Many times in my life, I've been told that I am a leader. Um, ok - sure. I'm honored and humbled that you think so, but I need to come clean - I have no earthly idea of what you're talking about!
Surprised? Don't be. I'm nowhere near as smart as my IQ would have you believe - or as some have said to me, "you're the dumbest smart person I know - all those brains and not a lick of common sense"! They're right, though. I often do things very, very well without knowing why and how I do it. If you asked me how to do something, I wouldn't be able to tell you how to do it.
Here is an example: By all accounts, I am an excellent writer, but I cannot tell you how I do it. I cannot explain the mechanics or even the basics of writing - I just...DO it.
The same is true of my leadership skills - whatever that is and whatever that means. I truly don't know what a leader is and what a leader does, as it relates to me. In ADAPT, it seems that the leaders are those who make the policies and who have the tireless energy to get things done. Though I've been called a leader in ADAPT, I am not one of those. The only thing that makes me stand out is my big mouth - I can chant loud, long and strong, but that really means nothing - most of the time I get the feeling that at best, I'm a filler and at worst, I'm just a nuisance that they let hang around.
Since my friends would most likely disagree with me, my question is this: What is it about me, personally, that marks me as a leader? I really need to know so that I can get better at this in my personal life. In ADAPT, almost everyone can out-think me, out-strategize me, out-write me - let's just say, they're way the hell better and worthier than me!
So, what are my good points? Umm...well...I am humble, almost to a fault. I try to encourage people when they are afraid. I try to be as honest as I can, though sometimes, that can be dangerous, politically, for me. Although I'm not eloquent, I am a good speaker, though, I know that as a Black womyn, that can be threatening for some, so I tone it down so that I won't appear to use my good diction as a tool to oppress others. Paradoxically, I often have trouble articulating my thoughts, so I write things down. I'm sorry if I use $10 words a lot - it comes naturally to me - just ask my childhood friends!
Hmmm, what else? I'm not afraid to put my faults out there. I say out loud what people whisper behind my back. Last, but not least - I don't give up - at least, not permanently. I may put something to the side or on the back burner for a while, but I always return to it.
So, do these few good attributes make me a leader? I'm not sure. All I know is that as much as I sometimes wish that I were someone else - NOT because of my disability, mind you - the only thing I can be is me. I don't really know if I am a leader but I do know that I am me - the Angry Black Womyn!