Anda di halaman 1dari 5

ArmeenSayani

February19,2016
SocialJusticeInternship
LeadershipProfile
IchosetointerviewawomannamedAmandaMarkswhoisoneofthestaff
membersinthePersonalEffectivenessProgramatMisericordia.AmandaisthefirstPEP
staffmemberthatIthinkofwhenIthinkofaneffectiveleader.Amandajuststartedher
positionatPEPthisyear,aroundthesametimethatIstartedmyinternship.Injust
severalmonths,IhaveseennumerousqualitiesinAmandathatmakeheraneffective
leader.WhenIinterviewedher,Ilearnedaboutsomeexperiencesshehashadinthepast
thathavehelpedherdevelopintotheleaderthatsheistoday.
Amandasleadershipstorybeganwhenshewasajuniorinhighschool.Shewas
anactivememberinStudentGovernmentandservedasVicePresidentofherclass.
AmandareallyenjoyedherleadershiproleasVicePresident.Herfavoritepartofthejob
wasplanningdifferentschoolevents,suchasprom,andhavingasayinwhatwas
happeningattheschool.Afterhighschool,Amandacontinuedtopursueleadership
opportunitiesincollege.AtBradleyUniversity,AmandawasamemberoftheSigma
DeltaTausorority.ShedecidedtorunforthePanhellenicAssociationatBradleyand
servedasaNewMemberEducatorforhersorority.
Aftercollege,Amandastartedworkingasamiddleschoolspecialeducation
classroomteacherinaselfcontainedclassroomforgrades58.Shehad512
paraprofessionalsinherclassroomandledthemintheirdailyresponsibilities.Managing
paraprofessionalswasnotsomethingthatshewastaughtaboutenoughincollege,sothis
wasachallengingpartofherjob.Asayoungfirstyearteacherwhowasinchargeof
managingparaprofessionals,manywhowereolderthanher,Amandahadtobeassertive.
Shehadtomakesureherideasabouthowshewantedtheclassroomtorunwere
communicatedeffectivelytoallofthestaff.Shealsohadtomakesurethateveryonewas
properlytrainedwiththestudentsIndividualizedEducationalPlansandBehavior
SupportPlans.SomebodywhowasabiginfluenceforAmandaatthisschoolwasher
director.Herdirectorwasateacherformanyyearsandthenmovedontobean

administrator.Amandaalwaysviewedherdirectorasaneffectiveleaderwhohadan
inspiringcareerpath.
Aftereightyearsasateacher,AmandastartedherpositionatPEPthisyear.She
washiredespeciallybecauseofherbackgroundinteaching.Amandasjobtitleis
CampusTrainingandSpecialProjectsCoordinator.Herresponsibilitiesrightnow
includeworkingtohelpPEPgetupandgoingandreevaluatingalloftheresidentswho
cometoPEP.Herlongtermresponsibilitywillbetoleadcampuswidetrainingsfor
Misericordiastaff.Forexample,oneofthestafftrainingsshewillleadisaboutworking
withresidentswithAutism.
AllofthesepivotalleadershipmomentshavehelpedAmandagettowheresheis
todayanddevelopherownunderstandingofleadership.Amandabelievesthatleaders
mustberolemodelsforothersintheirarea.Effectiveleadersmustbepatientandactively
listentootherpeoplesideas,experiences,andconcerns.Effectiveleadersare
understanding,compassionateaboutwhattheydo,knowledgeableaboutwhattheyare
leading,andcollaboratewellwithothers.Atthesametime,effectiveleadersmust
remembertobeassertiveandmakesurethattheworkgetsdone.Lastly,Amanda
believesthateffectiveleadersareoneswhoareabletokeeptheirfocusonthebigpicture.
Effectiveleadersarealwaysenvisioningbiggerthings,thinkingsixstepsahead,andwell
preparedforthefuture.
Intheend,Amandasadviceforemergingleadersistoalwaysstayhumbleand
continuouslytrytobeabetterleader.Onewaytogetbetteristolearnfromotherleaders
andtheirexperiences.Whenfirststartingherteachingjob,manyveteranteacherswere
cautiousofchangeandoftenquestionedAmandasteaching,especiallysinceshehadjust
graduatedandlacked,whattheybelieved,reallifeexperience.Inordertoovercome
thischallengeandcreatebetterrelationshipswithveteranteachers,Amanda,insteadof
believingthatshekneweverythingaboutteaching,respectedandopenlylistenedtothem.
Amandamadeanefforttolistentotheirexperiencesandperspectives.However,shealso
realizedtheimportanceofspeakingupandmakinghervoiceheard,whichisimportant
forallemergingleaderstoremember.
InterviewingAmandagavemethechancetoseehowshedevelopedintosuchan

inspiringleader.Inadditiontoeverythingthatshementionedinherinterview,thereare
severalotherqualitiesthatIseeinAmandathatmakeheraneffectiveleader.Tobegin
with,sheisexcellentatcommunication.Whenevershehasajobformetocomplete,she
willletmeknowrightaway.Shewillgivemeaclearandthoroughdescriptionofthe
task,answerallofthequestionsthatIhave,andguidemeintherightdirection.She
ensuresthatIdontfeelhelplessorlostwhiletryingtodoaproject.Amandaalso
communicateswithmeviaemailwhenevershewantstoaskmesomethingortellmea
tasktodo.SheisaveryapproachablepersonandIamnevernervoustotalktoher,asI
sometimesamwiththeotherPEPstaff,becauseIknowthatshewillbehappyto
communicatewithme.Amandaisalsoreallygreatatcommunicatingwiththeresidents.
Shespeakstotheminaclearvoice,isdirectwithherdirections,andeffectively
communicateswhetherornottheyareshowingappropriatebehavior.Iftheresident
showsappropriatebehavior,Amandawillsaysomethinglike,Ilikethewaythatyoudid
that.Goodjob.Iftheresidentshowsinappropriatebehavior,Amandawillsay
somethinglike,Oh,letsnotdothat.Pleasefocusandstayontask.Iamalways
amazedathoweffectivelyAmandaisabletocommunicatewitheveryonearoundher,
andthatisanessentialleadershipqualitytohave.
AsAmandamentionedinherinterview,shebelievesthateffectiveleadersshould
alwaysfocusonthebigpictureandbesixstepsaheadofthegame.Thisisaleadership
practicethatAmandadefinitelyuses.SinceAmandajoinedPEPseveralmonthsago,she
hasalreadybroughtdrasticchangestothePEPprogram.Asshecomesupwithone
projecttostartforPEP,sheisalreadyenvisioninganotherone.Amandaisfullofnew
andcreativeideas,andsheismotivatedtoputthemintoaction,whichisanimportant
qualityforleaderstohave.Amandaisaneffectiveleaderbecausesheiswillingtochange
upthedailyroutineandchallengetheprocess(KouzesandPosner,2002,p.17),takea
risk,andtrysomethingnew.Accordingtothereading,Leadershaveadesiretomake
somethinghappen,tochangethewaythingsare,tocreatesomethingthatnooneelsehas
evercreatedbefore(KouzesandPosner,2002,p.15).Amandahasevenhelpedcreate
andteachnewclassesfortheresidentstoattendatPEP,implementdifferentbehavior
plansandrewardsystemsfortheresidents,andcomeupwithnewactivitiesforthe

residentstoengagein.
Amandahasalsoassignedmanyprojectstomeaswell,suchaspreparing
ValentineGramsfortheresidentstoassembleduringtheirproductionclassanddeliverto
thegeneralMisericordiastaff,makingvisualrecipesfortheresidentstofollowduringhot
lunchpreparation,andinterviewingalloftheresidentssothattheycanbeprofiledonthe
PEPbulletinboard,whichsheaskedmetorecreate.Amandaenablesmetoactbygiving
medifferentprojects,whichisoneofthebestpracticesofeffectiveleaders(Kouzesand
Posner,2002,p.17).IlovewhenAmandagivesmeanewprojecttodobecausethat
makesmefeellikeshetrustsme.Inaway,sheempowersmeandcommunicatesthat
[she]believesin[my]abilities(CaldwellandDixon,2010,p.94).WhenAmandagives
meresponsibilities,IfeellikeshewantsmetohavearoleatPEPandcaresaboutmy
growthduringthisinternship.
Moreover,effectiveleadersengageallthosewhomustmaketheprojectwork
(KouzesandPosner,2002,p.17),andthatisexactlywhatAmandadoes.Forexample,if
thereisanadjustmentinaresidentsbehaviorplan,AmandainformsmesothatIam
awareofwhatsgoingandbehavewiththatspecificresidentappropriately.Shedoesnot
treatmeasifIamseparatefromorlessimportantthantheactualPEPstaff.When
Amandaengagesmeinherprojects,Ifeelvalued.Infact,researchinrecentyearshas
acknowledgedtheimportanceofaleadershipphilosophythattreatspeopleasvalued
assets(CaldwellandDixon,2010,p.91).BecauseAmandaseesmeasavaluedassetto
PEP,Irespondextremelywelltoherandhavebuiltapositiverelationshipwithher.
Lastbutnotleast,Amandaisaleaderwhoencouragestheheart(Kouzesand
Posner,2002,p.18).Amandaisaveryloving,compassionate,andpositivepersonwho
alwaysencourageseveryonearoundher.Ifaresidentistryingtoaccomplishagoal,
Amandaconstantlygivesthemwordsofmotivation,suchasIknowyoucandoit!or
Yourealmostthere!Keepgoing.EverytimeIcompleteaprojectforPEPorcomplete
ataskthatAmandaasksmetodo,shesaysphraseslikeThankyou,Ireallyappreciate
thatorThatlooksamazing!Byacknowledgingmywork,shemakesmefeel
appreciated.WhenAmandaencouragesme,Ifeelmotivatedtoandcapableofproducing
qualityworkthatshewillbegenuinelyproudof.Accordingtothereading,Genuine

actsofcaringupliftthespiritsanddrawpeopleforward.Encouragementcancomefrom
dramaticgesturesorsimpleactions(KouzesandPosner,2002,p.18).Amandassimple
actionofusingkindwordsmakesmefeellikeIhaveameaningfulimpactonPEP,which
isaveryempoweringandfulfillingfeeling.
WorksCited
Caldwell,C.,&Dixon,R.(2010).Love,Forgiveness,andTrust:CriticalValuesofthe
ModernLeader.JournalofBusinessEthics,93(1),91101.
Kouzes,J.,&Posner,B.(2002).Theleadershipchallenge(3rded.).SanFrancisco:
JosseyBass.