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- Redefining Leadership: I Scream, You Scream, We all Scream for Ice Cream!
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That moment when you’re in the shower and your favorite song is stuck in your head. There’s nothing like it! You will hit high notes like Mariah Carey, sing in perfect bass like that one guy from Boyz II Men, and create your own ad libs like you have been singing since you were a one-year-old! Or what about when you and a close friend are in the car and your jam comes on? You sing that song like you are performing at the Grammy’s, oblivious to the folks staring at you at the red light.
Thing is… most folks can’t sing… not even a little bit. But it’s something about the shower and the car that gives us the confidence to out sing a Grammy award winning artist. What is it about those places that gives us that confidence? I know it’s not that we’re naked! Is it the curtain? Can’t be or cats would be walking around with curtains and capes! Maybe, it’s the airbag in our car or the seat belt that makes us feel safe. Or maybe, it’s the comfort of not having anyone to impress but yourself.
Not having the pressure or expectation of someone laughing at your high note clowning you for your screeching rendition of “My Girl” gives you a special confidence. What if you could have that same type of confidence in your leadership abilities? What could you accomplish on your campus and in your community if you had the unfailing confidence? I know it would make you a more powerful leader. Not like dictator powerful, but visionary, influential powerful.
Here are 3 ways to develop shower, car sing along confidence and become a powerful leader:
1. Don’t be afraid to fail – it happens to the best of us! (SEE: Using Faailure to Achieve Success): The most important factor of your shower confidence is that you’re not worried about messing up! You aren’t going for perfect pitch, you’re just belting out your favorite tune! It’s about the feeling and emotion behind it. You are singing the song because you like it not because you’re trying to demonstrate your ability to replicate complex tonal notes. You should lead the same way; unafraid to fail and doing it from your heart because you really enjoy what you’re doing. Of course you want to get it right, but the passion that drives you to get involved and lead should outweigh your fear of failure.
2. Make it Your Own – My mom and I used to sing a song in the car together all the time. We would really get into it, so much so that we’d be out of breath when the song was over. One day I was listening to the song at home and actually listened to the song instead of singing it and made a shocking discovery… we were butchering the words to a wonderful Stevie Wonder song. The next time the song came on in the car my mom and I started singing and I tried to use the right words, it just didn’t feel right. We had made that song ours, just like you should do with your leadership. Own it! Lead in your own way. There is no set way to lead, no standard leadership method so you can adjust as you go and shape the way you lead to suit your abilities and the needs of your group. Don’t be so caught up in leading like your predecessor that you forget to be you! Your group had confidence that you could do the job, you should believe that too.
3. Keep Pushing! – Confidence comes from comfort and comfort is developed by consistency. I don’t know about you but the first time I start to sing a song I’m a little shaky about it, hesitant and unsure. Oh but once I get comfortable with it it’s a wrap! That’s when I really start to get down! You know you’re really comfortable with the song when you know all the pauses, breaks, and ad libs. me and my boys used to rap Biggie Smalls song Juicy word for word without missing a beat. We had all the pauses and everything. Our favorite part was when he said, “baby baby ugh.” We never missed it. We also sang it everyday at least 5 times a day often on repeat. (Don’t judge me.) It was the consistency that made us comfortable and with that came the confidence. The more you lead and get involved the more comfortable you will become. Stay consistent and keep pushing to develop a comfort level with the responsibilities of your position. You can do this by working on committees and events before you step into a formal leadership role. Whatever you do, keep pushing because consistency is key to developing your confidence.
When you take the time and put in the effort to work on your leadership skills you will become a more powerful student leader. It’s a process so breathe easy if you aren’t ready over night. But these three things will give you “Shower Car Sing Along Confidence” and that will make you a more powerful leader.
Be on the look out for the rest of this series on Redefining Student Leadership : Building More Powerful, More Effective, & More Balanced Student Leaders.