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.