My Experience as a Group Leader

Leadership is an art of motivating a team to act towards achieving a common objective. It is an important trait that everybody is able to develop and apply in our daily life. However, to be a kind and influential leader, one needs to acquire and possess the strengths of leadership which lead to the traits of leadership. In IBC, the students are grouped into teams and each team will be assigned a task which shall benefit the residents’ daily life in IBC. In this case, the team led by me was assigned the task of gardening and farming. I am so excited to be given this post because I like to be trained on leadership program. Therefore, as the team leader, I have to lead my team members on how to farm organic vegetables.

Firstly, I realized that dictatorship is an ineffective way of leading people because the person controls all the decisions and takes little inputs from team members. Thus, this type of leader order others to do what he wants by his power or position, This is not the right strategy to become an inspired leader and earn the respect from his team members. On the other hand, good leaders believe respect is earned than given. Leaders who deliver know how to motivate and encourage people to accomplish a goal without coercion. Decision made is based on input from the team. To carry out a project successfully, sharing workload within team members is important and give recognition to team members when it is due. In this case, team members are being inspired to work together to achieve team’s goal. All human beings desire to be recognized. If a person makes one’s team members feel that way, he is able to influence other people to work for him. Additionally, the most potential for human beings is contentment. A person chooses where to live or work is due to the environment and one’s satisfaction. If the cordial conditions are met, one can settle anywhere. Therefore, the most important skill for a leader is to motivate others.

Secondly, I have learned some methods of how to grow organic vegetables. Nowadays we cannot fully trust the vegetables that we bought from the markets because they may use chemicals which are harmful to our health. For this reason, it would be better for IBC to set up our own self-sufficient farm to grow organic vegetables and fruits. Accordingly, IBC has a gardening or farming group which I have learnt a method of planting without using any chemical. For instance, we just dig and prepare the land where we want to plant, and then we plant and use only organic fertilizers such as cow-dung, left-over food, and dried grasses and leaves. It is pretty simple but it works. Our home-grown vegetables are almost enough for the daily need of the IBC community. Besides that, we have learned how to survive this way without the need to buy vegetables from outside.
During the period of the Covid-19 pandemic, self-sufficiency in food is an advantage; so knowing of how to grow vegetables is essential for survival and will help IBC to save money not to buy them from the markets. In IBC, besides attend classes for my degree course and to cultivate myself, I have to participate in team activities such as growing and harvesting organic vegetables for our daily consumption.

Though being a group leader is a trivial position, this is a kind of program for leadership development. I have discovered some of the leadership traits which are essential to motivate team members and other people for advancement now and in the future. In fact, the requirement for students to participate in team activities as part of their curriculum and assigning each group to particular task will promote team work and enhance closer relationship with one’s colleagues. It is such a great vision of IBC management. If this is not so, how could the students know how to solve a problem and handle a challenge in future life?

Report by: Ven. P. Phimmasone