Monday, March 22, 2010

The Student Becomes the Teacher - Pt. 2.

There's someone I have admired for a long time.

I benchmarked myself against her, and took note of the qualities I endeared to have.

Her charm.
Her ability to remain calm in any situation.
Her humility and ability to speak and connect with anyone while remaining respected.
Her ability to get others to be engaged with her words alone.
Her humor.
Her ability to make it seem like everything was under control.

While I consider her a friend whom I greatly enjoy the company of, and someone I'll always be bound to because of the experiences we share, I no longer look at her with reverence. It's not good or bad, it just is. There is no shroud of mystique. It's the most absurd thing to say, because I know a year ago around this time, I was someone else completely.

Over the year, as I was put in her shoes, I began to realize that attaining these qualities above were only scratching the surface. As I planned my vision of leadership this semester, it dawned on me. Attaining those qualities listed above, felt like I looked at a partial map. The feeling is akin to going to Jack in the Box and being told the Angus Beef burger is made with the best quality of Angus Beef. Someone who has never tried other burgers will try it, and yes, it is a tasty burger. Thus it is the best quality of beef in the world. If one never tries other Angus Beef burgers from other locations, this perception remains intact. Back to my example, the only thing I knew was her leadership style. I thought it was flawless! For the longest duration of time, her leadership style was my measure of success. She was a peer, who was highly respected, liked, and at one point in time -- achieved great success with the organization.

But -- now the smoke is cleared. I realize that time changes things, likability is not correlated to achieving results, and true leaders lead by example.

There's so much more to leadership and today it was great to be able to see, without any resentment or emotion, the differences between her term and mine.

I see that while she projected many good qualities, she missed out on an opportunity to showcase more important qualities. Integrity. Attitude. Commitment. Teamwork. These words should have been at the forefront of my mind as I witnessed her over the past year. It is my commitment to pass these words on to the next administration of officers next year.

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