“Leadership” has become a word whose frequency buzzes to the point of not being able to hear the word at all. Close seconds in our world of oft-used, sometimes-fulfilled buzzwords in global education, travel and group facilitation are “design thinking”, “paradigm shifting” “innovation” and “sustainability”. Up and coming words like “accompaniment” and “meaningful” will soon take the place of “service” and “empowerment”. Words are simply that. They convey messages to make the non-tangible tangible. And as we attempt to discover the newest and greatest and most grandiloquent means of expression, it is important to instate action that can defend the words we try to embody.
On voyages to other lands and in classrooms, schools and businesses, I have done my best to “facilitate” as opposed to “teach”, to be humble enough to invite varying opinions and perspectives in order for our group or team to create the best possible experience or solution. It is only when we can “walk the talk” that we will be able to become true leaders, people that are willing to see our own strengths and be vulnerable enough to recognize when others can compensate for our limitations. We all have talents that deserve to shine and if we try to “go it alone”, our talents are easily masked by the minutiae of where we don’t excel.
Below is a leadership tool you are welcome to adopt. In the classroom and in the world, I have used this tool, or some variation of it, to elicit accountability and group buy-in to our process, to allow me to step back and others to step forward. Each day, there is an individual or team that is responsible for different aspects of our experience. The below list was created with student travel in mind, but can certainly be adapted to any team scenario. Use it in your classroom, your home, your office, or on your next global adventure to enhance empathy, collaboration and effective leadership.
Use this tool and avoid the urge to uphold the popular terminology that will forever change. Your actions are what will remain in-style. By facilitating true leadership, the positive results on our world will be permanent.
Leader(s) of the Day Responsibilities:
- At the beginning of the day, display the daily schedule, goals and activities and review with the group
- (At the beginning of the day and when needed)
Choose a ‘word of the day’
- This word can be intention-setting or something helpful in the host community or new setting
Choose a ‘question of the day’
- Choose a question that will elicit thought and can be referred at any time, particularly when reflecting
- How is everyone doing?
- Hold up fingers 1-5. If you are 1-3, look to 4-5 to uplift you and vice versa
- Thumbs-up scale for good, somewhere in the middle for not so good, down for not well
- Review daily activities, what could happen and how to be prepared for any potential situation
- Make sure everyone has what they need for the day’s activities
- Help to keep us on time and round up the group when its time to go
Thank and greet whomever is hosting us
- We often have to “say words” when we arrive and depart any given place. This is a great chance to practice speaking in front of a group and speaking from the heart
Help to organize/clean
Make sure everyone in the group is present, on time and healthy!
- Check the premises of wherever we are to be sure we have everything/all trash is picked up, etc.
Lead Closing activity
- Choose next day’s leaders
- Answer ‘Question of the Day’