OUR VALUES: ACTIVATING LEADERSHIP

It’s not enough to only know the AIESEC values - values are made to be lived. In this series of articles, we’ll be exploring the six AIESEC values and how we as an organisation and you as an individual can live these values on a daily basis.  

Since we are newbies we heard the word "leadership" everyday everywhere, it becomes our favorite word and we use for everything. But, do we really know what it means and how do we practice it? Obviously, it seems impossible think that leadership can be done by anyone, or we believe that this only can be driven by someone who was born or developed a unique gift.

But fortunately, at AIESEC we find that we are all in the capacity to generate changes leading by example through actions and results, taking full responsibility for developing others. Because many people believe that leadership is having the power to move masses of hundreds of thousands of people, and yes, that can be achieved through this value but also you have to be realistic that if you don't lead yourself you will never be able to transmit your ideas to others. 

We have to step up and take the dreaded reins. The “why” is apparent, the “when” even more so but it is the “how” that most of us fail to understand. If we look around in everyday life, we suddenly realise that the society is full of people who go to work, sit there for eight or nine hours, come back home and repeat the same process every single day (except for weekends). True changes are made by people who decide to leave their comfort zone, challenge themselves to challenge others to generate real changes. Real leaders are those who decide to learn and think differently each day to transform their environment, around a common goal. 

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On a local level, activating leadership is evident as well. LCs empower others in the most casual and simple but challenging ways opening special positions with specific job descriptions for which even new members can apply, and creating rewards and recognitions taking into account the performance of members and how they are generating changes in others. 

Likewise, when a person takes their exchange, is activating leadership because is living new experiences, where this person confronts the world to understand it, to know others with opposing perspectives of life and to learn to know himself. Through all of these experiences we have created a leadership chain that is truly impressive for the world.

"Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others." —Jack Welch

If AIESEC has generated world leaders like Bill Clinton, Kofi Annan, Helmut Kohl, Cavaco Silva, Lech Valessa, Uwe Doerken, Hans Ulrike Maerki, Jack Wadsworth to rockers like Bono, we must stand in front of the world because today we are the world's largest student -based organization. More importantly, we continue to strive toward our original goals and fulfill our mission through exchange and leadership development. We continue to be dedicated to cultural understanding and, by forging a new generation of leaders who are passionate about our causes and a better society.

How do you activate leadership in your daily AIESEC life? Share your stories in the comments below!