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‘…leadership as a chance to serve the most..’

Books, articles and guidelines may state that good leaders are people who are able to delegate, manage human resources, communicate, has vision and values, who encourages people and get things done, all of which are correct. However, leadership takes more.

The University of Kelaniya Gavel Club sees leadership as a chance to serve the most, as opposed to being served the most. A leader for us is someone who is encompassed with great qualities, embodies talent and maturity and the vision for a great future, but most of all, someone who is good. The success behind the University of Kelaniya Gavel Club is that we never strive to make undergraduates join us, make them speak or even lead. We strive to make undergraduates want to join us, to speak and to lead. For us, a leader is someone who is ours, who we rally around because we want to.

A fundamental understanding of the people one leads is of utmost importance to a leader and throughout our years, this understanding has led us to identify some fundamental factors that may not be focal to make people follow one, but is of paramount value to make people want to follow one.

A leader is not a boss. A leader is one who can be counted with the others and who rises and falls with his/ her followers. He/she represents everybody, so will not make anybody do something that the leader himself/herself is not comfortable with and will not have different sets of rules for one’s self and the others.

No task is beneath the leader. Sweeping the floor, fixing flag posts, carrying the heaviest loads are things that leaders should lead at as well. A leader is the first to arrive to do a task and the last to leave. This is what makes the followers want to be there for the leader and the task.

Take it from Hopper, the villain of Bug’s Life; a kids’ animated movie, “First rule of leadership: everything is your fault.”

However humble and insignificant a leader is advised to be, the leader is the leader and everyone knows it. Therefore, the leader should be aware of his/her symbolic value. This is what makes the leader perform better at tasks, and be there for the followers through good times and bad. This understanding of his/her symbolic value equips the leader with the strength to take the responsibility for all the mishaps of the team, as well as receive compliments on behalf of the team.

The leader faces tests of all kinds everyday; unique and common. But the basic belief that you are your team and your team is you should be able to uplift the leader in facing these challenges. This is what makes a leader a part of the woven system that does not break apart at anything. The leadership taught at the University of Kelaniya Gavel Club to every member who walks in to our gathering seeps through the essence of this.

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