16 Feb Pay Attention, Ask For Help, Set Your Soul on Fire – Leadership Tips
Each month Swift Kick will be highlighting a member in our community who shows extraordinary Leadership within their own community. In the month of February, we decided to conduct a Q&A with Tony Williams. He is a dedicated Community Assistant, the Social Diversity Chair for Association of Campus Events, and the Membership Chair for KU Presidential Ambassadors. Because of his involvement and leadership style, we decided to share his talents with all of you!
Meet Tony Gee Williams!
Q: What is your best leadership tip that you would like to share with us when working with your community?
A: If I could only give one tip out, it would be to pay attention and listen to other people’s input. Just because you have a title does not mean you are the only person entitled to an opinion. I feel like everyone else’s input should be included as well because the solution they come up with and what they say could help solve your problems as well.
Q: As a leader, what would you say the biggest challenge is?
A: Taking on too much responsibility and not knowing when to ask for help. You never want to let yourself down or sell yourself short. Sometimes its hard to notice, but it is possible to have too much on your shoulders. It can be difficult to reach out for help. You may not want to, but as a leader, you need to know when enough is enough and to let others help you.
Q: What is your favorite thing about your leadership role?
A: As a Community Assistant (CA), my favorite thing is watching my residents grow. Especially from move in day to the end of the semester. I love this because move in day, especially with freshman, is important. They are so vulnerable and need you. They keep you on your toes. I also enjoy the freshman because they always bring up challenges that I may not know the answer to. Then, second semester you see them all come back and do their own thing; they excel so much. I love it!
Q: What model do you live by?
A: One of my favorite quotes is, “Everyone that you meet knows something that you don’t know”. I love this quote because if you walk around as if you know everything you are going to be proven wrong. But, if you walk around and meet new people and give them a chance to learn from you, you are giving yourself a chance to learn from them which could be so much more.
Q: If you could give your younger self any advice, what would it be?
A: To be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire. I say this because growing up I would always second guess myself. When I went to college I was just like “you know what, I’m just going to do it,” whether it was cheer-leading or applying for a job. The worst that could happen is they say no, BUT the best that could happen is that you get it. You always want to hope for the best.
Q: What made you want to become a leader?
A: I have always been shy and never sought out recognition. I think as a shy kid, people overlook you. You always want to contribute but you don’t want to be the main person. I learned that sometimes you have to be that main person. When you do something you love, you don’t look for that acknowledgement, it just happens and people gravitate towards that. You just hope to inspire people. My personal goal is to inspire someone one day to take on a leadership role.
Q: Who is a Leader that you look up to?
My parents. The reason why I say this is because we (my family) have never seen them struggle. They have always made ends meet. They always made something out of nothing. It’s like “how did you get this done or do that?!” Whenever we needed something it was always there. They inspire me to make the best out of whatever I have. Whatever situation I am in, because of them, I know that I am going to survive it one way or another. I take everything as a learning experience.
Q: What is one trait you think a leader should possess?
I can only pick one?! Lets see, I think one of the top traits a leader should possess: to be a great listener. And that can go both ways. If you are a great listener, then you are allowing yourself to take in other peoples’ opinions and thoughts before you just throw yours out there. You are understanding what they are thinking and saying first.
Q: What are 3 fun facts about yourself?
I was a cheer-leader for three years. For one year in high school, I competed at nationals and was the first boy cheer-leader in my high school’s history. I also have cheer-leaded for two years at Kutztown University.
I won best laugh in high school!
Q: If you were any appliance, what would you be and why?
A: Hmm, is a spork an appliance?! [Insert awesome laughter here.] I would want to be a spork, because when we were younger sporks were used for everything. Kids could use sporks, adults could use sporks. They were awesome! I feel like I can interact with both parties, I’m childish but I know when to be and adult and have fun as well. So that’s why I chose a spork 🙂
Have a leader of the month you want to see highlighted? Send us their information and they could be next months Leader!
Until next time, have a great day!