Leadership

On the campaign, I am learning quickly what it means to me to be a leader. I think that a leader should have three key qualities: they should inspire people, they should be available and willing to teach, and they should be able to give their people the necessary tools and information so that they can operate independently.

I think many of these aspects came into play especially in my department, where I was working on a field program that largely relied on volunteers, fellows, and others being trained on a set of skills, and then being able to do that work independently and remotely. We had volunteers across the country and had to not only create guides to help them learn on their own how to use the different programs we used to contact voters, but had to ensure we were able to explain the protocols succinctly and clearly, and of course be on call to help talk them through issues.

I was once hosting a phonebank with about 45-50 people, most of whom had never in their lives phone-banked before, especially not using the dialer system that we had set up. Many of them were older people who had no experience with technology, and so there was much patience to be had in that situation. Myself and my fellow organizers gave a demonstration at the beginning, and then ensured we were available to answer any questions folks had. At the beginning, I spent my time running around helping people get set up who needed help or had questions, but by the end most people had gotten into the swing of things and I was able to settle in the make some calls myself.

I witnessed many examples of true leadership while on this campaign, by some truly talented and inspiring people, and as I led my own team of fellows and volunteers, I got to display my own leadership skills as well.

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