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It’s a question that comes up in every job or internship interview I’ve ever done: what are some examples where you have shown leadership?

They ask it for everyone.

They asked me in my job interview last week.  I had some good answers (or at least I thought so) on places where I think I show leadership.  One of them, obviously, was in past classes where I take the lead on projects or in group settings.  Any of you who have worked with me know that I do like taking the lead.  It’s natural and I think I’m a fair leader who pulls his own weight.

As many of you know, I’m also an ice hockey referee.  That is a different style of leadership because I have to be professional, calm and judgemental while not leading the game in a certain direction.  I don’t know if that makes any sense, but it does to me.

All of that is beside the point I’m trying to make: is there a way to balance leading and following?  Because it seems to me, through our books, stories and just personal experiences, that leadership is something people are either born with or inherently pick up.  And I get that feeling from every person, fellow or attache, in this class is a natural leader.  We wouldn’t be here if we weren’t.

So how do we find the balance and the right time to lead in a room full of leaders?  I think it’s based around listening and timing.  For our legacy project, we are in great hands.  Emily, Caroline, Kelsea, Annie, and Lubna (and whoever else I missed) are doing awesome.  This is their time to really lead the project. For us others, our time to lead within the confines of the project hasn’t come yet.

But it will.  And when it does, we need to be ready to step up and help the group leaders.

As for the balancing act, I think it will be easier in this class than in others because everyone is so capable.


3 Comments on “Timing”

  1. Here it is Eric, you got it: “So how do we find the balance and the right time to lead in a room full of leaders?”

    As everyone in this class knows… I love leading. When I was in newsrooms, I still fit better as a producer (although I tried so hard to be a reporter and still run my part of the show 😉 hahaha – seriously bad idea; never again! Let producers have the power, reporters!).

    When I’m in job interviews, the same thing happens. I need to be honest and tell them I’m a leader, a very strong, Type-A kinda leader. But I also, then, need to reciprocate that I actually really enjoy following, too.

    I was (no surprise) just talking about this in an interview a couple days ago…

    As a freshman and sophomore, I hated group projects with a vengeance. Depending on the amount of people in the group, I’d always be the one who had to step up and take charge. The group members who didn’t want to be involved would just slide to the wayside and let me do all the work. I hated doing all the work, I hated having to make all the choices and be the only one brainstorming. Nothing good every comes out of groups like that. Even when I would get the project done (usually with another two or three people thank God!!!), our final presentations would significantly lag when the members who didn’t participate tried to present… it just doesn’t work. BUT since I’ve gotten into senior level and graduate level classes, the group projects have become great opportunities. Everyone is engaged and working hard, brainstorming, putting their hands in the pot and creating awesome ideas.

    Kind of like this class. 🙂

    So maybe that didn’t really answer your question, it’s more like an aside to your thoughts; but a related one I hope!

    Do you feel like group projects have gotten much better since we were freshman? Do you think it’s related to the activity level of people involved? Or do you think we’re just starting to enjoy it more?

  2. Well maybe your enjoying it more. You will be doing team/group projects the rest of your professional life.

    I want to hear more about ICE HOCKEY leadership Eric!
    Dr B

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