Having around 70 members behind me, all of whom expect me to have answers to whatever questions they have; having very smart people in my team who are constantly challenging me as a team leader with their feedback, with their questions, with their comments, with their attitude; having external people for whom I am the face of the organisation and who may be sceptical about AIESEC at first…
It all puts quite a high pressure on a person. You just cannot afford yourself being weak, not knowing answers, being late, not fulfilling your promises.
At the same time, as a trainer in European Youth (euroopa.noored.ee) I have to prove myself as a person who is able to create learning room for whatever people I have in front of me – from 16 to 26 years old, from hyperactive to the ones who do not say anything, from positive optimists to big sceptics. All of these people are expecting professional training to be delivered. It is not AIESEC, where you can always say that you are still learning…
But I am used to prove myself. In fact, I have had to do it for a long time already.
Let’s take the high-school time. I had rather late physical development and started to grow just when I turned 16-17. So, I was the smallest and the skinniest boy in the class who had troubles with his health and was the weakest in the sports. I hated myself for it.
I went for athletics training. I did sports four times a week for three years. Once I became the first one who crossed the finish line in 1500 meter run in my class. It was THE achievement for me.
As I was small and skinny, the girls didn’t take me too seriously. I was just a funny nice guy for them. I was suffering because of that as any teenager in this age.
I went for classical dances trainings. I danced for 1 year and finally I could dance better than other boys in our high school.
I was a good pupil who got good marks. I had an image of good boy. I hated it. I started to be some kind of hooligan. When I was 16-17, I tried everything possible which is not for mentioning in this blog. Some guys from my former gang are in the prison for a long time at the moment…
But let’s look further – university time. As a guy whose home language is mainly Russian and who graduated Russian-speaking high-school, it was not that easy to study in university in Estonian and to be accepted in community, where general opinion about Russians is not always too positive.
I had to prove myself again. I studied Estonian grammar in addition in the evenings to be able to express myself better. Later on I worked in Estonian newspaper and news agency.
When I was 18, I could not speak English, as I didn’t study it in the high-school. But majority of the materials in my faculty were in English. I took additional courses and studied it in English.
I am able to keep my blog in English now :)
There are many more examples like that. I am sure everyone has had such moments.
But what unites all these moments for me is that I could prove that I CAN do it to the others and to myself.
I hope that I will be able to prove myself as a leader this time as well.
But one thing is sure – applying for and getting position of AIESEC Estonia President’s has been one of the (THE?) most right choices in my life so far…