“The greatest glory in living lies not in never failing, but in rising every time we fall.
– Nelson Mandela
On September 7th, 2019, I participated in a leadership seminar at my school. Now, I wouldn’t particularly say that I’m a leader, but I did get a lot of wisdom from this seminar and I felt it fitting to share it.
The first thing we learned about is leadership. Of course, it’s a leadership seminar. We talked about the principles of leadership, what makes an effective team, and the character traits of a leader. So, I’m going to go through each one of those categories and explain what stood out most to me.
Principles of Leadership
These are the things that stood out to me when it came to the principles of leadership.
- Know yourself and seek self-improvement
- Know your subordinates and look out for their well being
- Ensure that the task is understood, supervised, and accomplished
- Employ your team in accordance with its capabilities
When I’m in leadership roles, it’s normally when no one else wants to be the leader. Generally, when I’m leading a team, I try to figure out other’s strengths and designate tasks that work well with those strengths. I’m also someone who likes to make sure my team is on top of things. But, one thing that I didn’t really know about leadership is knowing yourself and seeking self-improvement, so I’m glad that I learned that.
Indicators of Team Effectiveness
We were given four different indicators of team effectiveness and then a definition for what an effective team is.
An effective team will accomplish any given task for which it was organized, equipped, and trained to perform in the shortest possible time with the least expenditure of resources.
There are two things that really stood out to me when learning about team effectiveness. Morale which is the state of mind of an individual and esprit de corp (body spirit) which is the loyalty, pride, and enthusiasm for a team displayed by its members.
I think both of these are super important in an effective team because if you are not in high spirits or enthusiastic for the project that your team is working on, then the whole team will fail. Motivation is what keeps people going, and if you or your team does not have the motivation to complete the project, then the project will not be finished in a proficient manner.
Traits of a Leader
Here are some traits that either stood out to me, or that I seem to embody as a leader.
The next concept that we talked about was a theory of wellness called PERMA. PERMA stands for Positive emotions, Engagement, positive Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplishment. If you want to learn more about PERMA, click here.
This was definitely an experience that took my out of my comfort zone. We had small groups of around 10 people and we were given a small sheet of paper with instructions on it. While following those instructions, we had to find the answer of three different questions with our partner.
My instructions were “talk in a really loud voice” and “touch the arm of your partner while speaking to them.” Now, this was really difficult for me because I’m generally a quiet person and I don’t like touching strangers. It wasn’t that difficult to actually communicate with my partner, it was more difficult to get out of my comfort zone, which we will talk more about later.
WOOP is another acronym that we touched on, that seemed really important to me. WOOP is about having a goal, identifying the obstacles for achieving that goal, and making a plan to work around those obstacles. Learn more here.
At the time that I have finished writing this, it has been a little over a week from the event and to be quite frank, I don’t exactly remember what else has happened or what else to write that would really have an impact. We learned the qualities of leaders and how the best leader act and, well, lead. And not only did we learn about that, we also learned a lot about ourselves and what qualities we can tap into to be the best leader that we can be.
I think the best leader there is has to be someone who not only looks out for the team, but also someone who looks out for themselves. A leader is someone not only knows their team, but knows themselves. Someone who is willing to be vulnerable with their teammates and who values learning.
What are some traits that you think leaders should possess? How do you embody these traits? Have you ever taken a leadership seminar? What are some things that you have learned?
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Lots of love,