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.


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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Health Care Professionals And Tattoos

In the health care professional field, most employee handbooks have a designated section regarding tattoos and piercings.

Tattoos are really awesome, and there are so many different types of tattoos as well as styles of tattoos. It's a form of personal expression for some people, and for some a funny drunk story. In the United States of America at least 45% (and rising) of Americans are tattooed. However to some people tattoos seem offensive or unprofessional. People have been denied a position or a promotion just because of the ink their skin. Maybe it was due to an official policy against tattoos in the workplace or perhaps it was someone’s personal views on their appearance. Patients have refused to be treated by a healthcare professional because their skull tattoo is either offensive or just too scary looking.

In the health care professional field, most employee handbooks have a designated section regarding tattoos and piercings. In very rare cases, certain hospital positions are only available to people who have no tattoos. In general, however, most medical facilities apply minor restrictions that only prohibit excessive and/or offensive tattoos. Usually they would want you to cover open tattoos with clothing.

While tattoos are becoming accepted more widely, it’s also true that not every employer welcomes their presence. Prejudices still exist and the law is undoubtedly on the side of the employer.

This doesn't mean that people with tattoos do not have the needed experience and qualifications to do their job. And this is very important to understand. Personally, I'd trust someone with a whole body of tattoos, if they have the experience that they need to have, if they know what they are doing --- I'd trust them to treat me medically. Some don't, some people refuse to be treated by a medical professional that has tattoos, but has all the qualifications to treat them and that's just a sad reality but it's there and it is what it is.

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), an employer can establish a dress code and appearance policies as long as they don’t discriminate against a person on the basis of their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or genetic information. You may be denied a healthcare job opportunity if the employer believes your tattoo violates their internal appearance policies.

So there isn't really any implicated nationally recognized policies around to protect us and our jobs if we have or get tattoos that we cannot hide properly or if we want to get tattoos that we cant hide as easily, like sleeve tattoos, facial, neck and hand. Each workplace is different, and as tattoos are becoming more popular -- usually the rules can gear towards being more flexible, like tattoos that cannot be seen in normal workplace appropriate clothing is okay.

So what the bottom line is, if you wish to work for a hospital or medical management -- make sure you understand their policies. Hospitals are changing policies very slowly but surely, but some may not change their policy at all, it is up to them solely.

Put your medical career first. it is what it is. When choosing a tattoo, chose wisely about the size and placement of it. Can you conceal the tattoo without extraordinary measures? Do you need to wear a sweater? These things matter.

You have to remember that not only are you representing yourself, but you are also going to be representing the hospital as a professional healthcare worker, when they hire you. People will look at you, and how you carry yourself is how people will see the hospital or clinic that they are being treated in. For some people how you look is how they think they will be treated. Even if you aren't working at a hospital right now, it's good to keep in mind.

Ultimately, you and you alone get to decide how to live your life, and what tattoos to pick to get and where to put them. Working in the medical field with tattoos is no trouble as long as you’re mindful of requirements and expectations, of that establishment. I'm going through the process of becoming a health care professional, hopefully a doctor. My path is a unique one but it is a path I am taking.

However I plan on getting tattoos, but I also need to keep in mind of the rules that have been put in place in many hospitals. So I'll get any kind of tattoos that I can get, as long as I can hide them under my scrubs without having to wear a long sleeve shirt, or heavy cover-up. But that's my decision, I choose my career over my tattoos.

Cover Image Credit: Medium

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Team Building Teaches More Than The Expected

Rhode Island College travels 118 miles to Becket, Massachusetts to the Berkshires.


I joined emerging leaders to gain friendships and learn more about myself and how to be a better leader on campus and in my community. The first event we do together is a weekend retreat into the woods for team building. But what we got out of this experience was much more than just that.

We took a bus to the camp and got there in time to have dinner. Later that night we sat around a fire pit and talked about some light topics and as the night progressed and the sky got darker and darker the more personal and deep the questions became. This really brought us together, and created a huge sense of trust.

We did exercises where we had to apply that trust with each-other. Like ice breakers and canoeing. Where we got to traverse the lake and did a couple of competitions out on the water to create some team building amongst our group. After the long, fun-filled day we had s'mores and listened to music, danced our hearts out and learned more about one another's interests.

On our last day we did high ropes which was definitely the thing that challenged us all the most. But even that didn't stop us from completing the challenges ahead. We are one hell of a team. We all faced our fears and did many things we were uncomfortable with, be it opening up to each other about our lives, heights or disappointing the rest of the team. But we finished the weekend with a quiet hike into the woods and debriefed the weekend. Next thing we knew we were on the bus ride home.

This experience was another life changing one. The people I got to work with, our facilitators just made this such a heartwarming experience and I can't wait to work with this group for the rest of the semester where we discuss other topics that effect us, either personally or as a community.

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