Learning How To Be A Leader

Being a leader isn’t an easy task. I learned that on the first week of my internship. My internship involves being a youth leader to 25 current high school students. I didn’t think I would be able to do it, as they aren’t that much younger than me. I thought they wouldn’t want to listen to someone who was almost the same age as them. Therefore, I had to learn how to be a leader to them.

My approach to leading these students was to be nice to them. I didn’t want to be too demanding, but still getting my point across on what I want them to do. Although, I came across a challenge- some students started taking advantage of me being nice to them. There were some who would mess around and others who wouldn’t really work. Once I realized this, I knew I had to be more assertive. As a result, I had a talk with these students and told them they had to keep up with the work or there would be consequences. However, I still tried being kind to them, as I still wanted to have a good relationship with them. As a result, my students have now started to work harder and have respected me as a leader. 

Even with what I learned on my own, I knew there was much more to learn. That was proven to me on my second webinar with Environment For The Americas. I listened to 4 presenters-Diana Martinez, Indya Hunt, Rohan Wilson, and Emily Montalvo- talk about what it means to be a leader. They talked about how a good leader communicates to those they are leading and having a good relationship with them. A good leader is also responsible (showing up on time, completing tasks, etc.),  able to take criticism from people and learn from it, and able to overcome challenges. Although, one piece of advice that stuck with me is that as a leader, you should know that you are worthy of being a leader. You need to be confident with yourself and not doubt yourself or your abilities. 

Now that I’ve learned more on how to be a leader, I will use that advice for not only the rest of the internship, but as well for the rest of my life! 

Mr. O’Toole- my teacher- is a great example of what it means to be a leader. He is telling the students what to do, as well as showing them how. He always has a plan on what to do and tells us exactly how to do it. 

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