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My Biggest Leadership Mistakes

Leadership is always taught as something that is learned over time. Leaders aren't born overnight. The best way to learn true leadership is to make mistakes. I have made quite a few mistakes, but I became a better leader because of them. A few especially stand out to me. 

One of the most valuable mistakes that I made and learned from was that I have too much pride. This big mistake was made last summer at a camp for the Civil Air Patrol. It was an extremely fun Leadership Reaction Course. One of the courses was to get people from one side to the next without touching the ground, and I was nominated to be the leader. As a result, I didn't want to listen to others and did what I wanted, even if they had good ideas. Thankfully, I quickly learned that I needed to stop and listen, and I still remember that lesson and apply it today. 

Another hard lesson that I learned was how to delegate properly. The best way to delegate is to play to everyone’s strengths. But instead of taking that into consideration, I just gave things out at random and made sure everyone had a job. In hindsight, this was just a disaster waiting to happen. It caused a lot of upset team members and not a lot of cooperation.

My last mistake was not following up on team members. This is important in making sure everyone has understood and completed their part of the work. This mistake was made most recently during this past school year. In one of my classes, I had a project where my team members and I each had to do a small chunk of research. The project was completed successfully, but it was nerve-wracking not knowing if my partners would be done on time. 

All of these mistakes have not only made me a better leader, but also a better person. What made them especially meaningful was being a military child. Instead of learning from them but not being able to apply them, I can apply what I've learned to be a respected leader when leaving a base and going to a new one. 


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