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Before starting the minor, I never thought leadership was more than holding a position of power. Through my classes in the minor I have learned there is much more to it. Specifically, while completing the LID Project in this class, I realized my process of becoming a leader started much younger than I had thought. I am the oldest of 4 children in my family, and one of my earliest leadership experiences was leading my younger siblings. I always looked up to my parents and saw them taking care if everyone. I noticed and tried to also take care of my siblings. As an older sister, I have always wanted my younger siblings to look to me for help and see me as a good role model. Therefore, my family was one of my earliest influences on my leadership.
Another one of my earliest experiences that late impacted my leadership philosophy occurred when I was around the age of 10. I was playing on a flag football team with my brother, and I was the only girl. I got very fed up with feeling invisible and begged my parents to let me quit. I finally convinced them, but they told me I was never allowed to quit a team again. I learned how important it is for teammates to be able to rely on you. This lesson has taught me to keep pushing when things get tough or aren't going your way. One of the things I really value today and in my leadership style is hard work. This experience at a young age has stuck with me and reminds me why working hard is important.
One of the very first positions i held that actually made me realize i was a leader was at my summer job. I have worked at a pool the past 8 summers, starting out working the snack bar and eventually becoming manager. A position I received in-between was head guard. This meant i was the role model life guard. I had to be a good example, work hard, and be on my game 24/7. When I took the Clifton strengths finder in one of my very first HESI classes and found out my top strengths was achiever, i immediately thought of my time working at the pool. I went from snack bar, to life guard, to head guard, to assistant manager, to manager. I was an achiever before i even knew it was a strength of mine. That is what is unique about this minor, you get to reflect on your personal experiences and see how the things we learn in class translate to the real world.
When I came to college, I started another leadership position, Vice President of the women's club soccer team. I initially started this position for the purpose of creating change. I did not agree with the way the previous executive board ran the club and I wanted to make the club less biased. I ended up learning about another leadership topic in class that I saw directly translating to my position. I found out i was strong in encouraging the heart from the exemplary practices of leadership. I encouraged girls to work hard, get to know each other, and have fun. I shared my personal experiences with how I felt unnoticed and wanted to encourage them they were being noticed. For me, leadership heavily relies on encouraging and motivating others.
One of the most memorable classes I have taken is leadership and coaching. In this class, we were asked to interview an old coach you have had. I chose my high school soccer coach, Sully. In our interview Sully revealed how he believes 90% of leading people and coaching them is relational. This quote has stuck with me. I brought up how in class i learned that one of my top strengths is relator, and how much i value actually getting to know the people you are leading. When I was in high school, i truly felt how much sully cared, and at that point I also realized my philosophy of forming caring relationships was based off of Sully. Being able to relate to others and truly understand those you are leading can get you so much further.
Through my life experiences, leadership classes, and leadership positions, I have been able to reflect on my leadership journey and determine my own philosophy on leadership. A successful leader is one who truly knows who they are leading. A successful leader is also honest with themselves and stays true to their values. A leader can be successful if they work hard and lead with passion. As I prepare to graduate in the spring, I know my journey is not over. everything i hav learned in the minor and in my psychology classes will stay with me. In whatever career i end up, I know i have the right mentality and philosophy to be a successful and efficient leader.
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