Tuesday, December 9, 2008

What Makes Some People Leaders and Others Not?

About two weeks ago, the Public Relations department here at the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County sent out a press release about my acceptance in the ALA EL program. To my knowledge, the story has been printed in three township papers and our own library newsletter.

Initially, this publicity made me feel strange. While excited and happy that my (positive) news had been publicized, I also wondered what others might now expect or believe about me. I wondered, "What do I expect and believe about myself?"

On one hand, I feel knowledgable and confident as a new Children's Librarian, and I have always liked to immerse myself in activities that I enjoy.

On the other hand, I am still learning and perfecting my practice, and outside of Children's Librarianship, there are subjects where I have yet to understand the basics. Additionally, I label myself as an introvert. To me, part of this label means that occasionally I have to push myself to socialize.

For a moment (while considering the publicity), I had created this picture of a Leader who was extremely out-going and social ... someone who always knew the most efficient, clear, and appropriate response ... someone who was ... not me.

While it is not strange to me that I have participated and do participate in leadership roles, it seems bold to refer to myself as a Leader. The term "Emerging Leader" is more manageable, since it gives me some space to grow.


When I think of historical or present day Leaders, attaining the eventual title "Leader" seems presumptuous. There's so much that goes into the creation of a Leader ... so many kinds of Leaders ... so many motivations for individuals to become Leaders ... It is interesting to wonder about the individuals who are recognized as Leaders as well as the group of individuals who have recognized him or her.

To comfortably attain the title of "Leader," I would need to decide what kind of Leader I want to be, truthfully determine my motivation for being a Leader, choose who I would want to lead and work with, and then be accepted and recognized by this chosen group.

I've just started reading Awaken the Giant Within by Anthony Robbins, and I think it will help me address these professional questions in addition to other personal issues and goals.

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