Updated: Sep 18, 2019
Sometimes when need to stand on our heads to get a different perspective in life!
Torres’s Ted Talk reminds us how challenging it is in elementary school to be different when effective leadership is not present.
"Ignite the fire within [to do the] opposite to those that are [different than] me."
I was not the best student in elementary school per my report card which was the feedback that came from my teachers who I, at a young age, defined as a leader. I frequently visited the Principal’s office because I “challenged” my teachers on ideas that did not make sense to me. To attempt to think outside the box when the education system forces alignment to curriculum rather than fostering new ways of thinking in a critical time of growth concerns me as an adult and ignited a fire within to became a teacher that was opposite to those that previously instructed me. I initially assumed that a leader in this case, the teachers, would guide me through what the education system wanted me to grow or to see a change in their students thought process.
By asking questions and challenging a norm that Torres (2013) commented on being “courageous enough to abandon a practice that made you successful in the past” (7:29) can be a great strength for a leader. This experience was not the case as my educators were bound to the guidings of the curriculum set out by the province. Rather, the teacher would focus their energy on students who followed the teachings, and I was ‘pushed’ through the elementary system.
Locate the "blind spots" of your thinking.
Similar to Torres view on leaders, Dickenson, M.W., Castano, N., Magomaeva, A & den Hartog, D.N. (2012) provided their context of a leader as, ‘the ability of an individual to influence, motivate, and enable others to contribute toward the effectiveness and success of the organizations” (pg 386 para 5). This definition indeed reinforced my view of a leader because of how empowering, at a crucial moment for that leader, it is to seek out individuals who are opposite to their views. When you find someone opposite of you, you can locate the "blind spots" of your thinking.
My belief of leaders now as, daring to be different, a statement used in Torres TedTalk, ignites a passion for leaders to creates a challenge for themselves to celebrate their uniqueness is important for all leaders to share. So, how will you dare to be different and take on a new obstacle with a different point of view?
Dickson, M. W., Castano, N., Magomaeva, A, & den Hartog, D. N. (2012). Conceptualizing Leadership across Cultures. Journal of World Business, 47(4), 483-492. DOI: doi:10.1016/j.jwb.2012.01.002.
Torres, R. (2013). What it takes to be a great leader. TED Talk, 2013. Downloaded from:https://www.ted.com/talks/roselinde_torres_what_it_takes_to_be_a_great_leader?language=en
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