University of Moratuwa, Katubedda, Sri Lanka.

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Discovering the leader within you

If you recall your life, what would be the first experience you had at leadership? For some people, it would be being a class monitor, being a prefect, or being a president at a school society. But for me, it was being a big sister. I was endowed with the responsibility of guiding, influencing, and looking after another person. I think that’s where I started learning how to become a good leader.

The word “Leader” is defined in many ways across many disciplines in the world. In my opinion, a leader is a person who can spot the potential in people, support them to become better, and a person who can convert a vision into reality. A leader always focuses on developing the skills of people to get the job done. A leader will influence, motivate & inspire people to become their best selves. A leader will not hesitate to take risks, tackle them with strategy and convert them into success stories. Rather than “doing things right” a leader will always “do the right thing” which makes a huge difference.

Leaders are born, or are they made?” 

There is an age-old question about leadership. “Are the leaders born, or are they made?”. As someone who has been in many leadership positions in life, I prefer to say that it is neither. Leaders are neither born nor made. They are simply people who chose to be leaders. Let me elaborate with a familiar example. Steve Rogers, a frail young artist who didn’t show any markings of a born-leader, set aside as an eye candy even after being injected with a “super-serum”, choosing to be a leader in the crisis of losing a unit of soldiers including his friend, makes him an icon that people look up to. Yes, that’s the story of the infamous “Captain America”. It is evident that most of the time real leaders are forged in crisis.

The Struggle

Leadership does not come easily. You may face many barriers and obstacles in your leadership journey. You’d be perfectly justified in feeling a little stressed out with all of these leadership issues staring you in the face. It happens all the time. It can induce fear and self-doubt, which can jeopardize your capacity to lead. Planning ahead and keeping my stress levels is what supported me in such situations. There are difficult days for everyone. The days when you’re stuck in a funk because progress is slow or an effort fails. It’s all too easy to get caught up in what isn’t working and lose your motivation. And as a leader, this might be extremely difficult to overcome because everyone expects you to be a cheerleader. Therefore it’s important to take time and celebrate small wins without letting the circumstances beat you up.

I will be a leader 

From what I have experienced as a leader, I have identified some traits that would come in handy. 

  • Being competent, 
  • Skilled, 
  • Handling responsibility, 
  • A good communicator, 
  • A supporter and influencer, 
  • A team player, 
  • Being a motivator
  • Seek for opportunities 

are some such key traits that would shape you as a proper leader. As Rotractors, as the young community: you have the opportunity to develop your leadership skills while serving the community. By taking initiatives, being sensitive to society, working for the greater good, you can be the leaders that the world desire.

Written by: Rtr.Dinithi Amarasinghe

Edited by: Rtr.Reshan Dissanayake

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