As a very effective leader who has had a positive impact on others, I chose to write about myself. First, I will give you a little background information on me. Second, I will discuss some specific qualities that contribute to my effective leadership. To conclude, I will provide you with several examples demonstrating my leadership in action. First, we ponder a question. Who is Jamahl Payne? I am the son of David and Anna Payne. I was born in Galveston, TX, at the University of Texas Medical Branch Hospital, on March 17, 1975 at 9:36A. M.
I have three siblings: David (older brother), Lisa (older sister), and Latonia (younger sister). I attended elementary and high school in Dickinson, TX. I have always had an entrepreneurial itch. When I was seven, I used to sell my school pictures to friends and relative for one quarter. I thought they were getting a good deal. I guess my leadership skills began developing in junior high school. I participated in several sports. I enjoyed playing tennis, basketball, football, baseball, and soccer. I enjoyed being part of a team. I also enjoyed leading my team in several statistical categories.
My teammates usually selected me as the team captain. I also lead my high school choir in competition. When I completed high school, I attended Texas Southern University for two years. While attending TSU, my concentration was in business law. I left TSU in 1995 and moved to Dallas, TX, where I managed several restaurants for Eateries Incorporated. In 1998, I returned to Dickinson, entered into the adult entertainment industry, and managed a topless club for A&D Interest. Year 2000 AD, I decided it was time for a change and started business for myself in the wireless industry and other ventures.
Fast forward to present and I now attend Johnson & Wales University, with a concentration in culinary arts. What distinguishes me from the others? First, we must define leadership. Webster’s Dictionary defines leadership as “the position or guidance of a leader; the ability to lead”. Why do others choose to follow me? What makes me special? I will try to answer all of these questions by defining the characteristics of leadership as they apply to me. One of my quality characteristics of leadership I tend to cherish mostly is charisma. Charisma is hard to define.
Charisma is not egotistic or arrogance. Charisma is more like a gift from God. It is like a radiance that surrounds you and gives off a pleasant vibe. It inspires a person’s trust in you. I also tend to focus more on people rather than a system. When I managed for several companies, I was very personal and approachable. I followed the guidelines, but I knew when and where to bend some rules, because life’ does not always fit into a system. A characteristic of leadership I find very important is accountability. If you lead, you must be held accountable. I enjoy the responsibility of accountability.
I want to know that my followers are pleased with my leadership. I enjoy feedback. No one wants to be lead astray. Lastly, I believe one of the most underrated characteristics of leadership that I posses is enthusiasm. How can you inspire others to share your vision if you seem lackadaisical or unenthusiastic? I want to share with you a few stories about true leadership. The setting is in Dickinson, TX. The year is 1998. This story is similar to one you may have heard. Boy meets girl. Boy falls in love with girl. Amongst trials and tribulations boy and girl separate.
Now I will tell you my version. A young man (myself) meets a young lady (Ms. X). The young man knows Ms. X through mutual friends. They have been to some of the same social gatherings, but they barely know each other. Before I begin, I will give you a quick bio on Ms. X. Ms. X is twenty-one years old. Ms. X is an exotic entertainer. She has been an entertainer since the age of seventeen. The only skill that Ms. X has is exotic dancing. She has never held any other job and is also a school dropout. Ms. X did manage to get her G. E. D. She also has a slight addiction to alcohol.
Average Joe looks at Ms. X and sees an alcohol addicted stripper on the road to nowhere. I saw something different. I saw one of the most beautiful persons I have ever met. I’m talking true beauty from within, not the beauty you see on the cover of Vanity Fair. I saw a classical pianist since the age of three. I saw a person with a very high IQ. The only question I had was how to bring the inner beauty to the surface so that Ms. X could radiate. We found common ground. We found we both had similar views on family. We also had similar interests in sports and classical music.
From these similar interests and others, our relationship grew. But still I pondered the question, how do I release this inner beauty for the rest of the world to share? Then, all of a sudden it came to me. I started with her interests. She had a love for music, so our search began to see if she could study music. We began with the Art Institute in Seattle. Ms. X grew up in Seattle and was quite fascinated with the Art Institute of Seattle’s music program. After careful consideration, Ms. X decided she did not want to move back to Seattle, but now she is in a different mindset and does want to continue her education.
Next stop, Art Institute of Houston. Ms. X discovers that the Art Institute of Houston does not have a music program, but they do have a program in Multimedia and Graphics Design that has some sound design classes and other neat’ stuff. Ms X is now working less and drinking less. Her friends and coworkers barely know her. Time passes and the first trimester is complete. Ms. X is on the Dean’s list. Ms. X’s self-respect and self-esteem is at an all time high. She is now closer to her immediate family than she has been in quite some time.
As I stated earlier, we parted and went separate ways. But now Ms. X is a full time student. She lives in Atlanta, GA with her parents attending the Art Institute in Atlanta. She no longer dances or drinks. If you met Ms X today, you would not recognize her from this story. What you would see is a self-assured woman, set to make her mark on the world. Through my leadership skills, I inspired Ms. X to make a life change, and in turn her success inspired me to seek my goals here at Johnson & Wales University. I know I told you I would give you a few stories so here’s another.
I will make this story a little shorter. I am known as a leader in my community. One day I was on my way home from Dallas. I had just arrived in Houston. I was at the bus station waiting for my roommate to arrive, but he never did. I’m in Downtown Houston with no way home and not enough money for a cab. Cab fare is about forty-eight dollars, but I only have twenty. I talk to a homeless person who tells me of this lady who has lost her cab license because she does not have enough money to carry the insurance, but she still makes trips on the side for about twenty bucks.
Now I don’t know if this is a set up, but what other choice do I have. The lady arrives and I hop into the cab. Peculiar old lady, but she is very friendly. We began talking, and I notice she has quite a bit of food in the back seat. I ask her what the food is for. She tells me that it is for the homeless. She gets donations, and during the day she cooks, and at night she drives the cab and delivers homeless meals. I ask her is there any way that I can help. She says yes, so I give her my number and tell her to call me. I never hear from the lady again, but she inspired me to take on the task myself.
I began making lunch sacks. Thirty dollars would make me fifty meals. The meal would include two sandwiches, bag of chips, oatmeal cookie, and soft drink. I would go out around midnight. While others were hitting the streets, I was too. I was passing out meals. My friends would notice me and sometimes offer help. Eventually word reached my job. To this day I still do not know how my job found out. Some of my coworkers and employees begin to help. Eventually people were giving me trash bags full of clothes to give. Sometimes they would give me more than I could handle.
One of my favorite moments was a time in December close to the holidays. It was very cold outside. I was passing out winter clothes and I ran out. I gave a gentleman one of my favorite sweaters off of my back. I may have gone home cold that night, but it was the best I have ever felt. I could go on for pages, but for time constraints I will come to a close. Leadership is made of many components. There are quite a few that posses these characteristics. But the few that are true leaders not only attain their own greatness, but inspire others to grasp greatness for themselves.