I Never Thought I Could Be A Leader, Odyssey Proved Me Wrong

I Never Thought I Could Be A Leader, Odyssey Proved Me Wrong

I thought to be a leader you had to be fearless, that you always had to have the answers.

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I never thought I would be capable of leading a group of people. I always had this mental list of things I associated with leaders, and I honestly didn't think I had those skills.

I thought to be a leader you had to be fearless, that you always had to have the answers. In my head, leaders never messed up or made mistakes. They couldn't ask for help because they were the ones doing the leading, so if the leader didn't know something, how would everyone else?

Odyssey shattered that stereotype I had of leaders.

It showed me that real leadership doesn't know everything, real leadership is learning with those you are supposedly leading. Leadership is about helping others to the best of your ability, not a perfect one.

I started my Odyssey community in 2016, and we are coming up on our two year anniversary of being a community. We started with three writers, including myself. We've grown to be a top community over the past two years, but not because of my so-called perfect leadership.

We've gotten to where we are at now because I learned to ask for help where I needed it from my Content Strategist. I learned how to say "I really don't know what to do here." and be OK with it.

I've learned that telling my creators I need to check on that doesn't mean I don't know the answer but rather that I want to make sure I'm giving them the correct information.

I originally started with Odyssey as a creator nearly three years ago, and after two weeks I ended up in Odyssey leadership on my first community. To be honest, I didn't have a clue what I was doing and some of my edits were really, really, really bad. (like really bad).

But, as a leader, I can admit that. I can admit that the changes made to my articles after I was done with them made them better.

I can admit that three years later I still don't have every answer.

See, being a good leader is about learning how to learn from others around you. Whether that be people above you in the leadership chain or below you, you can learn something from all of them.

My creators have taught me more about leadership than I could have ever imagined. Having the chance to lead is really cool, especially when you realize what the real definition of leadership is.

So, no, I may not always have the perfect headline for you or the perfect article idea or know exactly how to solve that tech issue you're having, but I will find a way to help you get that perfect headline, article idea or solve that tech issue.

And, you know what? That's the type of leader I'd take any day.

Cover Image Credit:

Katie Bottino

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An Open Pat On The Back To Full-Time Students Who Also Work

You really deserve an award, but this article will have to do.
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It's pretty freaking hard.

“I can work nights and weekends, I'm a student," you told the manager during your interview.

So, what does he do? He schedules you most nights and weekends. This is OK. This is, after all, what you asked for. So you start working.

Class, class, work. Class, work. Class, no work tonight, you sleep and it feels like the first time in years. Class, homework, homework, homework. Class, class, work.

Before you know it, it's the weekend. There's a party. Your friend wants to see you. Your mom is calling you to see how you are.

But you are working all weekend.

You call your mom on your half hour break. She tells you are doing too much. She tells you that you should work less. Ask for less hours. Sleep more. Eat more. You will get sick.

You get out of work Friday night around 11 p.m. There is still so much night left!! You try to hit up that party. Sure, you will show up a little late, but at least you will make an appearance. At least you will get to see some of your friends. At least you will be able to relax and enjoy yourself. At least you will be able to have some fun. By the time you get ready and get there, people begin leaving. You begin to wonder why you came out in the first place.

“I'm sorry, I've been at work" becomes an all-too-familiar phrase.

But, but, but.

You really deserve a pat on the back, so here it is.

You've given up a lot. And you work crazy hard. Those long nights and hours are hard. A lot of kids your age don't work and rely solely on your parents. But you, you have taken it upon yourself to earn some money for yourself. You are a full-time student, and most of your free time goes toward working and supporting yourself.

You truly do not get the appreciation that you deserve.

But when you do get some time to go out, when you request a weekend off, you have some money to spend. You are never the guy who can't go out because they don't have enough money.

And of course, you will start saving. This is huge. You're going to graduate in debt (probably), and because you busted your butt during school and saved up, putting a crack in that debt will be a little easier for you.

You are a forward thinker, whether you realize it or not.

You are building responsibility, money management, and self-reliance skills, whether you realize it or not.

You are quite mature for your age, whether you realize it or not.

AND YOU deserve a pat on the back. So here it is.

You're incredible. You're amazing. Go get 'em.

Seriously, take a second to congratulate yourself for all your hard work.

And whatever you do, get some sleep, kid. And remember, don't work yourself too hard. Just hard enough so that you feel good, and rewarded, and happy.

You're the man. Keep killin' it, dude. Keep killin' it.

Cover Image Credit: Peter Bernik/123rf Stock Photo

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Components Of Being A Great Leader That Transfer To Everyday Life

There is so much more that goes into being a leader than what's on the surface

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Being a good leader isn't just about knowing how to lead others and boss them around. There are so many factors that go into being an effective leader and ultimately a good example to those who look up to you. All of the things that go into being a leader can also be applied to every other area in life.

There is so much more that goes into being a leader than what's on the surface. Psychology and neuroscience are two areas that don't seem like they would connect with leadership but ultimately do. There are many advantages to knowing people and studying the way they think and work. Neuroscience has a lot to do with change and the way that humans deal with it. Being a good leader and a good example includes being able to effectively initiate and deal with change. In order to do this, trust needs to be established as well.

In relation to change, there are many barriers, including fear and anxiety, that need to be taken into account. Change can make people feel isolated and alone and feel as though they have to give something up. The most difficult thing about change is that when the pressure to change is finally off, most people revert back to the way things were before. In order to effectively lead, those fears need to be diminished, and this is ultimately done through trust. In order to establish trust with those who are looking up to you, there needs to be a sense of vulnerability, honesty, authenticity, knowledge, skill and humility.

Another thing to keep in mind is that effective leaders aren't necessarily above those who they lead. Leaders are there to help a group of people deal with change and move along day-by-day. This includes effectively dealing with conflict and being able to emotionally connect to those around you. Constructive criticism is a thing, just as constructive conflict is. Learning how to constructively deal with conflict is a very useful tool in all areas of life, as conflict is unavoidable. By being able to transfer conflict into something constructive, conflicts can be dealt with in a better and more effective way and ultimately help build people up rather than tear them down.

Along with focusing on constructive conflict, having emotional intelligence is a very important attribute of a leader. Knowing how to deal with difficult situations where people have high emotions (such as being fired, or other things along those lines), requires a great deal of empathy. However, you also have to know how much or little emotion should go into a situation since sometimes the logical choice is better than the emotional one in the end.

All of these things are what make up a good leader, and they're all things that any one of us could implement into our own lives regardless of if we're an established leader or not. There is always someone who is looking up to us, whether it's a younger sibling, friend or co-worker, and all of these qualities would be worth the time to improve and work on.

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