By: Blonde One
The World Challenge ethos is to let each of the team take responsibility for themselves and each other. The adventures that they run are very much about learning to be a leader, learning from mistakes and learning to work with others. The trips that they run are not ‘holidays’ but ‘adventures’. Each team member acts as team leader for a day and is responsible for all of the logistics for that day. It might be timings, costs, transport, food, or all of those things.
There are very different ways of making this happen. Some adult leaders will completely stand back and not get involved at all. As long as safety is not compromised, then no assistance will be given, suggestions made or questions answered. This method works well for those that are confident and perhaps have a bit of experience in the particular area. For instance if you have never been to an airport before it is very, very difficult to get 15 people and their bags through without any help from someone more experienced. If success is achieved then the personal sense of achievement is huge. If the task results in too much anxiety or failure then there has been no benefit and the desire to improve is lost. Being thrown in at the deep end will only work if success is ultimately achieved and self esteem remains high.
Alternatively a little bit of spoon feeding can go a long way. Gaining confidence will help to make the transition from dependence to independence and a strategically answered (or asked) question will almost always help a complete novice to become a competent leader.
Leading your peers is not easy and some found the task almost unbearable. It was hard to see some of our group struggling but also really satisfying to see them learn from each other and themselves. In most cases there was an increased level of independence by the end of their leading day.
The leadership topic was one of the things that played on my mind through this trip. I learned about my own style. Blonde Two has talked to me before about my leadership style but I haven’t ever given it any real thought until now. I will try to make sure I am the right balance between spoon feeding and standing back.