Oh, and some assertiveness, I guess, maybe

I could give you 3 or 4 names of volunteers I serve with who are exceedingly good at being assertive. I could, but I won’t. I won’t because everyone in Kyrgyzstan who reads this already knows who they are, and for everyone else the names wouldn’t mean anything. Let’s just leave it at, they exist, and they make it well known that they do.

This is a good thing. We’ve been invited to work with our counterparts and in our communities in order to effect some kind of change in them for the better, and nothing grows without some considerable change in momentum, namely a swift kick in the rear.

I never want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Or rear. Maybe that’s why it’s taken me so long to figure out some of this leadership stuff. Leaders are hated for decisions they make. But they’re also loved for those same decisions. Leaders nudge, push and stretch the status quo and that is going to make some people uncomfortable.

But it’s never been about being comfortable. It’s about what’s best for the most people. We don’t know what can come of a little painful change until we’ve tried it. The seed cannot produce more fruit unless it first dies.

image My counterpart, Nazgul, kicking butt and taking names at a teacher training

I care less now what people think about me and more what they think about accomplishing a task. There is always culturally relevant tact to be considered, but at the end of the day, taking charge, being responsible and doing the right thing will never go out of style.

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