there’s a first time for everything

Today was filled with several activities that were completely new to me an exciting. First was the exercise in which our group was required to estimate the amount of time it would take for us to pass a canvas closed loop around the perimeter our circle while holding hands. The next new activity was was rappelling, followed by indoor rock climbing.

Being places into these new, group-oriented games brought about a new perspective of leadership to me. Ultimately, these activities revealed to me that any give. person does not necessarily have to be an expert in the field at hand to demonstrate leadership at that time. A leader can instead rely on other qualities to help guide their team through unfamiliar territory.

I noticed this to be true about myself as today’s events unfolded. For instance, despite never having participated in the hand-holding-loop-passing activity, I was able to provide helpful advice to the team based on observations I had made about the inefficiencies in our earliest attempts to complete the task. Rather than rely on previous experience of expertise to provide leadership to the group, I employed my Strategic Thinking strengths in order to analyze patterns in the group’s performance and generate new ideas as to where the group could most effectively improve.

Sometimes it may seem as though too many leaders allow their egos or hidden agendas to stand in the way of doing what is best for the organizations they serve. Any great leader would admit that they have made mistakes; they are honest enough with themselves and their followers to admit their wrong doings so that those around them can benefit from the lessons they have learned. Many leaders lack this kind of mindfulness, as they are too proud to recognize mistakes as valuable learning moments for themselves and others.

The mark of a good leader then is one that duly admits to their mistakes. Generally, people do not expect perfect from their leaders, but rather place a higher value on transparency. When leadeers are honest about their shortcomings and can learn from their mistakes, they have the benefit of earning the respect of those around them. Although it is generally viewed as a weakness, I feel as though vulnerability is a sign of leadership strength to a certain extent. Members of a group want to know that their leaders have experienced the same problems and overcome similar obstacles to get to where they are today. In this way, the vulnerability that comes along with making mistakes in a leadership position can ultimately strengthen the team in the long-run.