Thursday, January 3, 2013

Day 3: Tough Decisions

I'm not sure if I mentioned this or not, but my High School Band is working on the audition process for Disney. As President and Drum Major, it's very much my concern...even though for the year in-between now and the trip, I won't be around, since I'm a senior.

My band is in a very unique situation, and I'm not going to explain it all...but I do want to talk about my inspiration for being a leader. As a sophomore I was thrown into a leadership position I didn't necessarily want, much less was ready for. I was lead alto of Jazz Band, due to circumstances out of my control. But I love Jazz, and I love music, so I worked toward being a better leader for Jazz. That year I was also treasurer for our band council...and by the end of the year, I had officially decided to run as Vice President the following year, despite the fact that I would be running against a fellow band member and friend, who also happened to be a senior. I ended up winning Vice President, as well as the election for Band Council Representative...of which I then declined and handed off to a friend of mine who had also been running. It was the right thing to do. Then this year, no one ran against me. I was President, and again without much debate, I was Drum Major. It all happened so quickly. How I decided I was ready, I have no idea.

But there are three people, none of which are alive (well, or real) that inspire me and the way I lead a group, in this case...Band. First and foremost is Walt Disney...for obvious reasons. I understand the trials and tribulations that Walt went through to start his company, but he never gave up on anything he really wanted to do. He would let ideas sit in his head until he was clear on what he wanted. Once he said that, or in any case really, he then spent time modifying the idea and making it perfect, and when the idea was built, it was the same way. In band, it's that idea exactly that gets me through a lot of things. Back as a sophomore, last year as a junior and now as a senior, I work at things until I have them perfect, and when I approach our band council and director with an idea, I've already thought about different problems or scenarios that could arise from the plan. I am confident in what I want, and while I'll listen to other parts, I'm pretty stubborn too...which I guess, is another part of Walt Disney. I've seen the Disney quality, and I do everything in my power to make my ideas, projects, personal musicianship and leadership to bring the same quality to that.

My second inspiration comes from one of Walt's childhood heroes...in fact, Walt's Childhood hero...period. I base a lot of what I say on Abraham Lincoln, a man whom I find, is a great writer. His speeches led a country through the most difficult situation possible, and I am stuck in many difficult situations with Band. He had one goal...I have one goal, but if it accomplishes something else along the way, all the better. He wanted to keep his national together, and while I want to keep my band together, I want to decrease negativity within our group, which in the end will, hopefully, bring our band closer together. Plus, it never hurts to have a brilliant speech every once and a while.

Finally, and this one is pretty weird and may seem geeky, Princess Leia Organa, yes from Star Wars, inspires me to be a good leader. If you look at her storyline, it's quite impressive. She has everything taken from her at a very young age...her home, family and overall, life. She, of course, throws herself into her cause, only to ignore those who love her that are around her. When she finally lets Han in, he is taken from her too...but she rescues him. It's what she wants. Now we have very little knowledge of what happened in between those movies...and if there's a book, I'm sorry, but I have no intention of reading it (Courtship of Princess Leia ruined everything for me). But anyway, we don't know, but I like to think that she is one to fight for what she believes in...whether that be the Alliance or for Han. But there's one other aspect that I really take from Leia. I've always felt that she would want to be one with the people, not one above the people, and that's exactly how I want to be with band. I spend much of my time focusing on maintaining relationships within the band...helping out members if they need it, talking with people, making jokes, trying to make it fun. Now, of course, I can't get along with everyone, but it does make me a little disappointed in myself when I hear about how people are afraid to talk to me. It's happened at least three or four times in the last two months...and I feel awful that I'm not doing enough to maintain those relationships. But I won't just walk away with my head down, I'll, as Walt always said, "keep moving forward."

The difficult thing is, now at least, that I don't know where "forward" is. We have so many options, and what I feel is best for our group is quickly slipping through my fingers...not to say that I know what is best, but I have put a lot of thought into it, and I don't think I'll be able to just sit around and watch the group I've worked so hard for fail. I can't do that. The question is, if I can't do that, how do I start what I think is right?

Have a magical day!