So, I learned a lot from being a leader in different communities. I learned that sometimes, I am so focused on the actions, so focused on the ends, that I’m not very concerned about the process, and I have become very cognizant of that. I’ve become more cognizant that the means are actually sometimes the tool you build communities with. A kind word, the bonding over social activities that comes prior to the project – all that helps in building the relationship and sort of the friendship that project leaders and community leaders need. When I was in undergrad, I was told that sometimes I give orders, and I’m very bossy. I was told actually repetitively until it, kind of, resonated with me, I didn’t want to be that person. I didn’t want to be the person who everyone kind of ran the other way when they saw. Even if I was getting the job done, and people knew that about me.
But I learned that about myself and it made me grateful for the people that shared that with me. I learned that feedback is the best present you can give to a community worker because they start to learn more about themselves, and that’s one of the beautiful results of community work – it is able to learn about yourself. It makes you learn about all the qualities in you that will benefit this community, but also all the qualities in the community can benefit you. Right so, it’s kind of a two-way stream. People think of community work as [in] you being a superhero that’s [going to] carry the whole group on your shoulders, but also […] group will carry you on their shoulders. It should work like that. Ideally, of course. So, that’s what happened to me. The community held me on their shoulders because they made me grow as a person and a community worker.
So, I think just seeing how positive it can be definitely helped me stay on that track, and the more you work out that muscle of positive culture in your group, you’re making sure everyone feels welcomed and that they’re not being pushed or bossed around too much, that it’s coming from them, it’s their own motivation, you’re not pressuring anybody into things, I saw the positive effect. And I believe that is the way I’d like to be as a leader.