Never in my entire life have I said the word leader so many times as in these past few months. Leader. Am I a Leader? Who said I was a Leader? Did I get to chose to become a Leader? What kind of a Leader am I? Can I be a better leader? Who am I leading? Who do I want to lead? Do I want to lead?
So many leadership questions in my Humphrey year, I must admit I didn’t expect that. Thinking about leadership takes me back to my childhood in which I had to fight for everything. I was always the youngest and the only girl in myextended family. I had to be smart, clever and ready to negotiate in order to get what I wanted.
I guess that made confident and fearless in may ways. I had no problem taking the initiative or leading any time in my life. And I liked doing it. Made me feel good, productive and helpful. As I grew older thing started to get a little more complicated. Leading meant more hard work, more difficult decisions, more tough questions. And it made me sure, more than ever, that there is no road map to success. You have to find your own way.
My Humphrey year made me think a lot about all of these things. Not only what kind of a leader am I, and how can I get better. It also made me think about what kind of a person am I, what kind of a colleague, what kind of a friend. Or foe.
What I realized is that fear of failure sometimes blocks my vision, makes me reluctant to do things and stops me from thriving. Failure is very often a part of success, or a step that leads to success, there is plenty of examples in the US on that. I guess I just have to learn how to fail graciously if it happens.
I picked up a leadership book by John Maxwell: 3 things successful people do. It suggests that every person has to find their purpose in life and then work hard to achieve goals. I am not very much into the self help book industry. But sometimes it is interesting to take a peak.