Leadership is Arranging Transportation

I was updating my resume today, and I realized that most of my leadership work is arranging transportation and accommodation.

I’ve been doing “freelance” leadership work for a long time: yearbook EIC in high school, orientation director in undergrad, math society VP in upper-undergrad, mission director at church, executive secretary of jazz choir in grad school.

I thought it would be easy to list and describe my leadership positions to reflect how much heart and work I put into them, but somehow, they only come out to arranging transportation and accommodation.

My most recent leadership position was the choir exec sec.  I know that I did a good job, many people said so, and I know that I took the choir to places it hadn’t before.  But what exactly did I do?  I signed us up for a competition in the states, and booked some hotel rooms.  I wrote some emails reminding people to take their passports with them and made sure we had enough cars to fit all of us.  Anyone could have done that.

It must be much more abstract than that. I think to be a good leader, you have to have a passion for whatever it is that you’re leading, and for the people whom you are leading.

I don’t think I actually have what it takes to be a charismatic leader.  I can do a lot of things that leaders need to do, but one very important thing I can’t do is get people to listen to me without yelling at them, or nagging them.  I’m really at the mercy of the members to ensure that things get done.  I wish I could motivate unmotivated followers to do something.  That would be true leadership!

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