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What follows is my leadership journal.
1. My Leadership Role
When I was a little girl about five years old, I had my first leadership experience. I was part of a dance group and was the first one in the row, my teacher told me everyday, “my darling, it is you who will have to make no mistakes, learn all the right steps and then practice them again and again, because everyone else will simply follow you, and your mistake would make not only you but everyone else in the group look bad”. She then told me that only people who were special were given this very important responsibility. Oh! I just can’t express how happy these words made me feel, but little did I know what a burden was put on my shoulders. Later as I grew up and was about 10 years old I was made the class representative , I was very happy with the trust my teachers and classmates showed in me but, at the same time I knew I was accountable and answerable for a lot of things. This phase of my life charted out a lot of my personality .It made me a more confident person, it made me an individual who was not afraid of taking responsibilities and tasks, no matter how challenging they might seem. Most importantly it made me realise that sometimes it is accountability that gets out the best in you. But nevertheless I was just a little girl who did not know all the stakes of being the leader. Years passed and my post of the class prefect turned into that of the cultural secretary of my school. As I swore in the responsibility of being the cultural secretary I could not help but be proud, I could not help but experience power. But, also I could not help hearing the echoes in my head, the echoes of my teacher’s voice, “remember everyone else will simply follow you, and your mistakes affect the entire group”. At that very instant I realised that leadership is not just the capacity to take people to a place they can’t get to on their own”. So, I took up the responsibilities while others made excuses , and made it my goal to give my school the best of shows, cultural events and gala evenings it had ever witnessed. This task however was not easy but, I also wasn’t an easy quitter. I challenged myself at every step and made it a point to be persistent and have tenacity despite failure at times. I had dreams, everyone does, but I also had the courage to turn it into reality. I knew that power corrupts but, I constantly reminded myself that I was here to bring glamour in my shows rather than being overpowered by the glamour in my post. From the five year old little girl to an eighteen year old young adult in my experience as a leader I’ve realised one thing. Sometimes, it just happens in an instant. We step up. We become a leader. We see a path, and we take it .Even when we have no idea where we are going.
2. The Poster
As a king loves his kingdom, all the people in it, every blade of grass that grows on his land, every pebble that resides in its waters. All that is good and all that is bad , all that is strong and all that is not. Such should also be the reign of a leader, who in his reign takes into consideration the needs, desires and goals of all his followers, and at the same time also motivates them to put in all their energies to achieve the common group goal. Also one must always remember a king is not a king without his kingdom and so is true for the leader as well. A leader is nothing without his followers, just like the king, the leader may wear the crown but his actual power resides in the trust invested in him by his followers. It is these ideas that inspire our poster. Our poster depicts the leader as a king like figure who is calm and wise. In the depth of his eyes can be seen years of experience. Our leader wears a crown made out of several people, symbolising his followers. This unique crown further reflects our main idea of the power of the leader being his follower’s support and trust. Further our poster also depicts beams of lights popping out of each follower’s head, with their individual goal written on it. This was done to put emphasis on the role of a good leader to place importance on individual goals alongside common group goals. Our poster also expresses the individual importance of every member in the group. The slogan says “Leadership is the initiative of the leader but the voice of the followers”, this too highlights our main idea. To take everyone forward is a leader’s dream, but to work with everyone to achieve this dream, is his challenge. Our poster is also inspired to some extent by the great mughal emperor AKBAR, who in his court had nine special ministers famously called the “ Nav Ratnas”. No policy in the kingdom was implemented without the consensus of these nine people. The “Nav Ratnas” were King Akbar’s greatest advisors. It is said that king Akbar and his nine ministers would argue for hours together before making the final decision on any important matter in the kingdom. The result of all this, King Akbar was able to promote secularism in a kingdom where muslim’s and hindu’s fought all the time. He was also given the title of “THE GREAT “, and till today is one of the most loved kings of the Indian sub-continent. Our group after a lot of brainstorming and considering examples of great leaders such as King Akbar, came to the conclusion of basing our poster on the leader –follower relationship. And so our poster shouts out loud our idea, of the power of the leader actually being the trust invested in him by his followers.
3. The Quote
“Change, we don’t like it, we fear it, but can’t stop it from coming. We either adapt to change or we get left behind. And it hurts to grow, anybody who tells you it doesn’t is lying. But here’s the truth: The more things change, the more they stay the same. And sometimes change is good. Oh, sometimes change is everything.” I first heard these words on the T.V show Grey’s Anatomy, and ever since they have been like my guiding angel. Right from the time when I was a little girl, I have had this tendency to get greatly attached to people, things and places. I have always resisted change. But “change” is one of the greatest truths of life and I know I have to learn to deal with it. We all have weaknesses but, courage lies in overcoming them. This task, however difficult it might seem, certain things help make it easier. For me these words became my fairy god mother, and helped me deal with change whenever it stood in front of me ready to shatter me from the inside out. I still can’t forget the day of my school farewell, I stood there silent, rewinding all the good memories. Tears filled up my eyes and a sense of great loss filled my heart. I did not want to let go of my friends, my teachers and that school building where I had spent 14 years of my life. I looked around and saw all others also had tears in their eyes, but the difference between them and me was the smile they all wore on their lips. Then it suddenly dawned upon me the smile on their faces was the hope of a new beginning, the hope of a brighter future and a step ahead towards their dreams. I realised at that very moment that my tears were not because of all the good memories I would be leaving behind, but because of the fear of taking on responsibilities of an adult. I did not want to grow up, after all there is nothing better than the life of a child, free from all the shackles of the real adult world. But I had dreams in my heart too and I knew these dreams were bigger than my fear, I knew I had to challenge my fears and make the move ahead in life. I knew I had to let go of the past in order to live in the present and have wonderful dreams and plans about the future. I wanted to be remembered long after I was gone, and I wanted to make a difference to this world. This was my dream and I knew I only had one life to full fill it. I had to overcome my fears and all the hurdles on my road to success. The biggest one currently was the acceptance of change. It is said the first step to overcome your weakness is to figure it out. I knew my weakness and I had my words of wisdom echoing in my mind again and again. The first step was taken and the rest would surely follow.
To conclude I would only say this course has truly been an enlightening experience.
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