Written by Shirin Ahmadpour
A lesson in leadership can come from the most unexpected situations. Actually, many times the true test of leadership, or even just of character, comes when situations happen out of the blue.
Last week, I found myself being tested. Just when I thought every aspect of my life was going great, school, work, sports, and more, I found myself with a totaled car. Leaving a successful work meeting and driving to enjoy some coffee and fun with my best friend on her birthday, another driver ran a stop side and plowed into me.
Action Number 1: Initial reaction
As soon as my crashed car stop moving I asked my passenger if she was okay, then grabbed my phone and jumped out of the car. I told my friend to call 911. The driver of the other vehicle was still siting in his car and I asked him and his passengers if they were okay as well.
Action Number 2: Determining how to cope
The police arrived and we began giving our statements. As I talked about the accident and took pictures I felt sadness breach my heart. This was my first car and I was incredibly attached to it. I came to a point where I was either going to laugh or cry so I decided to laugh. It was a terrible way to have to celebrate a friend’s birthday, but we made the best of it, making jokes and laughing with the officers, staying calm when calling parents, and saying goodbye to my dearest car.
Action Number 3: Acknowledging when you need help
After the accident I sought advice from a friend at a law firm who suggested allowing the insurance to try and take care of things and if trouble begins to arise then seek a lawyer. And of course, trouble came with the accident. After personally trying to work with the insurance companies, I realized that I was not being taken seriously nor was my claim being fully addressed. Letting go of my pride and “can do” attitude, I hired a lawyer.
With good faith, I anticipate everything will be taken care of soon. Life experience is one of the greatest tools to have as a leader. It will teach you and help develop you more than any book or speech. Not only am I learning how to handle a car accident, but more importantly I know how my personal reactions. An event planner once told me to, “plan for the worst and hope for the best.” This is definitely useful in developing your way of handling all situations.