Over the next couple of months, City Year Boston senior corps members will be contributing their own insights to the City Year Boston blog. This week’s theme is “Learning to Lead.” Senior corps members share their experiences on what it takes to be a leader, from how far they have come, to where they want their journeys to take them. Today, Maurice J. Tobin Team Leader Aaron Canto shares his own take on Charlie Rose’s advice to all senior corps members from Summer Academy.
In the vast vault of City Year icebreakers and warm-up games, the one that I look forward to the most is crafting a “Top 10” list. Whether its creating a list of your “Top 10 All-Time Favorite Albums” or the “Top 10 Things You Wish To Accomplish During Your Year Of Service,” I always enjoy not only making my list, but getting the opportunity to learn about other people’s interest, ideas, and beliefs.
During Summer Academy, the two week long summer conference at Northeastern University for all senior corps members and staff throughout the City Year network, Charlie Rose enlightened us on what he believes to be the most important characteristics and qualities of a leader.
The list provided great insight on how to effectively lead and is something that I will strive to emulate while I serve as a Team Leader at the Maurice J. Tobin Middle School in Roxbury.
Without further ado, here is, in my opinion, an excellent Top 10:
1.) Walk the Talk—Role model for the Corps, because what they see from their leadership, they will emulate in their service.
2.) Admit Mistakes—If you do not make at least one mistake a day, you are not putting yourself out there enough.
3.) Be A Good Listener—We have two ears and one mouth for a reason.
4.) Support Each Other—Service is tough, and in order to get through the tough times, it is important to share in each other’s successes.
5.) Be As Intentional And Authentic As Possible—Be who you are and be willing to share yourself with others.
6.) Be Present—Live in the moment. Everyday is a chance to do something great or impact a student’s life.
7.) Enjoy It—While service is demanding and stressful, enjoy the simple joys that you receive from your team or the students you work. They are your support system.
8.) Find Balance—Don’t stress yourself with work. While the work we do is essential, make sure to find time for yourself. Personally, I find my balance in a nice block of cheese and some smooth jazz in the background.
9.) Try Not To Take Everything Personally—Feedback is important to our service. In order to become an effective leader, you must be willing to accept your weaknesses and be willing to work on them.
10.) Try To Capture It—Take pictures or write a blog about your experiences. The ten months of service goes quickly, so have something concrete so that you can remember it.
In order to provide effective leadership in our service and in the workplace, it is essential to implement as many of these elements as possible. Although the fundamental rule of a “Top 10” is to list what you feel are the 10 most important things, I extend the comment section to anyone who would like to add more to this list, because as we all know, there are many styles to leading effectively.