by Karlie Ragan, Scappoose HS, NW Rep
Being a leader is more than just having someone look to you for guidance or example. True leadership starts with adding value to yourself in order to gain the complete trust of your followers. The best way to do so comes with practicing many skills. These include hard work, the ability to be open minded/ knowledgeable and being passionate about your activities.
Hard work doesn’t always mean just getting everything done to the typical standard. It comes with doing the little things that not everyone always wants to do. Going above and beyond in order to not only satisfy yourself, but making your plans exceed expectations. Doing this proves to your mentors and followers that you can do the job right. It also shows that you’re ready to handle any responsibility that comes your way.
Becoming open minded can be extremely hard for many people. Having the ability to do so comes with being educated on a range of topics. This knowledge helps, as a leader to be relatable to people who may look up to you. The more you can relate to diverse people and situations, the more successful you can be with anything from conflict resolution to common comprehension. Along with this comes a skill that many take for granted. It’s as simple as listening. Most people listen to respond, but genuine leaders listen to understand. Having this expertise allows others to be completely themselves around you which can almost always bring out the best person in them and create a stronger bond between anyone.
Passion is something OASC is constantly encouraging people to find. Once you find a passion for something, you find an inner drive to achieve the impossible. Using this drive to the fullest capacity is the key to confidence in the leadership world. This beautiful motivation pushes you to always be the best version of yourself and enables leaders everywhere to succeed.
Using these three simple skills can add an extreme amount of value to your general leadership. Hard work, knowledge, and passion goes a long way. Practicing them may seem like an easy task, but it will take more than dedication and desire to master them all. After completing this, each of them will gift you, as a leader, the best possible ability to lead.
“To add value to others, one must first value others.” -John Maxwell