I possess perhaps the most valuable personal quality, leadership. Being able to guide a group of people towards a unified goal is an amazing experience. Family Dinners taught me profound leadership skills, evidenced by the stories my father would tell me when I was nine, the same stories I would embrace wide-eyed; these stories touched upon various life lessons, such as management and interpersonal skills. I believe these stories helped shaped me into the leader I am today.
Skills such as effective communication and leading by example have also extended my leadership repertoire and molded my identity into one fixed with a philosophy of constant leadership. When I was in U12 soccer, I wanted to be the fastest player on the field. Nonetheless, my body refused to cooperate, as my asthma kicked in and hindered my from fulfilling my athletic potential. Although indeed I was stemmed from running, I employed my leadership ability and assumed a position I was fit for, goalie. My friends told me I was a great goalie, ultimately increasing my self-esteem. I was lightly running around the field, but by the end of the season, I was able to run that much further. My coach took my skills and improved them, similar to how I plan to embrace the skills professors in college will surely hone. Rather than putting me off to the side as someone lesser, he made sure I was considered as equal as the team captain. This experience added a piece to my leadership philosophy. If someone has the passion and drive but their skills need improving, they should be placed somewhere they can excel. They should be considered as an equal,given the opportunity to show their skills and improve.
Another leadership experience I was fortunate to have experienced includes the time I was presenting at a “educational technology” conference in New Jersey. We were in the lunch room eating when we saw the keynote speaker sit down across the room. My high school colleagues stepped away to speak to the keynote presenter for twenty minutes. When they returned, six high school students from another school were at our table looking at our presentation and sharing notes about real world project fostering learning. When I tell this story, I confidently state that I made six new friends that day. After my new friends left, my colleagues were amazed by this feat. I told them that talking to and bonding with strangers is something that comes naturally. They asked me to help them learn this skill in the workplace. On our way home I did just that by sharing concepts and viewpoints on our way home.
Being able to communicate and effectively make relationships is a skill I pride myself on. In order to be an effective leader one must be able to communicate information clearly and concisely. One of the highlights in my leadership career was my Eagle Scout project. I chose to rebuild a 120ft boardwalk at Burlington High School in a suburb of Boston. This boardwalk allowed students and the public easier access to the wetlands and the high ropes course on site. What was there before was a walkway comprised of rotten wooden segments that were in various states of disrepair. In order to replace said boardwalk I needed to raise over $3,000, present before various committees, receive approval from many parties, as well fund the project. I had to sit down with my mentor and design the boardwalk. The design had to go before school committee, conservation committee, and the building inspector. I hosted various benefits at local restaurants with procured raffles and a magician. Not only did I procure the materials, but also skilled professionals and volunteers. I was able to have contractors, the girls varsity soccer team, friends, and family. I arranged to have local eateries sponsor breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Nevertheless, there were last minute changes to project, which only attest further to my leadership abilities. We had to move critical task locations due to a road closure because of a paving project. This paving project was unannounced to me or my crew. The original plan was to cut materials across the road and move them over to the build site. This was also hindered due to the paving. We had to move heavy materials long distances during the project. I requested access to the lightweight utility vehicle the district owned. I was given permission to use the vehicle if I could furnish liability insurance. I followed up with the district before my project to confirm this. Upon arrival it was discovered that the vehicle was locked up and no one had access to it. Man power did most of the heavy lifting. The wetlands were flooding earlier in the season, we decided to use the functioning old pieces of boardwalk to span the gap between where the mud began and the start of the new boardwalk. Overall in the course of three days with a crew of 50 placing over 260 man hours we were able to finish. Being able to lead a project from concept to completion is a great learning experience. I learned how to take adversity and make it work as well as leading large groups of people.
My experiences made me who I am today. I still want to be like my dad.
These skills can help in the technology sector. I currently lead a staff of student ambassadors for College Interactive and run a marketing firm. Currently I have designed and created a website for my marketing firm. The Website is DoubleEagle.co The leadership skills learned in the real world as outlined above have helped me initiate my endeavor as a business man. I have been subjected to things most students have not through my efforts and help from Mrs. Scheffer and the Help Desk. I will be writing about it more in my upcoming posts.