At Big Brothers Big Sisters, we believe every child should have the opportunity to reach his or her full potential – both as individuals and citizens. We believe that by changing the course of young lives we can in turn be changing the course of a community’s future.
Start Talking is a place where we want to raise awareness of key issues that face today’s youth. We will sometimes advocate, sometimes educate, sometimes inform, sometimes ask questions and always invite discussion about the pressing concerns that involve the younger generations of today.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

“Taking action is the biggest step to being a good leader”

By Sourabh Pande, participant in the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto and Thinking Forward Workshop

My dad has always told me that in the “real world” your education isn’t the only thing that matters, a person’s leadership skills and ability to communicate is what sets them apart from “the rest”. I have always kept this in mind when I tried to build and sharpen my abilities to lead a group of people. When I was presented with the opportunity to participate in the leadership work shop offered by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto and Thinking Forward, I jumped for it and I’m really glad that I did.

The seminar introduced the different types of leadership - inward, outward and forward. Inward leadership is motivating yourself to take action and living with integrity even when no when is watching. I learned that to be a good leader it is important to know who you are yourself before being able to be a good leader. Outward leadership is when you think of others before yourself and to express compassion. A lot of the times we feel empathetic towards other but don’t take action, “compassion is empathy in action”. Forward leadership focuses on making a change in the future, to be a good leader it is extremely important to take action. People who take action against injustices are the changers of society.

The presenter then asked us to reflect on certain celebrities, and consider the role success has played in their happiness. Many of the celebrities we talked about were extremely successful but it seemed like they lacked happiness. This suggested that success doesn’t always lead to happiness. Materialistic people tend to be happy for short periods of time, but are unhappy in the long run. I believe success is a journey and totally agree that success does not lead to happiness, but in fact it’s the other way around. This small reflection set the tone and theme for the whole seminar.

Many people today will see something wrong taking place but don’t take any action to stop it, those who do take action are looked up to as leaders. By going the extra mile and asking someone, “how are you doing?” or “how was your day?” can really change a person’s perspective of you. It shows that you care/consider everyone. Taking action is the biggest step to being a good leader. Examples/quotes of great leaders like Nelson Mandela and Gandhi were brought up in the seminar as examples of great leaders.

Gandhi has been an inspiration to me ever since I was little, so the presentation really resonated with me. Gandhi saw an injustice taking place and did something to stop it and more remarkably he did it without violence. He used his words and actions to better the world, instead of violence. These examples were great motivators as they encouraged me to also take action against injustices. Topics such as, how to show compassion and thinking of others before yourself were discussed too. By putting others before you, not only do you become a better person but also become a better leader.

The workshop overall has made me more aware of my behaviour when in a leadership role. I’m more conscious of my actions and the effects it has on those who look up to me. These lessons I have learned will help me become a better mentor, as they’ve given me more information on the characteristics of a leader. By adapting these characteristics in the Youth School in Mentoring, I believe I can better myself and address my little in a better manner.

A point that really resonated with me was that “success doesn’t lead to happiness; happiness leads to success. That quote has really stuck with me since the workshop and I hope to apply and spread that message. Often we as humans we get so involved/focus in our goals that we spend less time with those who are important to us, which can lead to unhappiness. This has to change, and I believe Thinking Forward is doing a great job of spreading this true message and building better communities.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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