Finish Phase 2 of TOMODACHI-Microsoft iLEAP Social Innovation Leadership – Hisashi Kojima
I am very appreciative of this opportunity that allowed me to meet 17 other inspiring participants, the iLEAP staff, and many others. I understand that our Microsoft mentors are busy people, whether with work or being on vacation, yet they put aside time to have conversations and guide us through projects.
During my time in Seattle, I was able to think critically about things that are important to me. For example—what I want to do in the future, what is leadership, who I am, and how being successful looks like to me. It was a precious time for me to be able to engage in these conversations with myself, and with the rest of my cohort.
If there’s one thing I took away from Phase 2 of the program—it’s leadership. Leadership is defined differently among everyone, but the way I understand leadership is that it is having the power to achieve one’s goals. When one person is very passionate, even in struggles, they are able to influence those around them to work toward a common goal. Additionally, one does not have to be a high ranking boss or executive to influence others, you can be an influential leader in any position.
Through the three weeks in Seattle, I did experience some conflict with others in my cohort because we were unable to agree on certain things. I wanted to change these circumstances with my peers, but had no idea how, so I began to ask others for advice. One person said, “You have a very strong passion, but some of the cohort can’t understand it because we cannot communicate effectively. If you can communicate it in a different way, one that is better understood by others, it would be better.” This piece of advice was very helpful for me to better communicate with others and grow as a leader.
iLEAP gave us the opportunity to grow on our learning edge. The learning edge is sometimes uncomfortable, but it provided the opportunities to grow as leaders and gain new knowledge from the program. I am excited to take what I learned here into my different communities.
Thank you everyone.