what i learned about leadership from stepping back

Since the first student council election in eighth grade, I’ve ran for class president and have been the voice, the leader, the representative for over 500 students for a few years now. This past week, I decided to step down from the position for a variety of reasons; it was a difficult decision, and it was a reflective one. Immediately, I felt like I regretted it. Then I realized something.

Good leaders stimulate new leadership. 

Often, in a position of leadership and representation, you think that doing your job well means that you’re effectively advocating for the thoughts and concerns of the people. In my case, that was coming up with ideas to spruce up old traditions, running events efficiently, etc.

In the intervals between interacting with constituents and making things happen, there’s something that happens along the way. People are inspired to do the same – they want to advocate for others as well – and this, I think, is one of the most rewarding aspects of being a leader.

In the example that you set, in the way you carry yourself, in the way you are passionate about whom and what you represent, you set a precedent for the position that you hold. Those that come after you are empowered to fulfill your shoes, and even further develop the position themselves. Either way, they are provided with an idea of the foundation of the position and an idea of what true leadership looks like.

Leaders express.

Leaders inspire.

Leaders care.

And in all of this expressing, inspiring, and caring, in all of the speeches, elections, and handshakes, they cause others to want to do the same.

Leaders breed more leaders. It’s as simple as that, and for me at least, that’s what makes it all worthwhile.



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