Taking A Chance On Leadership
Deciding to pursue leadership positions in college seems crazy to most. With all the stresses of college life, year-long leadership commitments feel like adding another three-unit class or taking on an internship that you are not being paid for. Yet, many like me choose to take them on anyway. Many factors played into my decision-making process – my friends, my upperclassmen who believed in me, and, of course, my yearning to grow.
Despite holding leadership positions in high school, I never felt like I was a good leader. I didn’t feel that I was prepared to commit to the responsibilities that came with leadership in an organization in college. Somehow, everything felt more grown-up and real but freshman Chelsea decided to take that leap that led me to where I am today and I wanted to share with you the three biggest things I have learned so far.
Skills can be learned but passion cannot be taught.
Something that stops many people from pursuing these types of opportunities is that they feel like they aren’t ready – that they don’t have the technical skill needed for the role. ACTM recognizes well that technical skills aren't everything and that passion for the job is just as important. That being said, having passion is not enough to sustain you as a leader. Passion needs to be acted upon, you need to have the determination and grit to become better and gain the skill that you feel that you are lacking.
Leadership means constant education.
The learning has not stopped just because you have become a leader; in fact, the learning has just begun. Sometimes, you will be the dumbest person in the room, and that is perfectly fine! ACTM is the perfect place to explore, learn, and even make mistakes. You are not alone in this growth journey. Everyone in ACTM is willing to support you, and they all believe in you. With even the smallest of actions, people will not hesitate to give you all the appreciation and support.
Lead with your WHY in mind.
The organization taught me the concept of IMC leadership which is centered on leading with a purpose in mind. That purpose varies from person to person as we all have different truths and motivations that act as the north star to our leadership journey. It is important to remember that that purpose doesn’t exist in isolation but with other people and the wider community. That being said, everyone has their brand of leadership that only they can live out.
I have come to learn and realize so many things on my leadership journey and even as a senior, I am still learning more every day. As I head into my third and final year of leadership in ACTM, I can attest to just how much this experience has changed me. I credit a lot of who I am, both as a student and a leader, as a result of the experiences in ACTM and the people I have met here. I have grown not only in my technical skill but in my confidence to achieve things that I never thought to be possible for myself.
There are so many opportunities for you to grow with us in ACTM this year as an Initiative Head, Community Engagement Head, Project Head, and, in the future, Executive Committee member. But if in your process of growth you realize that your leadership journey leads you away from ACTM, that is okay too! We will always support you no matter what. As you head into the new school year, I encourage you to take a chance on leadership. I challenge you to take a chance on yourself and believe in what you can achieve.
All credits for the elements in the banner go to the rightful owners. Photos from Pinterest.