True Adventure is…

Put 40–50 people in a room together for six days and a lot can happen. Friendships created, family formed. Leaders made, visions unearthed, and true adventure had.

Being that May is the month of Adventure & New Experiences, I want to clarify something. An adventure is not…

always certain

something you do to impress others

easy.

It is…

for everyone

risky

thrilling

worth doing.

That room with 40–50 people was the LeaderShape Institute, the leadership retreat I was on this past week with other UofM students.

It was transformative in every sense of the word. I came away from the experience with a support network and ideas about leading with integrity, creating inclusive environments, and turning visions into realities.

Maybe an even more important realization from the week (at least with regards to the Awesome Initiative) is the notion that being a leader is a true adventure.

With leadership, much like with adventure, we are on a rollercoaster with no safety net below.

Being a leader is not…

always certain

something you do to impress others

easy.

It is…

for everyone

risky

thrilling

worth doing.

In high school, I held leadership positions, but these were titles and resume-builders more than anything else because I did not feel like a leader. Rarely was there any risk of my team or I failing. If there was, we never faced the consequences. There was usually a safety net — a teacher to save it when things got messy. And I’m grateful for that. I only wish I would have taken it upon myself to push those boundaries, to step out on my own, to create something that might not work and own it…to be a leader.

It wasn’t until I created Project Passion that I felt like a leader (and a bad one at times). Now, if I perform poorly, it impacts my team and impacts the students we’re trying to reach.

Yesterday, I started my next adventure. I started my new job as a manager at Sweet Kreations, a growing bakery and froyo shop in Battle Creek. If you’ve never been there, I highly recommend you visit sometime :)

As manager, I have an opportunity to apply what I learned at LeaderShape last week. I have an opportunity to lead, to influence a team, to make decisions and face the consequences.

But what about the safety net below? Well, maybe it’s invisible because I don’t see it right now. There’s something beautiful about that. The adventure is real.


In the comments, please share with me:

– what you think true adventure is

– your most important experience as a leader


Originally published at www.awesomeinitiative.org on May 13, 2015.

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