I am naturally a quiet person. I talk when I feel like it, but I am not the most outspoken person, especially with people I don’t know or if I’m talking in front of a crowded audience. However, there have been situations where my quietness has posed a challenge for me. I played softball for 3 years in high school and I was the catcher. I primarily played in the catcher position for all of my 7 years of playing softball. The stereotype for a catcher is loud, direct, aggressive, and the leader of the field. All throughout my years of being a catcher, my coaches got onto me about not being loud enough or talking enough behind the plate. I wasn’t clueless that I was not loud enough; I knew I was more quiet than I was expected to be. The only thing holding me back was that I didn’t want to compromise my personality for a stereotype and a position.
Stepping Out of my Comfort Zone
I knew that I had to step a little bit out of my comfort zone with being more vocal at the plate, but I knew that wasn’t the only way to be a leader. I realized that the best way for me to be a leader was through my actions and to lead by example. Growing up, my role models were always people who did the right thing in times of hardship and those who primarily lead by example. Being a catcher is all about having people trust and respect you on and off the field. The way that you get your teammates to trust you on the field is that you gain trust off the field. People, especially younger people, gravitate towards people that lead through their morals and actions. So, I started getting to know each of my teammates more. This way, each of them could get a glimpse of who I was past the mask of the catcher’s helmet. My goal was that I could get them to trust that I would always try my best on and off the field. Once people see you as the leader you are, you can achieve a lot more than you would think. There is always more than one way to do something or achieve a goal. You just have to find the way that works best for you in each situation.
The Quiet Leader
A misconception about leadership is that if you are quiet, then you are a follower and not a leader. However, from my experience as a catcher, I have found that being quiet does not mean that you are not a leader. It just means that you aren’t the stereotypical leader that is vocal and assertive. Everybody is a leader in their own way, even if it is not audible. Think about it, some of the greatest leaders are authors and writers who use their words as their way of leading. For example, Jane Austen changed the perspective of romance novels by questioning society’s views of women. Just by her wise words and stories, she changed the course of romance writing by including feminist ideas into her stories.
In conclusion, when you are put in a situation where you are pressured to fill a mold or position, don’t compromise who you are. Figure out your own unique way to lead.