Who among you wants to be a leader?
That's good for you.
Me? I didn't want to be a leader. I am just a person who goes with the flow.
But things changed when I took a risk to lead the biggest organization for Indonesians in Poland. How did happen?
I decided to give my candidacy at the presidential election of PPI Polandia (Indonesian Students Association in Poland) period 2020/2021, because I like this organization and really hope that in the future it will bring a more impactful effect on Indonesian students society in Poland. Besides, during that time not many people were interested to take the risk. I also thought that I would spend most of my time in Poland, therefore I would like to be helpful to Indonesians here. Fyi, PPI Polandia is a branch of the America-Europe Region of PPI, as well as a member of the World PPI or so-called OISAA (Overseas Indonesian Students Association Alliance). After passing the administration process, get to know session and open debate session, fortunately, I elected with narrow results with my competitor.
In this organization, I learned many things, especially about myself, how I think about the vision and mission of the organization, clarifying it and maintaining excellent communications for every stakeholder. I took the understanding your leadership quiz from this project and my result was Altruistic which has 20 points. I think that this is accurate. I learned that while I lead, I act like a friend with equality, without discriminating against people based on their position. I tried to motivate them while they're too busy with their study while managing time to PPI. I prioritize the discussion from each person that attend the meeting to hear their aspirations and make them to reality. My approach to every staff is personalized based on their needs and behaviours in order to develop the organization. I try to ensure them that each of the staff has an important position in their role and without them, this organization will not work well. In the beginning, it was hard for me to manage PPI because for us the past Memorandum of Association was not too clear to be followed. Therefore, I asked for help from the social and culture officer at Indonesian Embassy in Poland, as well as the past PPI leader as the advisor. After that things went well. I set the pattern of meeting so that each month we have a meeting with all the 32 members, while we have also a meeting with the core team consisting of 8 people. Actually, I was the head of public relations in PPI Polandia in 2018, and there are lots of problems that need to be solved which is lack of meetings and communication. I tried to solve this issue in my leadership era.
Along with my leadership, we made a breakthrough by expanding PPI Polandia branches to 6 cities and making the system information clearer for everyone. Also, PPI successfully maintains well relationships between the Indonesian Embassy of Poland and related companies. Now Poland is counted as the emerging destination chosen by hundreds of Indonesian students who are here now.
There are so many leadership styles. The style of leadership that I would like to cultivate is the style that has the lowest score, such as the affiliative style. Proactively helping each other is one of the examples to improve this type of style. I believe that applying the right style at the right time is important. Each situation is different. We need to pay attention to it and pick the right style. When PPI need to reach a consensus in a short time, I tried to share my ideas instead of asking each person and letting them vote on which one is the most chosen option.
To conclude, I believe that a successful leader is one that learns how to lead in reality, therefore they can learn not only about others but about themselves. I also believe that applying the right leadership style at the right time is crucial.
I really like the quote from J. Oswald Sanders, "True leadership is found in giving yourself in service to others, not in coaxing or inducing others to serve you."