Becoming a Leader: Knowledge, Experience, Confidence

Michael - Holland, Michigan
Entered on December 11, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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Leadership is a process that comes very easily to some, yet much more difficult to others. For some it’s a natural instinct to become a leader and for others it’s a constant struggle to figure out how to lead others. I am one of those people who leadership doesn’t come to naturally. I am more introverted and tend to be shyer around people I don’t know or in situations that are new to me. In order for me to take on a leadership role, it has to be something I am confident about and something that I know a lot about.

Leadership, for me, is a process of becoming. I know I will never start out in a leadership position but I know, from past experiences, I am capable of becoming a leader as my competence and confidence grow. The vision I have set for my future is to obtain an entry level position within an organization, gain confidence in my ability to perform the job well, and move up to a leadership position within the organization. Although I sometimes have a hard time leading others, I am always able to push myself and motivate myself to succeed in everything I do. I played on the hockey team at Hope my first three years. My freshman year I did not play very often but I still tried my hardest to get a starting position on the team. My sophomore year, my hard work was recognized and I played in every game and even won the most improved player award which is voted on by my teammates. I like to lead in a way that everyone shares power mostly because I like to be led by a leader who shares power among their followers. I feel that when power is shared, communication flows more easily, and trust and relationships are developed and valued more. Interning with the United Way gave me a chance to have this type of leader. Our supervisor was very open to new ideas from our group and we were very open with her. Trust was established very easily and we as a group felt very valued and in turn were very dedicated to the outcome of our project. I will be able to influence others through my ability to develop relationships, my honesty, and my sincerity. I am also a very open person and for the most part people feel comfortable talking to me.

I am making my vision manifest by gaining on the job experience through internships. I am currently in my third internship which is a human resources position and I am obtaining endless amounts of knowledge on what it takes to really succeed as a human resources professional. I am learning about labor relations, employee benefits, the entire process of hiring a new employee, etc… The knowledge I am gaining now and that I gained in my previous internships will prove to be beneficial in my process of becoming a leader in the workplace. For me the best way to become a leader is to gain knowledge to increase my confidence, which in turn changes me from a shy, introverted person to a more outgoing person confident in leading others toward a defined goal. This constant exposure to new experiences and knowledge gained is helping me learn about myself and become myself and the person I seek to become.

The process of becoming has been a great experience for me. I am the type of person who enjoys learning and having new experiences and since that has been my life thus far, life has been great. I can’t imagine a life where I am not continuously seeking knowledge and improving myself. I am at the point in life where life has been pretty constant. I have always been a student, but that will all change after this year when I will get a job. I will still treat life as if I’m a student seeking knowledge but in hopes that I will be able to be the one that others look to when they are seeking that knowledge.