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Leadership myths #3: Leadership – only for some? February 16, 2012

Posted by Chris Garbutt in Leadership.
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By Kamilah Apong

Leadership is often seen as a kind of idea that belongs with fancy lecture conferences, big podiums, and long speeches. This can seem pretty intimidating to anyone who is not a professor, president, CEO, or other fancy title. I know the idea of being a leader and having to accomplish all kinds of fancy things was intimidating to me. However, it doesn’t work that way.

Leadership is more accessible than we think! You don’t have to have fifteen degrees or a lot of money and job experience to lead. You simply need to have the courage to share your own stories. And you don’t need to have a million people there to hear it, or even one. You don’t need to have it written down and proofread, or said into a microphone. All you really need is yourself.

A great example of accessible leadership is the EMPOWER project. I worked with them this past year. This project was a group of youth who had a lot of stories to share about sexuality, being street involved, racial identities, and more tough stuff that they wanted to share. They shared their stories through home-made videos that they learned to create and edit themselves (with some friendly help from a few video experts!). These individuals didn’t use fancy conferences with podiums, but definitely got a STRONG message across about perseverance, courage, and resilience. These qualities are all part of leadership. Their messages can now be shared with people all over the web, in hopes to spark new stories of accessible leadership for all.

See for yourself!

Kamilah is a 3rd-and-a-half year student studying Equity, Women and Gender Studies, and Sexual Diversity Studies. She enjoys taking long walks on the beach while simultaneously handing out free condoms to people.


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