How to Be a Leader
It's always been asked in schools, politics, and in TSA CEGs: what are the qualities of a good leader? Through my personal experience with being close to excellent leaders (such as the Florida TSA state officers) and actually being in a leadership position myself, I hope to shed some light on this tricky question.
First off, a leader has to be someone who seems real and tangible. It's hard to relate to someone you only see behind a podium on a stage with bright lights. It's almost like the edge of the stage is a barrier that separates the people on it from the people watching. This is definitely easier to overcome with smaller groups, such as individual chapters. Because you spend so much time together, your fellow chapter members are more like family. But in situations like meetings with the state officers, it's hard not to feel inferior when looking up at them from below. From personal experience, I've felt that when they simply step off the stage and speak on a more personal level, I can relate to them more. So if you're trying to become a leader yourself, try to speak to each individual person on your team and get to know them on a personal level so they see you more as a person and less as an actor.
A good leader also needs to have a certain set of skills in order to achieve success with their team. They need to work well with others, have confidence in what they do, have skill in making plans and executing them, be dedicated and hardworking, and be able to solve problems quickly and efficiently. A leader cannot balk or hesitate at the sight of a difficult task; they must face it head-on. And if they fail, they must embrace the failure, learn from it, and start anew with the wisdom they have gained from it.
Finally, a leader needs to be compassionate. They need to be able to encourage their team, both when things are going well and when they aren't. They need to celebrate their team's successes, and remain positive during periods of failure. A leader needs to understand what it's like to be led. If they have never put themselves in their team's shoes, they will never be able to lead them successfully. Everyone has been a follower at some point in their life. Use your past experience with that to make the proper judgments on how to keep your team moving forward to greatness.