How to be a decent leader

I’m too stressed out right now, I can’t focus on anything. All I can do is write. When things get hard I write. I pray, then write. I guess that’s why I started this blog. So the things that I write would have somewhere to go.

I’m an officer in my school’s colorguard, along with six other girls. Three of us (myself included) are in 11th grade. The other four are in 12th. That staggeringly whole year rift between our education has caused some problems. Namely, the other juniors and I feel like the seniors don’t respect us. The seniors think we are bad leaders.

Since they don’t respect that I too have a position of authority, none of the seniors respect the ideas I bring to the table. Ideas on how to be a better leadership team. They think it’s all criticism on them. Some of it is. Some of it isn’t. That brings me to my first point.

  1. Leaders have to be flexible. They have to be willing to change what they’re doing for the benefit of the leadership team. They have to be willing to admit when they are wrong. They have to accept and apply criticism.
  2. Leaders can’t be insecure. Not everyone is going to like you all the time. You have to get over that. If you let your popularity or lack thereof consume you, you won’t be a very good leader and then people definitely will not like you. You have to be confident in who you are to be a good leader.
  3. Leaders have to work as a team. Leadership is not an individual sport. You have to trust your teammates. No one will be perfect all the time, and that’s okay. Odds are everyone won’t all mess up at once, anyway. You also can’t act like something is another leader’s problem and not yours. Everyone has to work together.
  4. Leaders can’t embarrass one another in front of others. Especially in front of the people they are leading. It makes the leadership team look weak. It tears the leaders apart from one another. It causes drama. Issues should always be addressed in private. Corrections should be given quietly.
  5. Leaders should respect everyone. Each other, and the people they are leading. That’s how you gain respect, by giving it. Something I need to work on when it comes to the other leaders. Also, you can’t expect people to respect you and then treat them like crap. Even if you feel like you can’t respect them, you have to.
  6. Leaders aren’t leaders, they’re servants. One of the biggest misconceptions of being a leader is thinking that the people you are leading are here to serve you. No. You are doing the leading. You have to help them, guide them, teach them, fix their mistakes, solve their problems, answer their questions. You may have a title that says otherwise, but being a leader means giving others all you’ve got every day. It’s not the other way around. You are doing the hard work, not them.
  7. Leaders don’t solve problems by shouting. You have to think about what you say and how you say it before it comes out of your mouth. Is it helpful? Are people going to listen and accept what you are saying? Or are they going to roll their eyes and mutter “shut up”?

I’ll probably have more later but these are my frustrations at the moment. Whew. Now I feel better.

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