Five Pillars of LEAP
Leadership is often misunderstood. The definition of a leader is “the person who leads or commands a group, organization, or country.” (Dictionary.com) But while this might be the literal meaning, to be a leader is to show many components often expressed in the five pillars of LEAP. Through understanding the importance of each practice of exemplary leadership, you can become a better leader in your TSA chapter and in the community.
The first pillar of LEAP is “Model the Way”. To model the way is to set an example for others. As leaders are natural role models, they should display a positive behavior for others to follow. In a TSA chapter, you can model the way by making sure everyone meets principles and standards as well as asking for feedback. You can also demonstrate model the way in the community by setting an example for others and following through on promises and commitments.
In addition to “Model the Way”, “Inspire a Shared Vision” is necessary in a community or club. To inspire a shared vision is to have everyone in a community or organization look forward to the same goals and achievements they would like to reach in the future. In a TSA chapter, this can be done by looking ahead and communicating future ideas as well as making sure everyone agrees and supports them. In the community, being upbeat and positive and discussing how the future can be improved can demonstrate qualities of a good leader.
The third pillar of LEAP is “Challenge the Process”. To Challenge the Process is to search for new and innovative ways to improve their organization and community. Leaders must learn to accept that challenging the process it is not easy, and there will be challenges along the way. In a TSA chapter, you can take initiative in experimenting and help others try our new ideas. In addition, you can challenge current skills and abilities and search for innovative ways to improve in the community.
To “Enable Others to Act” is to involve others. Just showing people how to behave and be successful isn’t enough, you must include them and give them mutual respect. Respect is very important in any community, as it allows people to trust each other, which is very important when working on projects. You can actively listen to diverse viewpoints and provide leadership opportunities for others in a TSA chapter. In the community, you can support the decisions of others and simply treat others with respect.
The final practice of exemplary leadership is “Encourage the Heart”. To encourage the heart is to recognize contributions and celebrate accomplishments of members of the community and your TSA chapter. A leader doesn’t just help others succeed, but they acknowledge their accomplishments as well. You can demonstrate “Encourage the Heart” in TSA by expressing appreciation for other’s contributions and recognizing alignment with values. In the community, you can encourage others and celebrate accomplishments.
To be a leader is not just to be in charge. You should set an example for others and demonstrate positive behavior. In addition, you should set shared goals for your community, search for new ways to do things, respect others and celebrate achievements. A good leader not only shows these qualities but teaches others how to be leaders as well. Without leadership, we would not have the amazing TSA chapters that we do today.