In my life time, I have only had a handful of leadership experience so I have always looked at the role of a leader from the outside. To me, leadership was an act carried out by a leader or group of leaders who had a vision for their group, organization, or community and taking an initiative to make those necessary changes. Because the decision making actions were carried out by leaders, It has always seems like that there are and there must be, a distance between those who were making the decisions and those who are not. However, ever since I started my internship abroad, I learned the importance of outreach and establishing a connection with employers and colleagues. One aspect of leadership is to lead the company and therefore the people involved with your organization so that you can contribute to the ongoing and future successes of the company. The leader may make decision and guide their people to achieve their goals, but the choices and inspirations of those goals is tied to, and should come directly from the people who are in the scenes of the action. In other words, in order to make decisions for the company, it is indispensable to understand and put your self in the place of people in the front line. From there, it is the job of a leader to creatively interpret their hardwork and aspirations to improve the company. The voice of the people is the voice of reason. In my experience as one of the administrative leaders of my opera company, I learned that the more you are able to connect and understand your colleagues, the more you can come together as a group and improve the company together. During the company trip to Trezioux, I had the opportunity to lead the choir and soloist photoshoot for their upcoming concert season. Putting together a photoshoot and choosing an atmosphere that best represents the choir was one of the first tasks I had to overcome. After experimenting with different lighting and locations, we decided to finally take pictures in the church, because of the “warm and inviting color palette and intimacy of the space” as advised by one of the choir singers. This is an important point because this opera company’s principle mission is to make operatic works accessible to the public and cater to local and amateur singers. If the ambiance was over exaggerated or simplified, it would not feel accessible and welcoming to the audiences and singers that we hope to attract. This experience highlighted my position as a creative leader because being a leader doesn’t mean imposing your own aesthetics to the company but using your skills to best represent and bring out the missions of the company.
I also believe that leadership comes in different forms, not just in group, company, or work settings, but being a leader by yourself and for yourself in everyday life. I believe that having an opportunity to be a leader in an organization has made me a positive and a motivated individual. Being a leader within a company means having a good eye to point out where things need improvements, taking an initiative to create a goal, challenge the company, and work towards those goals. A leader is also different from being a ‘boss’ in a way that it is not so much about making orders per se, “do this, do that” but leaders have a way of empowering those involved in it, such as “we are in this together and we will accomplish this together”. These qualities of a leader are not only applicable within work situations but in everyday life as a human being who faces challenges and who aspires to grow day by day. By being a leader in a company, I learned the importance of taking initiative to challenge myself and grow in my personal life; to clarify what I want and working diligently and patiently towards what I want to become. As I have mentioned, it is important that a leader understands the jobs of workers in the front line but also requires stepping away and seeing things from the outside in. I believe that this approach to selfcare is significant because it allows us to be the mediator of our minds and perspective and allows us to check in on ourselves as an outsider, not emotionally attached to the mind. Being a leader within yourself allows me to become a mediator between my emotions and logic, to act as an observer to figure out my goals and to initiate my actions.