Darich is one of our Nicaraguan participants. He decided to write a reflection about the four days spent in iLeap in December, covering topics such as self-awareness, triggers, and social enterprise. Darich wanted to write about his experiences and takeaways from the workshop–in his own English!:
Being a leader is not just about having followers or dictating orders about what, why or when to do something. Being a good leader is about knowing what is happening into yourself and how that affect to yourself and your surround.
Almost four months have passed from we came to Seattle, and it has been an amazing time to meet new people, learn English at the college, know new cultures, but above all it’s been a time to learn new skills about Leadership. The most important point of this program, which we are (Darlyn, Ever, Farid, María, Yomara & me) involved in, is to form true leaders capable to serve and lead in our NPH homes. More than a program to learn English, it’s a leadership program.
Workshops, retreats, and visiting some organizations have just been some of the activities which we have had to get the necessary knowledge to understand and learn how to be a good Leader.
One of the most amazing and helpful experiences that we have had to understand in a better way what does mean being a Leader, it has been the visit of four days in iLEAP. For a better understanding, iLEAP is an organization which its purpose is to create more social justice and equity in the world and to lift up and sustain the community-based leaders who are the center of social change. iLEAP believes that, if we grow, transform, and connect these people that it will lead to stronger communities, countries, and less human suffering in the world.
These days that we spent in iLEAP were more than a nice time. It was a time to share and learn how to trust in ourselves to be a true leader in our NPH homes, families, countries and our own lives. As leaders and pequeños, all of us have different stories and different skills which make us unique. Therefore, it is really difficult to take the right decisions when you are not conscious about what could be the effects of our actions. I consider, that is the reason why iLEAP is very focus in the Self-Awareness to be a good leader.
Also being in iLEAP, I learned that leadership is not only about yourself; it is also about how to work with other people. For this, it’s necessary to build trust, but how do you build trust? Trust is built by a little at a time; learning to trust to each other, and always reminding that everyone has something important and different to give.
It’s important to remember that Father Wasson dreamt to see pequeños leading in NPH houses, but the thing most important was to see pequeños really worried and committed about looking for the best for his kids, for his family. Now, it’s our time to learn how to be a good leader. Therefore, it is not easy because everyone has different stories which many time stop us to follow and be good leaders. That’s why I believe it’s really important the Self-Awareness.
Knowing about ourselves makes easier to identify our strengths and weakness. This, at the same time, makes us aware about our own decisions, and how this impact our surroundings. Father Wasson said: “It is surprising what you can do in a lifetime if you just do it a little at a time”.
During the time in iLEAP, we were talking about the different styles of leadership, and we tried to identify what kind of leader we thought we were. It was interesting to know that everyone has different ways to lead. Some of the guys said that they are directive, others said they are visionary, or strategic, or collaborative. Also, everyone shared what kind of leader would like to be. The truth is that if we want to get something or be a kind of person or leader, it’s not enough wish it. The main key to get what we want is to take actions and work hard for it. Thus, many times, we are not able to do this because we are so confident with ourselves being in our comfort zone that we rather do not take risks.
If we really want to be leaders and learn what we are capable to do, it is necessary to get out of our comfort zone and try new experiences. It does not matter if you make mistakes; this is a way to learn about life and yourself. We have to remember that we grow with every challenge that we take.
Personally, I believe this was a great chance to be trust with myself, but it was also a chance to learn about others and trust on them. And remember, it’s okay to feel afraid sometimes because this is also a way to learn. Feeling afraid, you can encourage to yourself to do things that you probably consider impossible. Taking risks, understanding triggers, having a clear and compelling picture of a desired future, and taking actions are some keys to get a Self-Awareness, and once you are self-awareness you can be a true leader.