Leadership for Students Activities - March 2015, NASC Edition - (Page 10)

DER D I ST I N GU ED STUDEN LE A Leadership in their own words H IS T Leader BEING A 2 5 01 Each month, NASC spotlights students who have reached higher and explored further ww s to become better leaders by successfully completing the NASC Distinguished Student w. n a s c . u Leaders Program. Students explore their own leadership styles, recognize and respond to situations calling for leadership decisions, and demonstrate their skills and knowledge as leaders. Our Distinguished Student Leader for March is Megan Monahan of Hillsboro High School in Hillsboro, OR. I 've always been aware that I like to take control of situations: to lead group projects, have a say in how things are executed, and have input into when things will get done. This shows that I am much more task-oriented than people-oriented, which was further revealed by the T-P Leadership Questionnaire. However, there's much more to my leadership style than just the fact that I'm task-oriented-it doesn't mean that I am a bad leader; it just means that I like to do things a certain way. I value compromises, which yields good results and demonstrates flexibility in my work style. The NASC Distinguished Student Leaders Program has helped me to more deeply understand the type of leader I am and the way I'm most comfortable working. In addition, the program has helped me to see which parts of my leadership style could be improved. For example, I learned that I have many of the characteristics of a "telling leader." I like to rely on my own judgment, persuading others to agree with my opinions and ideas. But this isn't always the most effective method of leadership, and it's one of my biggest challenges as a leader. It's difficult for me to put my trust in others in order to allow them to work freely on a project. For example, last year, I was on a committee for a school carnival and took on nearly all of the work myself. I wanted things done precisely my way, and I was stubborn. However, this didn't just leave me with a huge workload; it also isolated me from group members. So, this year, I chose to be on the committee again, applying the skills I've learned from NASC. By delegating jobs evenly among group members, I've been able to focus more clearly on my tasks, improve my overall work quality, and strengthen relationships among group members. Although it was outside my comfort zone to delegate so many jobs, it helped me learn more about myself as a leader and how to become a better one. When I completed my senior project, the Miss Century Pageant, with my partner, it was a struggle for me to allow my partner to do a lot of the work. However, trusting her to do her part allowed me more time to focus on my elements 10 LEADERSHIP FOR STUDENT ACTIVITIES of the pageant. In addition, this project allowed me to work closely with another individual on completing a huge task- something I'd never done before. The balancing of tasks and jobs was a learning experience for me, and I learned a lot from working on such a huge project. Looking back on that project and comparing it to the NASC leadership characteristics that I've learned, I can now see that being inclusive, delegating tasks, and trusting in others is an essential part of leadership that cannot be avoided without some sort of added stress or negativity. Aside from these specific examples, other elements of my leadership style and personality have been revealed to me throughout the process. For instance, I focus very intently on my own projects, and I often get caught up in the details of what I am doing, which can take my eyes off the big picture. While it's good to pay attention to details, when I focus all of my time and energy on them, I sacrifice good relationships with others who might otherwise be willing to work with me. Also, when I choose to work with others, I generally pick the same group of people to work with, which isn't always beneficial when trying to accomplish something! I've learned from the NASC program that stepping out of my comfort zone and communicating with/ including people from other groups can be more beneficial in terms of accomplishing new things, having new ideas, and developing a renewed sense of community within the newly created group. To be honest, NASC has opened my eyes to the fact that I have potential to be a great leader; but I need to fine tune some of my weaknesses, such as trying to take on everything on my own and wanting to be in control of the group. I have learned that by including others, delegating tasks, and encouraging positivity and openness, leadership becomes more about the whole than the individual-and the whole is the key to great leadership. However, without strong individuals, the whole cannot function properly. NASC has taught me how to be the kind of individual who benefits the whole team, not just myself.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Leadership for Students Activities - March 2015, NASC Edition

Editor's Note
Questions & Answers
Take Note
Being a Leader
From the Director
Rise to the Challenge
Shrink Your Credibility
Ward off Compassion Fatigue
MIddle Level Activities
Scholarships & Awards
Lessons for Leaders
Activities Exchange
Things to Do

Leadership for Students Activities - March 2015, NASC Edition