Chaymae, a participant for the YaLa Project
How my skills as a leader evolved and changed, and what are the characteristics necessary for a leader to be successful
During last summer, I co-organized a program that consists of a summer camp that enables youth to acquire and improve different important assets such as leadership potential and soft skills. In this program, I used my leadership skills to cope with problems that came up during the organizing process. The most challenging of these problems in which I demonstrated great leadership and problem-solving skills was when my team was informed that two major speakers for our event cannot make it due to urgent matters.
Naturally, most of the team members quickly immersed themselves in a state of panic. The most logical solution was for one of the team members to replace the speakers and deliver the two speeches. Everyone stepped back giving the excuse that they are not prepared. I knew that someone had to do something to resolve the situation and I decided that would be me. I quickly analyzed the situation and made my decision to replace the two speakers. In thirty minutes, I managed to prepare my speeches, and rehearse them.
The event was very successful, and the participants interacted fully. I learned from this experience that whenever we encounter hardship, sitting back and waiting for things to magically get resolved is not a solution. Instead one should step in and act. I realized that I’m capable of facing challenges and managing crises as they arise. At the start of the camp, my leadership style was supportive and collaborative. However, this experience made me upscale my leadership style to lead by example. That day I lead my team through personal influence and I was a role model for my team. Not only did this experience shape my leadership style but also my personality as a whole. I became more confident and worthy of people’s trust. My dedication to the success of the event empowered my team and encouraged them to take more initiative. In fact, I noticed some team members doing extra team building activities for participants.
During the past several years, my leadership skills have been constantly evolving. I came across many subsequent situations that shaped me. To build and strengthen my advocacy capacity and skills in dealing with hardship, I committed to living by morals and core values. I believe that leading by example is the best style of leadership. Therefore, I taught myself to serve as a role model. This model of effective leadership for me involves the acknowledgement of failures and learning from weaknesses and getting over them. As a leader, I admit my mistakes and learn from my weaknesses or as I like to call them, points I can improve.
In my opinion, self-awareness is a necessity in an effective leader yet it’s not quite enough. It should always be linked to self-improvement that serves to enhance leadership. Therefore, I’m eager to learn new skills and share my knowledge with my community alongside empowering them to improve themselves because leaders empower their community and aspire to inspire. In my opinion, leadership isn’t running a large-scale organization. It’s guiding by providing a model. This is what will give my journey in this life an added value and a true meaning. I take on my responsibility to serve as a good example for my community, and to be the first to take initiative in each group I’m part of. In fact, leadership isn’t just making important decisions that will change a community’s destiny, it’s mostly taking initiative. During my life, I’ve encountered several setbacks but none have kept me from achieving my goals. Whenever I face a millstone I quickly weigh up the situation, make a decision, and
Chaymae is a Moroccan participant for the YaLa Young Leaders project, which aims to encourage leadership and free speech in the Middle East and North Africa.