Leading the way

March 14, 2021

I recall it being a chaotic and uncertain situation on the first day of my MBA program’s orientation. The course coordinator invited the whole group to construct a wooden playground for a primary school as a charity project. We were lost because many of us had office and finance backgrounds, and none had any architecture or construction knowledge. The course coordinator gave us two days to complete the project. It was tough. During the early phase, I could have raised my hands, taken the microphone, and led the way. I, on the other hand, sat back and waited for others to lead the way. I was afraid of embarrassing myself on the first day of class because we still had two years together. I have to be self-conscious about being a leader. My classmates were proactive and outgoing. Meanwhile, I was a follower who joined the team because I didn’t want to take on any additional obligations. Moreover, I had a stressful day job. Some students from the class took on the role of leaders, demonstrate confidence as they presented their ideas and allocated tasks to others. I didn’t enjoy nonsense, so I sat and waited for others to speak while getting my hands dirty by silently and rapidly completing tasks. By getting things done, I thought it was a merit.

Looking back three years later, I realize it was a foolish decision, and I wasted an important opportunity to try to stand up and lead the way. As an introvert, I shouldn’t be shy because I have great ideas to share with others. Age, cultural hierarchy, or job title should not hinder me from leading the team. Conflicts arose during the talk, and I should address them rather than avoid them by taking a step back. It was a tumultuous situation full of uncertainties. Others were perplexed and desired that someone would step up to lead the squad, giving them direction, telling them what to do, and giving them instructions. As an individual contributor, I was only able to complete tiny tasks. I could make a lovely wooden slide for the playground, but I wouldn’t build the entire garden with my teammates. Someone is in charge of the merry-go-round, someone is in charge of the swings, and someone is in charge of the wood. To construct a playground for children, we need a division of labour and teamwork are required. It is the leadership that achieves results and success due to a shared community that is important.

My capacity to lead effectively affects my business, social, and personal fulfilment. Leadership is a necessary talent that I can learn so that I don’t have to rely on others to show me the way. Every group in our life necessitates the presence of a leader. I was fortunate in that I was a capable individual. Individually, I can best contribute to society through leadership qualities. Everyone suffered from confusion, misunderstanding, and low production when we couldn’t lead due to anxiety or shyness. Now, more than ever, I must exercise self-confidence in our leadership role in the face of worldwide tensions, concerns, and insecurities. The power I wield is not for my gain; it is motivated by a real desire to help others without being selfish and accepting responsibility for the team’s contentment and enjoyment. It’s about having a sense of strength and power for the team, going forward with confidence, dealing with disputes when things go wrong in the group, and taking advantage of any opportunity to hone my leadership skills. I resolved to turn my biggest flaw into my most valuable attribute. On all sides, there are opportunities to lead. Participate in organizations and volunteer options that require me to lead. Instead of taking the back seat in public meetings, I might be proactive. I could speak up and take charge. Join any group where I can demonstrate my leadership ability aggressively. Unless I lead, lead, lead, and lead. A path to success through leadership is not about my achievement, but about the success of others as part of a larger group.


Profile picture

Experience in software development, application architecture, and deploying cloud solutions for enterprise customers. Strong hands-on skills with a Master's degree in Computer Science and business acumen with a master of business administration (MBA) in Finance. Certified in Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Microsoft Azure, Kubernetes (CKA, CKAD, CKS, KCNA) and Scrum (PSM, PSPO) with experience in building banking products from scratch. Connect on Linkedin

© 2022, @victorleungtw