As part of Kouku leadership programme we were asked to outline our leadership journey thus far. This highlighted to me the fact that leadership is not just in the workplace, but in family and community roles too.
As a teenager I was involved with my church’s youth group, which lead to me being asked to assist as a cabin leader at El Rancho children’s camps in school holidays.
I then went on to become a youth group leader, which I mostly remember as being embarrassed to ask for rides home from parents as I didn’t have my drivers licence yet.
When I left school I trained as a primary school teacher, which involves student placements and lots of practice at leadership. However when I graduated I didn’t get a teaching job and ended up returning the library I used to shelve in as a full time (ish) library assistant.
A couple of years later I went to the USA for a couple of months as a summer camp counsellor, and that experience put me off teaching.
A year later I became a parent, which is another whole leadership challenge in itself!
During my years at the public library I was seconded to work as a branch librarian to cover a maternity leave position, and I think this was my favourite time there. I was in charge of the collection, the holiday programmes, school visits, story times, etc. I love branch libraries, and am continuing to look for roles like that.
My next leadership role was being nominated for union representative for the council. This was an interesting experience, and I found the training provided by the PSAPSA very useful and informative.
In my work, I have been gradually given more leadership responsibilities such as organising the desk roster, interviewing and training new employees.
My most recent leadership role was going from not even a formal member of a group to being nominated as the chairperson. This was quite a shock and I was unprepared (and still pretty uninformed) about what this would involve, and I admit to struggling to get the group together for meetings, etc.
And now I’m doing the leadership development programme and am learning a lot about myself and how to work better with others.