It’s Time to Face Your Fears and Lead

Jacqueline walking to her YALILearns session in October 2019
Jacqueline walking to her YALILearns session in October 2019

Jacqueline Brito, a portfolio manager in Cabo Verde’s Ministry of Finance, has always been interested in the way people interact, in team dynamics, and in effective leadership.

“I was reading personal development books on my own when I came across the course ‘Management Strategies for People and Resources,’” Jacqueline says. “I knew after taking the course that I wanted to share what I learned with my community.”

In October Jacqueline did just that and led her first YALILearns session on leading individuals and developing teams.

“My session, which targeted elementary school teachers, focused on the importance of teamwork, how it contributes to greater creativity and allows for the exchange of information and experiences.

Jacqueline and participants at her YALILearns session in October 2019
Jacqueline and participants at her YALILearns session in October 2019

“We also explored the value of encouraging rather than criticizing colleagues.”

For Jacqueline, working up the courage to present to a room of teachers was especially challenging but, with a little encouragement, she faced her fears boldly.

“The biggest challenge for me was nervousness,” Jacqueline says. “But I was motivated, enthusiastic and thinking positively, so throughout the session, I was calm.”

Jacqueline sees great potential in young leaders to shape the direction of their communities and encourages her peers to work together in pursuit of a brighter future.

“I would tell those interested in organizing their own session to have courage and determination, persistence and motivation,” Jacqueline says. “We must live intensely today. Seize the opportunities as they come.”

More important still is the way these sessions, in Jacqueline’s view, can not only shape attitudes, but also drive community outcomes.

Jacqueline presenting at her YALILearns session in October 2019
Jacqueline presenting at her YALILearns session in October 2019

“Changing attitudes can lead young people to come up with innovative ideas, ideas that contribute to the development of their community and, by extension, their country.”

In a review of her session, Jacqueline particularly enjoyed sharing what she had learned with participants and hearing their feedback.

“The part I liked most was transmitting the information, sharing with them what I learned and interacting with them, hearing their comments,” Jacqueline adds.

It was only in leading her own session that Jacqueline came to realize the many facets of leadership and the potential of all young leaders, however reserved, to motivate those around them.

“Leadership is helping someone to achieve a goal,” Jacqueline says. “It’s inspiring confidence, and it can occur at any time.

“That’s how I want to be remembered: as someone with an amazing soul, someone who did good.”

Interested in holding a YALILearns session like Jacqueline’s? Find out how you can facilitate your own on our YALILearns page.

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