I want to share what I am learning about leadership from my internship. Majority of my knowledge about leadership that I’ve gained these past several weeks has come from the actions of my supervisor. The main reason why I see him as a paragon of leadership is because of his ability to engage with the marketing director and me and his encouragement for open discussion in the office.
One tactic that he uses for employee engagement is being aware about our strengths and weaknesses. My supervisor frequently assigns me tasks that are tailored to my communication and interpersonal skills. He counts on me for reaching out to the board of directors to regularly update them, corresponding with our donors about financial contributions, and contacting venues and theatres to executive licensing agreements. One weakness of the marketing director is her inability to work in a cluttered and unorganized environment. I guess you could say that she’s a “neat freak.” Our supervisor, on the other hand, is the complete opposite. All throughout his academic and professional career, he has had an abnormal work ethic that thrives in a disordered space – he claims that it “keeps him on his toes.” Nonetheless, being the considerate leader he is, my supervisor remains diligent in keeping the entire office in an orderly condition so that the office’s marketing director operates at the most efficient level.
Not only am I the newest employee in the office, I am also an intern. That said, it’s typical to think that my voice holds less significance because of my position level. My supervisor, however, simply defies that flawed conception. During in-office meetings and conference calls, my supervisor strongly encourages me to express my opinions or concerns about any topic or issue. He believes that my input is possibly the most useful because it shares a different insight from what has been the status quo for the past several decades of the company’s existence. His welcoming and open idea about how the office should function empowers my presence, even though I am only a summer employee, and for that, I feel very lucky.