Are you a leader or a follower?

I am a leader because I know that when I am in charge, I produce a high-quality product. While I enjoy leading, I also am comfortable to follow others and be taught by them. In my opinion, there is nothing worse than being bossed around by a leader who wants nothing to do with your ideas. I am an innovative leader and I understand the value of teamwork. I also have a guilty conscience and hate to be put in uncomfortable situations where I have no voice. As a leader, I do my best to hear the needs and issues of others and implement efficient solutions so that they feel understood.

What do you value?

I know that you can learn a lot about a person and how their brain works when you understand what they value. I have a vast variety of values but specific to a workplace environment I value creativity, efficiency, family/friendship, honesty, and optimism. Creativity is important to me because a lot of new ideas are generated when we are creative. Efficiency is valued because I feel stressed when things take too long, especially if there is a list of things that need to be done. Relationships with family and friends are vital because that is who makes up a support system. People at the workplace can and should be your friends as well as colleagues. Honesty is the best policy and creates a better work environment. Lastly, optimism makes hard situations better and the future look brighter. I realize optimism isn’t always the easiest or possible, but it makes a difference in how people feel when they are around you.

Tell me about a time that you misjudged a person.

I was fortunate enough to do volunteer work in French Polynesia, Tahiti, for 18 months. I always had a colleague with me, and we would work and teach together. I also learned how to speak French and Tahitian to communicate with the people. One day, in particular, my colleague and I went to talk to a Tahitian woman in her mid-20’s. Based on my first impression of her, I judged her as probably a teen mom who struggled with alcoholism and was uneducated. I was wrong. She was a young mom who had been in an abusive situation and was intelligent but hadn’t finished university due to financial issues. I wrongly judged her and felt incredibly guilty about it. I learned from that experience to always get the facts before assuming too much. We can learn something from everyone we associate with.