Being a Leader

Chris Dillon

Being a leader is not for the faint of heart. It’s a crazy combination of hard work, heart, and soul mixed in with a spoonful of stress.

Know this: You are incredibly appreciated, and while you may not hear the words a lot … a million “thank yous” should be sent your way.

As you spin your way into the second season of the academic year, I hope you find encouragement from the few tidbits found below.

You Can’t Do It Alone

It is OK to ask for help. It is not a sign of weakness.

In fact it is a sign of maturity to know your limits and seek assistance for the betterment of your team.

Lead By Example

Leadership is not a position or a title; it is an action and example. Don’t expect yourself, or anyone else, for that matter, to be perfect. You will make mistakes, your teammates will make mistakes, and your coaches will make mistakes. That’s OK! Accept that mistakes will happen and avoid frustration! Be the example of a performer who, despite flaws, never gives up and always strives to make yourself and your team better.

Attitude is Contagious

Followers catch a leader’s attitude more quickly than his or her actions. Attitude is everything. When performers are tired, be the person to verbally encourage. You would be surprised how far a few, “We can do this guys,” will go to encourage and change the team attitude. You hold so much power to be the optimistic attitude on your team. It is surprising how infectious positivity can be.

Leaders Produce Leaders

True leaders don’t create followers; they create more leaders. It’s OK to have team members who lead without a title. Do not be threatened by this. Be encouraged by the example you are for them. If everyone embraces being a leader by example, then the entire group will benefit.

About author

Chris Dillon

Chris Dillon has been involved in marching arts activity since 1981 as a performer, instructor, designer and adjudicator.  Currently, she is an adjudicator for Drum Corps International, WGI Sports of the Arts, Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association, Winter Guard Association of Southern California (WGASC), Florida Federation of Colorguards Circuit, Indiana High School Color Guard Association, Texas Color Guard Circuit, and several others. She held the position of education coordinator for the WGASC for the past eight years.