As an American we have many wonderful ways to be great leaders. I remember my first recollection of being in a leadership position was when I was a crossing guard in 6th grade.
I felt very confident and powerful holding the safety patrol flag making sure the kids were safe crossing the street. The special safety patrol uniform and badge made me feel very important.
Four years later I was called to be a youth leader I was 15 years old and responsible for the boys 14-15 years old in my church congregation.
Little by little as we grow we are given more responsibility. This is what makes a great leader, learning one step at a time.
When I was a teenager I got a job vacuuming classrooms at an elementary after school. I worked for a man who would give me demerits for doing anything wrong. I only worked for this man for about four months when I was fired after getting my allotment of three demerits. I was devastated. I vowed that if I ever became a boss I would be fair, be kind and never make myself look better than anyone else. More than 30 years later, I am an Elementary Head Custodian the boss of several teenage youth that I work side by side with. I am not perfect but I try my best at being fair, kind and I don’t ask them to do anything I am not willing to do myself.
The times that I have felt like I wasn’t a good leader is when I didn’t communicate with others like I should have. People like to be appreciated. It is so important to let others know when they are doing a great job.
I think of all the places where I have enjoyed working the most; they were the places where I was appreciated, where there was open communication and everyone was part of a team being treated equal.
A few years ago I got to work for a new principal who was wonderful. She was kind communicated as often as needed. She asked you, “How was your weekend?” When a decision needed to be made she would ask for your opinion. The children loved her, she was in the lunchroom almost everyday. She was the happiest when she was with the children. They loved telling her jokes or talking to her if they had a problem.
One of the things that impressed me the most is that she was real. She wouldn’t lets the office workers have reserved parking. She would park in the back parking lot even when she was at the school first thing in the morning carrying a big bag of bicycle helmets for the children.