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Being A Leader Is Nothing Like You Think: It's Better

It can be the best experience of your life if you do it right.

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young college woman standing next to painted urban art wall mural
Hayley Schmitt

As someone that was always on the more shy-side, I didn't quite picture myself as a leader. But, I knew I had a voice and I wanted it heard.

After finding my passion for writing towards the later-half of high school, I worked hard to improve it. Once I got to college, I sought out every opportunity to pursue writing. After trying out a few publications and platforms, I found my niche with Odyssey.

I saw how passionate the leaders of my team were and they inspired me to push myself. Despite having small leadership roles in the past, I decided to challenge myself to aim for more leadership roles. So, I worked hard, improved, and took the opportunity to lead when it presented itself. I started off as a Creator, then a Contributing Editor, and after almost a year, I became Editor-in-Chief.

I remember right after I was promoted to EIC, my boss at my internship asked me, "So, is it lonely at the top?"

"Yeah, it kind of is," I said.

However, I would soon learn that I was not only far from being alone, but I wasn't at the top either.

I learned that the best kind of leaders are the ones that put themselves on the bottom in order to serve those they lead. This service leadership allows you to have the main goal of putting those you lead first and make decisions with their best interest in mind.

They recognize that they don't know everything and surround themselves with people who are smarter than they are.

Good leaders aren't afraid to ask for help when needed. I was always the person that thought that I needed to do everything myself. I was proved wrong when the workload became too much and I eventually had to say no.

Lastly, a good leader recognizes when it is the right time to let others take the lead. They won't be able to grow if you don't give them the room to. It is important to trust that you lead them successfully and they are able to do the job well.

The greatest happiness I received as a leader was seeing others succeed. Whenever my writers were able to express themselves perfectly in an article and they were proud to have it published, that gave me the best feeling. I would even joke about feeling like a "proud mom" whenever one of my writer's had a viral article. Even though I still submitted weekly content that I was proud of, there was nothing better than pushing them to do their best and seeing them succeed.

So, all in all, as long as you have passion for the team and work with them to reach the end-goal, leading leaves you far from being alone.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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