LiA project with makesense: Week 2 in Mexico City

LiA project with makesense: Week 2 in Mexico City

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What went well?

The progress I made; what was achieved and done

Reflecting on my leadership camp experience in Estacas, Mexico, I am delighted to recall the moments when our team, the Crocodiles, excelled in our collaborative efforts. One particular highlight was our venture into raft building and the subsequent boating competitions. In the past, I had often found myself taking less responsibility in teams where my teammates were supportive and capable of producing exceptional work without my active involvement. However, this time was different. As we embarked on constructing our raft using eight bamboo poles, four horizontally and four vertically, we faced the challenge of securing them with straw ropes. With a total of twelve ties to be made, our trainer took the lead, demonstrating the art of crafting robust ties repeatedly. While other trainers had ceased their assistance, our trainer continued to support us. Inspired by her dedication, I offered to try my hand at making a tie, and with the help of my teammates, I succeeded. Each time, I made adjustments to strengthen the ties further. Although we were the last team to finish our raft, it was a testament to our perseverance and attention to detail. When we set sail on the river, our raft proved to be incredibly sturdy, defying expectations by remaining intact throughout the boating adventure. This achievement showcased the power of teamwork, determination, and the value of learning from a dedicated trainer and supportive teammates.

What could have been done differently?

Things that did not get done and/or could be changed

Reflecting on my experience at the leadership camp in Estacas, Mexico, I can't help but think about the lessons I learned during our time as Team Crocodiles. One particular challenge stands out in my mind, where we had to decide who would take on the extra number in the running game. Looking back, I realize that my initial response was driven by a mix of excuses and a desire to evade additional responsibility. Instead of considering the best solution for the team, I put my own comfort first. However, Taha's swift decision to step in and take the number made me realize my error. In hindsight, I could have handled the situation differently. I should have immediately suggested that the fastest and most energetic team member take on the responsibility. Then, I could have expressed my willingness to participate and take on the extra number if nobody else was capable or willing. This approach would have not only offered a practical solution, but also demonstrated my commitment and responsibility as a team member. It taught me that as a good leader, or even as a member of a team, it's crucial to avoid negative feelings like laziness if we truly want to foster effective collaboration.

What did I learn about myself when working with others?

Contributions, behaviours and values I exhibited

One notable experience occurred during our organization's invitation process, where I collaborated with my initial teammate, Ola. Ola, an introvert known for her patience and excellent organizational skills, proved to be an ideal partner. Together, we swiftly drafted and sent out our invitation email. I found the collaboration immensely enjoyable because Ola actively listened to my ideas and readily shared her thoughts in a manner that was both easy to understand and conducive to effective communication. It became apparent to me that I derived greater satisfaction from working with individuals whom I personally preferred. However, this realization also brought to light an important aspect of my leadership development—I recognized that, at times, I may not exhibit the professionalism required of a good leader. My tendency to gravitate toward teammates whom I have a personal preference for, while avoiding interactions with those I feel less comfortable with, revealed a potential area for growth. The leadership in action program served as a valuable reminder that as a leader, it is crucial to set personal preferences aside and approach collaboration with an open mind, embracing diverse perspectives and fostering an inclusive environment for all team members.

What did I learn about leadership?

Leadership attributes and insights I developed

Participating in the leadership camp in Estacas, Mexico, has provided me invaluable insights into effective leadership's essence. One of the most significant lessons I learned is the importance of improving my professionalism. It became evident that treating all teammates equally is paramount, regardless of personal preferences or feelings. I realized that allowing my personal sentiments to impede communication efficiency and fairness can hinder the overall success of the team. Therefore, I must strive to set aside any negative emotions and actively cultivate a mindset of cooperation, even when faced with fatigue or challenging situations. This experience has highlighted the need to approach collaboration with a positive and proactive attitude, demonstrating a willingness to contribute and engage fully, regardless of personal circumstances. By embracing these lessons, I can enhance my leadership skills and foster an environment that values inclusivity, fairness, and open communication.

What do I want to develop or focus on next?

What I still need to develop

  1. Integrity: A professional leader upholds strong ethical values and acts with honesty, transparency, and fairness. They demonstrate consistency between their words and actions, earning the trust and respect of their team members.
  2. Accountability: Professional leaders take responsibility for their decisions and actions. They own up to mistakes, learn from them, and seek solutions to rectify any issues that arise. They also hold their team members accountable for their responsibilities, fostering a culture of mutual responsibility and growth.
  3. Effective Communication: Professional leaders prioritize clear and open communication. They actively listen to their team members, provide feedback constructively, and ensure that information flows smoothly within the team. They are adept at adapting their communication style to different stakeholders and situations, promoting understanding and collaboration.
  4. Adaptability: Professional leaders embrace change and demonstrate flexibility in the face of challenges. They are open to new ideas, encourage innovation, and are willing to adjust their strategies when necessary. Their adaptability inspires confidence and resilience within the team.
  5. Emotional Intelligence: Professional leaders possess a high degree of emotional intelligence. They are aware of their own emotions and can manage them effectively, avoiding impulsive reactions. They also demonstrate empathy towards their team members, understanding their perspectives and supporting their personal and professional growth.
  6. Lifelong Learning: Professional leaders have a thirst for knowledge and continuous growth. They actively seek opportunities to develop their skills, stay updated with industry trends, and encourage their team members to do the same. They foster a culture of learning and improvement within the team.

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