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Lily Hicks – Hands off Leadership

At the start of my senior year, I knew that I wanted to make the very most out of my capstone experience. I went into the class with an open mind and set my sights on expanding my leadership capabilities. I applied for the top role in our student run agency, and to my surprise, I got it. Being given the role of Executive Director of Public and Media Relations at Martin Hall Agency hasn’t been easy for me. As a person who likes to take control and manage my time effectively, putting my trust and confidence in someone else to do the job as well as I think I would can be hard! An article on hbr.org reads, “One of the most difficult transitions for leaders to make is the shift from doing to leading,” (Sostrin, 2017). While I consider myself a leader and take pride in the fact that I can organize a group of people into successfully reaching and fulfilling a goal, there comes a time when the workload becomes too much for one person and delegating is a must. It takes communication, collaboration, trust and confidence to hand over the reins, especially if you have a lot of time and energy already invested in a project or event. What I have learned throughout the semester is that if you can find the confidence to share the workload, it’s not only you that wins: the whole team wins. Everybody feels like a team player and takes personal pride in the end result.

Over time, I’ve realized that being a good leader doesn’t mean that I have to do everything myself to make sure it’s done properly. Being a good leader means that I have acquired the skill to be able to recognize hard work, commitment and creativity in other people and to use their skills and potential to support and advance the entire team. An article on inc.com reads, “Your first priority needs to be to learn to let go. Start small, delegating only the smallest tasks, and gradually work your way up. Get to know your team better and improve the trust among you and your co-workers. Take baby steps and know that eventually you will have to let go of your work if you want your team to be successful,” (DeMers, 2015). Throughout the semester, I have acquired the ability to trust the discretion of people who work with me, giving them increased responsibilities and therefore empowering them. In future endeavors, this trust builds confidence that will allow me to delegate even more responsibilities. In turn, by entrusting difficult tasks to others, it allows them to feel valued and capable as a stronger team ethic emerges.It is said that people will seldom let you down if the outcome benefits themselves as much as it benefits you. You both have something to gain for a job well done. I have found that it is important to let the person know specifically why you have chosen them for a particular task. Perhaps the job needs a special skill or talent that this person possesses, like being a good communicator or having a strong public presence. Sharing with my team the strengths and talents each of us bring to the table makes us a stronger agency. A forbes.com article reads, “The more you develop others, the more you are able to move up, taking on more challenges and opportunities in the organization to develop yourself,” (Fouts, n.d.). At Martin Hall Agency, we truly are all in this together, and working towards an end goal, sharing the workload and delegating tasks makes us so much stronger in the long run. Teamwork really does makes the dream work. 

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