Working with ambitious college students, I am often amazed at how many of them desire to graduate and immediately be CEO, CFO, CIO, or basically the “chief” of anything. As a person who is a “chief” of something, I sometimes wonder if they really want to lead or if they just want the title. I’ve found that having the “title” of National Director is amazingly wonderful and it can sometimes be heavy because it elicits a lot of feelings from other people that I end up having to deal with.
Some are impressed. I became the National Director of BFDC when I was 24, so for some people that’s an amazing achievement. Additionally, BFDC has consistently grown and is becoming a recognizable and distinct entity and some people are very supportive of that.
Some are unimpressed (and want me to know it 🙂 ). Initially BFDC only had 2 chapters so I got a lot of “yeah right, National Director, you need to just give it up”. Now that we have more chapters it’s “your mission should be more focused on this or that” or “you don’t do enough conventional community service so the organization is useless”. SN: Everytime we help a woman, we have definitely done the community a service!
Some are inspired. They see the work I’m doing and it encourages them to think and dream bigger for themselves. They start to work on doing their own “big” thing and it excites them.
Others are intimidated and/or jealous. I’ve had people say, “well if you’re doing all that, what am I doing?” I’ve lost friends because they think I put BFDC before our friendship, and I even had an ex-boyfriend who thought he couldn’t compete with the organization.
From applying undue pressure, to being downright annoying, sometimes “other people’s feelings” can be overwhelming! Partly because I am confident that none of those people have any idea how much work is really going into it, but mostly because I know they don’t care. They see a title and immediately have their own expectations and ideas about what it should mean. While it would be easy to say “forget them!” or “who cares what they think?!”, when others are trusting you to truly lead , it’s not about doing what’s easy, it’s about doing what’s best. As a result I try to listen to everyone (at least for a little while) even if I’m ultimately not at all influenced by them.
At the end of the day it’s not so much about the title as it is about how comfortable you are with your role, how confident you are with your abilities, and how well you execute for the greater good. I know God is with me, so it’s not hard for me to be FEARLESS but every now and then even my will gets tested. It seems that just when I’m having a moment I’ll get a facebook post or a thank you email (thank YOU Kiara) and I’m reminded of the people who really matter. It’s in those moments that I remember that my work for BFDC is for BFDC, bigger than me, and is an assignment that God has not only trusted me with, but equipped me to handle.
So no worries BFDC sisters – the circle is not to be broken by titles… and neither will I 😉