Gaining leadership skills is a huge goal of mine in every endeavor, especially my summer internship. The goals that I have set for myself, both in my professional and personal lives, involve me exhibiting powerful leadership skills, and the confidence that comes along with having such leadership skills. I try to gain insight on leadership skills in any situation I may find myself in, and always take notes, either in my head or on paper, on any pointers I find helpful, or not helpful.
A summer internship is where I find that I can expand and enhance my leadership skills the most. The space in which I learn the most about leadership skills is meetings. In a meeting, I watch carefully on how the leader of that meeting or presentation gathers the attention of the room, facilitates the conversation, and engages with the individuals in the room. I admire a leader that knows how to efficiently make use of time, makes a smooth transition between subjects, and keeps a meeting entertaining yet informative. I watch how a leader carries a meeting when there are 5 people, and when there are 30, and note the differences between meetings with varying numbers of attendees. I have also been careful to note how some leadership styles are not successful, or wouldn’t work for me. For example, I have been to a meeting where the leader him or herself shows up 10 minutes late, a meeting where there was no agenda set, and meetings where there is disagreement, and there is no arbitration by the leader. These meetings make me cringe! But at the end of the day, they are learning experiences, and spaces for me to develop my own leadership style.
I also have met with individuals at Digitas who can give me personalized advice for developing leadership skills. In fact, every meeting I have had with individuals at the company, whether they were a project manager or a creative strategist, I ask what leadership advice they have for me. I have been given the privilege at my halfway point to lead meetings! I read the notes I have taken on leadership skills before meetings, and be sure to implement those during my time as leader.
My goal is to learn as much as possible not only about the world of media planning, but about being a leader in various spaces.