, a tap on the shoulder could mean a lot to them. Take advantage of it in a very good way. Be an inspiration!
- Build relationships, build a whole community
Give more venue for sharing of thoughts, stories and reflections and not just for teaching. In this way you get to build a community who treat each other as family. And they will cherish the times they have spent with each other. In my case, I believe that my friends in our community will be my lifelong friends. May forever!
To my Singles for Christ family, thank you very much for the past six years in the community. I thank God for all the experiences I had with you whether it’s beautiful or not, I cherish them all.
Another important thing I realized about leadership is that everyone is called to be a leader.
Mark Lester Fernando
Photo credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/paper-boats-on-solid-surface-194094/