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Kansas 4-H Tip Sheet

October 16, 2023

Leadership Sucks, but Love, Serve, and Lead Anyways

Submitted by Sarah Maass

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege to attend and represent the Kansas Alpha Rho Chapter at the National ESP Conference in Billings, Montana.  We had wonderful speakers and excellent workshops and poster sessions. 

One of our speakers, Stephen Schreibeis, discussed the fact that leadership sucks.  I’d assume that everyone can relate to this to some extent throughout a leadership role.  Maybe it is your current role or one you held in the past.  As leaders, no matter in what capacity, we are in charge of taking care of everything and it is hard to juggle all the balls that are in the air.  Additionally, we are always expected to know how to deal with “all the things” that are thrown our way and that we have to deal with.  We go, go, go, and do, do, do.  But if we are in charge of taking care of everything, who is in charge of taking care of YOU?  If you can take care of YOU, YOU will do so much better at taking care of YOUR job.  After you board a plane and the flight attendants give the emergency procedures, one of the things they say is “put your oxygen mask on first before helping others.”  Why is that?  Great leadership is knowing how to take time to take care of YOU so you can take care of the ones you love and do the things you love.  YOU are bigger than your job!  If you haven’t already, be sure to take time to mark those days on the calendar now to take care of YOU.

Look at this series of letters and what is the first phrase you see:  opportunityisnowhere.  Did you see “Opportunity is nowhere” or did you see “Opportunity is Now Here”?  As we enter this new 4-H year, I hope you see that opportunity is now here!  There are so many great things that are in place and things being worked on in the background to continue to support our 4-H families, volunteers, and Extension professionals. 

No matter what is happening now, know that:

1)      The grass is NOT greener on the other side.  Don’t judge yourself in others' highlight reels.

2)      Our job is to always grow where we are planted.

3)      You are meant to be right where you are.

No matter that serving as a leader sometimes sucks, remember what it means to love, serve, and lead no matter the circumstances.  Here is to Kansas 4-H Growing More in 2024!

Note:  Content for this message was taken from Stephen Schreibeis’s message at the 2024 National ESP Conference.  Mr. Schreibeis is a motivational speaker, superintendent of Glendive Public Schools in Montana, and Executive Director at Maxwell Leadership.