SUCCESSFUL LEADERS inspire others getting ahead with leadership, humility and zeal
story // Aiste Manfredini Photos // the climate reality project / Ricardo Lopez / aiste manfredini
s I sat amid 1,200 climate activists in a noisy conference room, patiently waiting for former Vice President Al Gore to speak at the 23rd Climate Leader training, I felt nervous, but relieved knowing that I wasn’t sitting alone as a young leader. This being my first leadership conference, I didn’t know what to expect but was excited to be part of the global cultural movement that is trying to take action during our climate crisis. During the three-day training I was surrounded by hundreds of people from places as close as Chicago and as far as Dhaka, Bangladesh. A variety of inspirational speakers at the conference included the Climate Reality Project’s Maggie Fox and Mario Molina, the National Wildlife Federation’s Larry Schweiger, Jonah Sachs, storytelling specialist and co-creator of The Meatrix; and outstanding Kim Wasserman, who helped lead the successful campaign to close down Chicago’s two killer coal plants. One week later I found myself in San Francisco attending the Global Brigades Student Leadership conference at the University of California at
20 // BALL BEARINGS
Berkeley. There I learned how to empower members in my Global Brigades chapter at Ball State, an organization that is devoted to global health and sustainable development. I was immediately moved by Orion Haas, former director of mobilization at Global Brigades, when he spoke about leading through the art of inspiration. Haas urges students to practice passion, clarity and direction throughout their journey as a leader. Taking the extra steps to attend both conferences wasn’t easy¬–mentally or financially¬–but those steps encouraged me to take advantage of my collegiate leadership opportunities, which shape decisions that I make today and will make in the future during my career. It’s crucial for us to lead and take advantage of as many opportunities as possible while they’re available. Because come graduation, we’ll be at the bottom again. If that disappoints you, don’t let it, because there’s a powerful and valuable life skill that employers look for during the interview process but often struggle to find: which is the ability to lead.
Published on Nov 4, 2013
Published on Nov 4, 2013
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