Waking up on Friday morning, I realized that it was my last time waking up as a teenager. My birthday was the next day and I knew I had finally grown out of my teenage years. I had no idea that within the span of a weekend I would completely transform from a quiet nineteen-year-old into an independent twenty-year-old leader.
A few months ago I was chosen to serve as the Vice President of Programming for my sorority: Delta Gamma. Not long after being elected, I was told that I had to attend the Delta Gamma February Leadership Institute in Columbus, Ohio the weekend of my twentieth birthday. I was a little disappointed at first because I always look forward to seeing my friends and family on my birthday, but I knew this was an opportunity to grow closer to my sorority. Not only did my love for Delta Gamma grow, but I also learned a lot about myself and the leadership qualities I possess.
Since I was given this opportunity to grow as a leader, I decided to share the most important takeaways from this experience. I consider these lessons the best gifts a girl could ask for on her birthday.
1.Understand your WHY
We all have things we need to just get done. Mindless tasks that seem pointless at the moment, but when looked at as a whole have a significant impact on your life. Sometimes reminding yourself and others what your purpose is will make these tasks easier and more enjoyable.
This lesson was extremely helpful when it comes to being a leader. If I want others to perform at the best of their abilities, it is my job to explain to them why certain tasks need to be done. Communicating a clear reason allows for each individual to set a common goal with everyone else. In the end, everyone works together in hopes to achieve this goal.
2. Accountability = LOVE
Holding yourself or others accountable is a key element to having a successful organization. Often we use the term “accountability” in a negative context. For example, we hold ourselves accountable for all of our actions and own up to our mistakes. Accountability is something that is expected or required but if it’s something that is expected why do people see it as something that is negative?
Is it the hassle of having to do something that we are embarrassed by doing?
Is it because we fear judgment from the mistakes we’ve made?
Being brave enough to say something to someone or even yourself shouldn’t be a negative thing because it is out of love. Holding someone accountable shows that you care about them. You are looking out for them and you are trying to better them. Accountability= love.
3. Be Genuine.
The key to success is being genuine. You will never get anywhere by trying to be anyone but yourself. As a people pleaser, this is something I have always struggled with. I try my best to shape my personality to match someone else’s. Realizing it now, I have cheated myself out of great relationships because I was too scared of being my authentic self. This Institute has encouraged me to focus on the values that are most important in my life.
The same goes for social media. If you ever want to call yourself out for not being your genuine self, take a look at your Instagram. Is each and every one of your posts reflective of what is most important to your life? Do you edit to the point that all of your imperfections are blurred out? Are you proud of what you post?
I know that if I want to become a confident leader I have to be authentic to myself and that is why I am on a mission to change my way of thinking. I hope that I can live a happier and more successful lifestyle with the valuable lessons I was given this weekend.
We are only ingenuine when we are upset or unsure of who we are. If you are sure of who you are, share it with the world and people will admire you for being you.