Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t – Bill Nye
What does it mean to be a leader? My job this summer is to take this question, sift through my own experiences and try to teach 15 year old kids what it means. Here’s what I’ve learned so far.
- A leader believes in their own abilities
- A leader know their weaknesses and works towards improvement
- A leader knows when to step back, watch and listen
- A leader knows how to gain respect without having to raise their voice
- A leader can come in all shapes, sizes, ages, genders, and personality types.
- A leader is respectful, responsible, inclusive, caring and honest
- A leader overcomes challenges
- A leader doesn’t just show the way, they go the way and lead by example
- A leader has a sense of humor and is able to laugh at themselves
- A leader is only as good as their attitude and commitment to their team
It’s pretty late at night and I’m just pondering the things I’ve learned this summer so far. I think I’ve learned a lot more than I’ve taught. Thanks, chillens.
Leadership is a funny thing. It is often made to look effortless by the people who do it well. And yet, it’s freaking hard guys. It’s hard to have that much responsibility, whether you are leading a song at campfire or leading a canoe trip. Anytime you are in charge, there is pressure there.
I guess I’m just impressed. I’m impressed by my kids, both last month and this one. I’m proud of last months kids; of how much they learned, of how they came together as a team and of how they grew as individuals. Even more so, I’m impressed by the August kids. They have only been here for 5 days and I can already see them thriving. They take initiative to help clean the dining hall. They encourage each other to try new things. They smile a lot. They have positive attitudes (even if they roll their eyes at my uncoolness). They help younger campers and volunteer to sing at campfire and set high goals to push themselves to be better.
Who am I to teach them?
I’ve gone through this program. I’ve had leadership roles, I’ve been a “leader” many times. Yet, I’m still always winging it. I’m still learning everyday through trial and error. I guess that would be:
11. A leader never stops learning. They never stop setting goals for themselves and aiming to be better people.
12. A leader inspires others to want to be better too. That’s what my kids have done.
They’ve made me want to be a better leader. I still have a long way to go.
Until then, I guess I just keep doing my best and learning from everyone I can. From my co’s who amaze me everyday by being the incredible people they are, from the kids who have left me and changed my life, from the kids who are here now and keeping me on my toes day by day, surprising me with their maturity and insight. I can’t imagine a more rewarding job. Thank you leadership…I can’t wait to see what the rest of the summer has in store. Please, teach me everything you can in these next few weeks. I always grow the most on Kitchi sands.
And maybe, just maybe, I’m teaching them something too.
Until next time,