The ability to take charge of a situation and help guide the group out of it is an important part of setting yourself apart from the rest of the pack when considering recruiting for prospective future job opportunities. Being a leader provides many pathways in business to take charge of your career and take it where you want to go as opposed to being stuck in the same job right out of school. To be a leader, in my experience, has always been about getting those that you are responsible for centered around one goal. I have found that groups often have different priorities while coming into a project. This is not wrong and actually should be encouraged because the different priorities can bring new and better ideas to the project; however, it is important that a leader keeps the group focused on the task at hand. I feel like I have seen this in many of my leadership opportunities in the past, from being captain of my high school football team to helping run a simulation in my Human Resources Management class last semester. All the group members come up with interesting ways to improve the project utilizing knowledge from their past experiences, but I see the leader as the person who can gather all the individual group members’ experiences and mix them together to create a great final solution to the problem at hand. Unfortunately for me, I found that to be the best way of leadership very early on, so I stuck with it. But I would say that this experience in Berlin has challenged that notion for me.
I have been working for a start-up for about a month now, and I have the CEO and founder of the company as my manager. I interact with him every day, and I see how he interacts with his employees. As I said before, I always saw leadership as a consolidating force, making sure that the team runs smoothly to achieve a singular goal. However, with my manager/ the CEO, he is a different kind of leader. He is a motivator. During weekly meetings and one-on-one meet ups, he pushes his employees to do better, to get more done, and to improve their work to make the ultimate product better. He still gathers and consolidates ideas like the type of leadership that I am used to, but this motivation aspect takes him a step above in my opinion. To get your employees to truly be motivated about their work is crucial. Especially in the start-up scene, where everything is happening so fast, and it is a race to get to the end product. It is grueling and sometimes unsuccessful work, but employees in these start-ups need to maintain the task and stay motivated. This is why I think Formly.ai will be successful. There is good leadership within the company that motivates their employees to achieve at the highest levels. This experience redefines what I see as leadership and makes me want to emulate my manager’s leadership qualities when I am presented with an opportunity to be a leader of a group. I have been observing some of his tactics on how he critiques work without discouraging his employees and how he congratulates them when they exceed expectations. I think that with time and practice, I can gather the skills necessary to be a motivational leader. I will not forget, though, my early experiences with leadership of gathering the ideas from all the team members to focus on a singular goal. I think a combination of these skills at the professional level can make me become a better leader in the future.
On a lighter note, I did a lot of traveling this weekend. I went to Dresden and Prague in the same weekend, and I must say Berlin is great, but seeing other cities outside of it on the weekend is just as exciting and interesting. Dresden is a beautiful city rich with history that I learned while taking a tour there. Our guide was excellent in explaining not only the architecture, but the history behind it as well. From the destruction of the city during the last hours of World War Two to now, Dresden is a truly remarkable city that I would recommend to anyone in the area. Prague was also excellent. Seeing all the red rooftops in Oldtown and around the Palace was truly a sight to behold. It was like I was in a movie.