Leadership Redefined – By Daanish Jones aka Ms Daanish
Who is a leader? The answer to this question keeps changing depending on personal experience, exposure, and the environment you were raised in. Leadership has been a very dynamic phenomenon over the years and has grown from it being reserved for the male gender to it being shared by both sexes. It has previously been reserved for those of high social status, popularity, or highly educated individuals. It differs from one institution to another depending on the anticipated achievements and responsibilities, but one thing is clear leaders are made, not born.
When we elect and appoint individuals democratically for a certain leadership position, we look for certain traits that show promising signs that they will be a good chief. They propel us towards thinking that she could be a good guide, she could be the head as we follow. We have to relate to this person. Taking a look at exemplary leaders and pace setters is a good way to start.
Michelle Obama for instance remains to be at the top of my list of being a dynamic leader. Yes, her life as America’s First Lady made her a household name, but what her impressed me is that she proved herself as an effective leader before her husband was names President. She started at a very tender age and built her way up. One look at her and you can tell that every trait, every doing, every decision was well thought of and well calculated. If you read her book, “Becoming,” you’d know that her life has been filled with challenges, yet she continuously used resilience, overcame them, and she remains to be the most popular first lady in history. Her life reflects integrity, confidence, assertiveness, and decision-making skills which were important ingredients to making her such a memorable leader.
When we take a closer look at people like Yara Shahidi, Amanda Gorman, your school president, your basketball team captain, we dig deeper into the real reflections of leadership. The trail blazers of this generation are not deterred by gender, color or circumstance. They are ones that we can relate to. Those we can vibe with. My point, dear reader, is that anyone can be a leader at any age or stage. It does not matter the era or the input. You see them, you know them and you can be them.
Do as much as you can, working with what you have, and most importantly be your true self. People can tell when you are being authentic. You can offer to print and circulate the brochures to your school camp trip, you can offer great solutions where non can be spotted. You can offer to lead in an activity. It’s the little things that make the big difference. Servant leadership is the most celebrated both in the old and new times and that would be a great way to start.
We currently still have more male leaders than female ones, and this should not sound as a discouragement but as a challenge. This important role can be done by both genders, but as we look to even the gender and wage gap, developing strong female leaders is still a must. I mean, who better to lead since multitasking is girl’s forte. Show up on time, give a helping hand, exercise honesty, and step up in group settings. Doing these small things contributes to the title ‘leader’. We all have it in us, we just have to tap into it and believe that we are valuable enough to make a difference.