Whenever I think of a leader, I think of someone who has great power, who is confident, and someone who is outgoing. I've always been more on the shy side and never thought that I would be cut out to be a leader. In my college years, I was thrown into these smaller leadership roles in my classes due to group projects and it was very intimidating.
I was always the follower and now I was suddenly the one in the charge, the one everyone had to listen to. Would they actually listen to me? Would they try and walk all over me? Would I fail?
All these questions rushed through my mind, but I had to tell myself that it would happen. I succeeded and this was just a small taste of what was to come just two years later. I was offered the editor-in-chief position on this very team I still write for and while I was extremely grateful and happy, I also was nervous and doubting myself... and also a little scared.
I had never managed a team of people before. I was on this FGCU Odyssey team for about two years at this point, and suddenly the people who worked alongside me had become the people I would lead.
Female leaders always have this negative connotation about them due to the fact that they are labeled as "bossy." This always leads people to say that us women are "b*tches" because we are being assertive and standing our ground. I did not want to come off that way at all, I hate being mean to people.
If people were late with an article, not communicating with me, etc., I had to be the one to confront them about it and I always tried to do so in a way where they felt like I wasn't being rude. I wanted to be respectful, but also clear and concise.
Being in this EIC position for a year taught me so much. I learned to be more assertive and to be more confident in myself and my work ethic. I learned that even if you're more on the quiet side, you can still be a leader. You can still manage people but keep a level of camaraderie. I loved every minute of it and I think it helped shape me.
If you're doubting yourself and telling yourself that you can't be a leader, that you have to be loud, outgoing, intimidating, don't believe it. That is false. You will get people to listen. Most of all, you will succeed!