October 1, 2012
Before the Mayors Youth Leadership Council (MYLC) I was not able to work in groups well. I was not able to trust or rely on people in my group, I was the individual that always wanted to take charge and run the show. I realize that this way of working was stopping me from progressing as a leader. My perspective was narrow in focus and I needed to change. Bobby Digi the CEO of Island Voice told me “Naflan you are a good leader and you are still young. You need to keep an open mind and when you do this everything will become clearer”. I began to listen more and step down from the stage. Helping other individuals step up is true leadership.
One of the lessons I did at the MYLC was listing the significance of items on a space trip. One of NASA’s tests required an individual to order items from greatest to least. Your ship landed 200 miles away from the mother ship. You are out of fuel and it is a two week journey to get back to the mother ship. You have 15 items… air tank, food, water, dried milk, parachute, gun, inflatable raft, flare gun, map, compass, radio etc. I thought this was an easy task when doing it alone. Then everyone paired up and came to a consensus, this was a little more challenging due to different views. Through this however I kept an open mind and listened to my partners. Then all 20 members of the group needed to come to a consensus on the order of the list. This did not go well. People were shouting and a majority of the people wanted to step up, while the listeners were stepping down. The discussion became male dominant and when the group realize this was not working we picked a facilitator and began our process of ordering the list again. Everyone came to a consensus that an inflatable raft was the least useful object on the list. One individual stepped up and said he believes otherwise. He justified that the inflatable raft can be used to propel you faster than walking. This changed the perception of everyone in the group as well as mine. This experience showed me that consulting with a group can make situation less difficult and will allow me to see things differently. In order for me to progress as a leader I need to be a team player, keep an open mind, and listen.