The last assignment we gave to our Women in Leadership course was to write a leadership manifesto which expressed students’ commitments to themselves and others. While being a co-instructor of the course meant the assignment wasn’t for me, I drafted my own as well.
I wrote those 100 or so words, and then, because I am both the teacher and the student in this, I found myself writing comments in the margin:
- That’s a whole lot of I statements and really leadership is not just about me. It’s about working with others and committing ourselves to something greater than our individual interests.
- Why does there need to be a table? That’s still enforcing this idea that there are limited seats. Part of my manifesto should be about creating a leadership picnic where there are no chairs (or titles) needed.
Even as someone who teaches a course in Women’s Leadership, holds a title at William & Mary, and went through multiple leadership programs as an undergrad, I’m still tweaking my answers. That’s because leadership doesn’t require a title, but it does require learning, both about how you will express leadership and what your leadership will lead to.
I’m grateful that at William & Mary I get to keep learning new answers and editing my old ones.