"Challenging the Process"May 16, 2019 in Iceland ⋅ ⛅ 10 °C
7) What are you hoping to learn about yourself as a leader on this trip?
Throughout my freshman year, I have studied the five leadership practices one should implement into their daily routine to be an exemplary leader. Recently the members of our leadership team conducted tests to discover which of the practices was our weakest. In my leadership inventory, my weakest practice was “Challenging the Process.” As a leader, I tend to shy away from new ideas and the unknown—I am usually not a risk taker and generally choose the course of action that I know will work, instead of inventing new ideas to experiment with. While in Iceland, I had several opportunities to try new things and take initiative in activities. On the trip, I hoped to learn to recognize the times when I fail to seize the opportunity to experiment and the best way to push myself to take those risks that present themselves. One important activity that challenged me was advocating for whales and approaching tourists to talk with them about whaling. Then we had to use our persuasion skills to urge the tourists to sign the petition. I discovered that when I had the support of my friends with me, I was more likely to take a risk because I knew they would have my back if something went wrong. However, when I had to convince the tourist myself, I was more likely to retreat and avoid the situation altogether. Another tendency I noticed was that being unprepared in situations created higher feelings of anxiety about taking initiative, as I did not feel qualified to speak on the subject matter. I did not have much time to prepare what I wanted to say to the tourists because I was not well educated about whaling—I had just learned about the industry several hours before. Yet, pushing through those feelings and getting the job done allowed me to see the success of our group. In the picture, my team posed after successfully convincing five tourists to sign the petition. Working together as a team allowed me to feel more confident in uncertainty, but I will not always have this luxury. Thus, it would be beneficial for me to practice being placed in impromptu situations so I can learn how to manage the feelings that arise when I feel vulnerable, as many of the times those feelings are the only obstacle holding me back.Read more