Throughout our AIESEC journey we face many obstacles and challenges. At first, they seem scary and overwhelming, but after overcoming these we feel more empowered, capable and motivated to face more. In this article we’re going to talk about AIESEC’s leadership development qualities and how they are important in and out of our AIESEC journey.
There are four leadership qualities that AIESEC aims to develop in their members and future leaders. These are being Global citizens, self-awareness, solution oriented and empowering others.
Each person can have one or two qualities that they already possess or have strengthened through their past experiences but AIESEC wants every member to have all four. We do this through the many leadership opportunities provided to members and the option to go exchange, volunteering or working in another company abroad. Aside from this, we also have conferences all around the world with AIESECers from various countries attending, befriending, and creating partnerships with their colleagues. This is how we’re encouraged to be global citizens. By being global citizens we become aware of issues and problems faced by our fellow AIESECers in another country, and the solutions they bring with them.
Next, is being self-aware. This shows how much we know ourselves, from our strengths and weaknesses, to our likes and dislikes. We know what we’re like when we’re stressed or hungry or frustrated. With this knowledge, we can accurately gauge skills we need to further develop, and personality traits that we need to moderate. This brings with it an awareness of our environment as well, and how this affects us. Self-awareness coupled with self-reflection allows for a better exploration of what we want, what we want to achieve, and what we want to change.
The third quality is about being solution-oriented. We as leaders need to be able to look at a situation objectively and decide what the best course of action should be. However, this doesn’t mean that we’re the only ones responsible for this, or that our ideas are automatically the best. In finding solutions, we also have to be willing to listen to our peers. This can be easily seen in the situation we’re facing now. Most of us are in areas that have been placed in lockdown, we can use this time to self-reflect. We can figure out what we need from ourselves to make it out of this without negatively affecting our mental, emotional, and physical health. Whether it’s trying out new recipes, starting on a very long to-read list, or just being kind to ourselves and watching Netflix all day, we’ll find a way to cope during these stressful times. Being solution-oriented isn’t just about external problems but about internal ones as well.
The last quality is empowering others. It’s in our nature to help others succeed and make them happy. This can be as simple smiling at a stranger, or supporting your friend as they stand up for themselves and fight for what they believe in. It’s creating a safe space so people know they can run to you if they face any form of discrimination from others. It’s calmly explaining to a teacher or family member the intricacies of the social issues of our time, so your younger family members or classmates learn and can be inspired to take action against it too. To empower others is to live with integrity, kindness, and empathy, which can be difficult in an increasingly divided world. It’s being willing to lead by example and try to inspire action and recognizing that sometimes you need help and encouragement too. As AIESECers, we always want to create positive change and impact.
Let’s take heart from the words of the amazing Jane Goodall when she said:
“Young people, when informed and empowered, when they realize that what they do truly makes a difference, can indeed change the world.”