“I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure–which is: Try to please everybody.”
-Herbert Bayard Swope
This is basically another way of saying you can’t please everybody. You will always find the people who are dead-set in their ways and believe that everyone is out to get them. It’s sad to think about, but perhaps these kinds of people have lost something or someone in their lives that caused them to turn into a negative person. You have to let these people find happiness themselves if they are close-minded.
On that note, don’t stop trying to be a people-pleaser. You are commendable for trying to help as many people as you can. That is a great goal in life that you should never lose sight of.
Do you desire to be a leader? You’re in luck because your campus is filled with opportunities to exploit your leadership skills. From starting a new club sport, to being a part of a group discussion in our debate team, you will have students looking up to you for guidance and expertise. Before heading over to student services to make your proposal, be sure to understand everything that a leader represents and works for.
In order to be looked up to by your peers, you have to have complete confidence in everything you do and say. Know that the principles you set for your team could be remembered for a lifetime. Seek out other students who are like-minded and who share the same morals as you. It will be a lot easier to mobilize your constituents when you all have a similar work ethic and drive to accomplish great things. Even students who lack the motivation to work as a team will be able to look to you as an example of how they should compose themselves. Be prepared to take a few falls before you salvage success.
Living on campus can be fun, but there are many challenges to be faced when pursuing the leading role in a group effort. A proposal may be declined multiple times before you finally talk to the right person to help you make that next leap forward. Anything can happen when being the leader of a team. Your scheduled meeting could get rained out or there could be conflicting schedules within the group. Bottom line… being the leader and taking charge is no walk-in-the-park. Be prepared for any outcome, and then plan one step ahead to be able to confidently lead your team onto the next task. I can say from my own experiences that you need some sort of goal or essence to keep you motivated as a leader.
When someone asks me what I did over the summer, I tell him or her that I was busy being a leader. Every day I helped bring a new perspective to people all over the world through my website and YouTube channel. “How did you have the mindset to stick with it?” they would ask. The answer is, I stayed motivated by reminding myself that I was carrying my mother’s legacy through sharing her teachings with my readers and viewers. That’s the kind of purpose you need to keep at heart in order to motivate yourself to lead a strong team. Above all, the secret to being a successful leader, as told by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner, is love.
After going to great lengths at researching and studying The Student Leadership Challenge, the number one principle I took away from it was that love is what defines a successful leader. “It is hard to imagine getting up each day and working real hard if you don’t put your heart into your work and your work into your heart” (pg. 156). As Kouzes and Posner stated, “Leadership is an affair of the heart,” so go out there and pursue a leading role in a team that you can put your heart and soul into; Something that you can wake up to every morning and be excited to lead and partake in. With the principles of confidence, perseverance, motivation, and love, you are not only guaranteed to be a successful student leader, but also a lifelong leader.