Learning to lead as a young woman
(As soon as I find the dance card, I’m putting a photo of it HERE.)
I was looking for something online today when I discovered this article on teaching youth to lead. Carol F. McConkie’s experience made me think back to when I had a calling to lead in my Young Women’s class. I don’t remember what I did very much. I do remember sitting in meetings and planning how we could help the young women in my class. And even more than that, I remember how my leaders loved me and helped me feel that I was a really good leader. I don’t know that I was a good leader, but I felt that they had confidence in me. And that made a big difference!
One of the blessings that came from leading in church was that I knew what to do in other leadership situations, such as my high school student council. But I also learned lessons serving in those leadership capacities as well.
I remember one lesson well. I was Junior Class President, and we were organizing Junior Prom. I was really excited about our theme, “When the Clock Strikes Midnight,” which was a Cinderella theme. We were ordering a special glass slipper to give to the Prom queen, and I designed special dance cards just for the occasion. My friend was in charge of some area of planning–I don’t remember what it was. I knew, I think from my church youth leadership experience, that in planning, it is important to delegate assignments. What I hadn’t learned was that once you delegate, you need to let that person make the decisions. My friend let me know when I was overstepping her delegated leadership. At first I was surprised wth her feedback, but then I realized that she was right! I needed to let her do her job! I had been micromanaging without realizing it. That experience opened my eyes to the importance of honoring others’ contributions and allowing them to do what they are asked to do.
I am so grateful for the Young Women and Young Men leaders in my local congregation who counsel with my sons and daughters in their church responsibilities. I know that they are beginning to learn very important lessons that will help them the rest of their lives!