“Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” – Warren G. Bennis. It was never about where I started, but it was always about where I’m going. Growing up I always had a strong passion in leadership. I was always eager to implement a positive change in this world. I think that becoming a voice that speaks for others is the best vehicle to drive any cause, because at the end of the day it’s not about me owning a title or, about what this does for me.
Being the student body president in Springfield Raffles Hills, I’ve had the fortunate honor to represent my campus that I consider home in front of 100 other figureheads from 21 different provinces in ISLC 2020. The Indonesian student leadership camp is a leadership training program that is specifically designed for school student council administrators in indonesia to further explore their leadership potential while enhancing soft skills and motivation to participate in making changes to the society in a more positive direction. The program lasted for 5 days of continuous challenges, endless hours of learning and distinguished activities.
Participating in this program, I got the chance to meet and engage with astounding leaders in this country such as Fahri Hamzah, Ahmad Sahroni and Manik Marganamahendra. I had the golden opportunity to visit the parliament institution and the Go-jek office. Other than getting to interact with such awe-inspiring role models, I also made some friends. From Sabang to Marauke, student body presidents from different regions gathered in the objective of leading this generation to make this country a better home.
“Pemimpin adalah seorang yang rela untuk menderita dan berkorban” quoted Fahri Hamzah. This means that a leader is the one that is willing to suffer on behalf of others. They are those who are prepared to endure pain and hardships. I remember only getting around 3 hours of sleep each day due to the packed schedule and never-ending meetings on our contribution to FON (Forum Osis Nusantara). From sleeping around 2AM and waking up before the sun rises, the agenda was unforgivingly crammed. Exhaustion was never an excuse for me to quit in everything that I do. Regardless of barely being able to stay awake, the purpose of my presence to represent my school became the driving force of my motivation to excel in this program.
I learned that as a leader, I should always be hungry for more knowledge. Curiosity and healthy skepticism lead me to lessons that will never be able to find in textbooks. One of the greatest advice that I recived from ISLC is the conversation that I had with Ayu Kartika Dewi (staf khusus presiden RI). She taught me that as leader, we should have high emotional intelligence. This is because tolerance is one of the major characteristics that shapes a true figurehead, as tolerance is not understood or said but instead it is endured and felt. This enlightened me to always be humble and have great sense of empathy towards others.
To say that I learned so much from this experience would be an understatement. It almost feels like I learned a lot more within those 5 days than I did for the past 5 months. Although the challenges were vigorous and hard, this involvement made me embrace my vulnerability. No matter how strong we are, as a human being we need to survive through cooperation and collaboration. Interconnecting with numerous leaders from different areas also taught me that wisdom can come from everyone. In spite of only seeing each other for 5 days, strangers turned into family. I would also like to dedicate this to the next student body president to continue this experience. ISLC 2020 was truly life changing and this will be a memory that will be remembered forever.