Leading as a Participant

Rainbow offers girls the opportunity to become leaders in so many ways. The obvious ways are becoming a line officer, Worthy Advisor, or a Grand Officer. But what about your role as a flag or bow officer, on a committee, or in other areas of your life as a student, a band member, or on your sports team?

If you aren’t the official leader, how can you still offer leadership skills and be viewed as a leader while you’re “just” a participant?

Think about this. Have you ever worked on a team where some people weren’t showing up or weren’t responding to emails/texts, joining the effort, turning in their parts on time, etc? How about a team that just couldn’t get along and work together? How could the leader ALONE get everyone to be a better participant? What if there is no defined leader, like for a school team-project?

Imagine in those difficult teams, if every participant had the idea to act like a leader, no matter what. To lead by example by being an active participant, doing the parts they’re assigned, and something extra to help everyone else. Imagine that team!

Every participant cannot have authority the way the appointed/elected leader can, but every participant does have power and influence with the rest of the group! Any negative behavior will affect the group negatively, and any positive behavior will affect the group positively. That is the power you carry as a participant every single day!

Here are some specific ways you can exhibit leadership as a participant:

  • Do the work you’re supposed to do and do it on time. That helps the group feel productive and motivates others to do the same.
  • Have a positive attitude, even when you have a concern or don’t like something. You can still bring up an issue without being negative.
    • Instead of “I don’t think that will work,” try “I know of something else that might work…”
    • Instead of “I’m worried about this,” try “I see an opportunity for us to be even better if we work on this…”
    • Instead of “We’ve done that before,” try “Let’s find a way to make that even more successful than before.”
  • When someone says or does something that you admire, tell them and give them that boost of confidence.
  • When no one else is volunteering, you be the one to do it.
  • If you’re ALWAYS the one who is volunteering, tell a few team members before your next meeting that you think they’d be very valuable if they were to volunteer.

Developing these habits will help others view you as a potential leader and will naturally bring more leadership opportunities your way.

A good leader is not always a charismatic one who is the center of attention. A good leader lets others shine and encourages others’ success! If leadership was only about ME ME ME, then it would be easy!

Service image open hands

This week we’re focusing on the Restorative Strength. Read more about it here. How would a Restorative be a leader as a participant? Restoratives are great at identifying and fixing problems. They will naturally be doing this anyway, even if no one asks them to! So, when they see a potential problem, they can bring it to the team’s attention and offer solutions, taking the lead on this part of accomplishing the goal.

What Strengths do you have that can make you a leader in every-day situations?

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