Leading the Pack and Giving Thanks

Hey NGC teams, allies, and friends,

This is Ashley Mentzer, one of NGC’s team mentors. I attend ASU as a sophomore and I’m a Secondary Education English major, hoping to teach high school literature. You may be wondering, how did I come to land such a sweet job? I’ve been involved in some aspect of NGC since 2006 (dang!), from being a new member of a team to being a team leader, from serving on committees to volunteering at NGC events. All of these things range in degrees of leadership, but even if you’re a partner or a collaborator in a decision, you’re involved in a leadership action.

Many people get nervous when they think about leadership, as if it’s something you can’t tame, or a vague task they don’t know how to even start on. My advice? Lead from the bottom up and serve your team. I borrowed this idea from The Contrarian’s Guide to Leadership by Steven Sample, and I think it’s a characteristic of a good leader that you can implement today. Essentially, you should spend about 10% of your time doing things a typical boss does, like submitting paperwork and making sure you’re prepared for team meetings. The other 90% of the time you spend on your team should be devoted to making sure that you’re surrounded by the best possible teammates  you can be. Spend your time on team development and skill building, quick and appropriate feedback, and doing everything possible to help your team members grow and succeed. This doesn’t mean you have to make sure every aspect of what your teammates do is right, but empower them by trusting that the job they do is good. I hope you take this advice to heart, and I firmly believe that you can make a powerful, positive difference in your experience as a New Global Citizens team leader by directing positive attention and energy to the other awesome, dynamic people interested in supporting such a cool, youth-powered organization.

Being a team mentor is a privilege that should not go unrecognized–as a staff member I am treated with respect, kindness, and my ideas and opinions are valued. Pretty neat for a young person, huh? I strongly encourage you to stay connected with NGC through your team mentor, but also after you graduate as an Alumni member. I’ve been exposed to some awesome opportunities through my alliance with New Global Citizens and I’m proud to invest my time into something that makes a positive, sustainable change in the world.

I love my job and I’m so lucky to see the beauty in the world every day because of it.

Peace, love, and NGC,

Ashley

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