In this world there are two types of people: followers and leaders. But what is a leader? Sometimes I ask myself this question because I’m so unsure of myself whenever I’m at Smith Playground teaching a group how to work with us to build this park extension. And then I also ask myself if I’m doing a good job? And what makes a good leader? Sometimes it’s so hard to figure out the line between leading and controlling because when you don’t have your control, you tend to give up on trying to lead. I have had my share of steaming angry moments when I couldn’t control my group that I forgot how to lead. A good leader has patience, is selfless, and listens to the people that they are trying to lead. I have seen people lead by putting other people down, making their ideas sound right and superior, and blaming someone else when ever something went wrong. That’s not what leadership is.
I remember a moment where I had to lead a PYN (teens) group into making binoculars for children. I had an art group and they didn’t really look engaged and so I didn’t force them to do anything. I just believed in them and made them believe in themselves by just handing them the materials and asked them if they can make some binoculars. I gave them some tips, and then my teammate and I went out to get ideas for the park from children. By the time I came back they had their binoculars set up with glitters, feathers, and other cool stuff. I told them they looked good, and they did! As the leader I had to encourage them, let them know that their work is as good as mine, and that they all did a good job. I think as a leader you can tell when you did a good job. It made me happy to see their smiling faces at the creations that they made. They said thank you, and they left with a sense of pride. Another team if teenagers that I worked with was a group from Spark The Wave. I liked them because I never saw a group so willing to help. I had my handful with teenage boys and I thought that I would have to break through some arrogant ego barriers but I guess I didn’t have to. I just told them what needed to be done and they actually listened and took my advice. I also have worked with a group of middle school children from Urban Blazers and smaller children from EPRA. DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE LITTLE CHILDREN! The Urban Blazers and the EPRA kids worked harder than I thought! I’m not a baby sitter so at first I was hoping for little trouble but I ended up having no trouble with the kids, they were willing to work and they were fun to work with. I even got a chance to work with and partly lead some adults from DVGBC. I’m so grateful because I got a chance to test my leading skills against all ages. Who ever gets a chance to do that?