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More Lessons Learned From Our Latina & Latino Leaders

Leaders hold an image where things can be improved. It's more than a moving image of the mind; it's tangible and real

By Armando F. Sanchez, Contributing Writer
Published on LatinoLA: June 20, 2013


More Lessons Learned From Our Latina & Latino Leaders


Editor's Note: Please read the first part of Armando F. Sanchez series on his podcast series: The Latino Role Models and Success Podcast Series: What inspired me to launch my "Latino Role Models and Success" global podcast

Each Latina and Latino Leader is a unique individual. They range in age and backgrounds. Some were raised by wonderful parents and others were in fact abused and neglected. Some moved constantly and others still live in the house their were raised as children. Several are famous and others only a small community knows anything about a them. In some cases, the family is not aware of the great things they are actually doing. There are cases where they became leaders by planning and choice and others found themselves doing it just to maintain their freedom.

Yes, each one is unique but despite their differences they share several common traits. Here is but a few of them that I have come to realize and appreciate about them.

First, they can't explain nor define when their goal will be complete but they talk about it as it will become a reality sometime in the future.

Secondly, a psychologist may label them as passionate and focused. In my mind, I call them almost rock-hard stubborn individuals.

Third, they invest very little time wondering or worrying about what others think about them.

Lastly, they believe very strongly that they can right a wrong or complete a unfulfilled need and help to bring about the needed positive change.

Let me explain.

To understand the leaders, we need to understand the environment that they are working under. They are working on something that is either not yet there or on something that was left incomplete. Lets for example look at Luis Soriano Boh??rquez (pictured) in Colombia.

He takes his two burros into the undeveloped and remote highlands and jungles to deliver library books to children. Ask him the usual questions in order to measure the degree of success as a leader and that the impact he is having and one will come out short. He fills a tremendous need. He didn't go to the library association to see if he could do it. How many books can he take to the hills? Ask the burros. How far can he travel? Ask the burros. How fast can he travel? Ask the burros! Will the weather favor his travels? For that one, you have to keep looking up.

Is he moving around fast enough to deliver "enough" books? What an inappropriate question this would be but asked by the planning experts. While persons are asking questions about his objectives, goals, budgets, travel plans, measuring success, etc. he just gets his burros ready and sets off to take more book to kids.

When will his plans be complete? Again, in light of what he does on his own (and the help of the burros!) he is a leader and he is off to do his mission. His view, like many others who are leaders, see their goals being completed with each step they actually take and when they will be finished is always open for discussion amongst those waiting and analyzing for the right moment to act.

The second point is that, in my words, I refer to leaders as a stubborn bunch. They might listen to persons that provide "logical/reasonable reasons" and "rationality" for them not act on their objectives but ultimately if the advice doesn't help them further their goals and cause, they tend to ignore the advice.

Others have asked me if a better descriptive term for this group to be individualistic. My response is, "Sure, why not?" Leaders do walk to the pace of their own drums. It's a bit confusing but they don't invest a great deal of time gathering consensus. They instead tend to get the group support by setting an example and encouraging others to duplicate the actions being taken.

I use the example of Dr. Miguel Alcubierre, Ph.D., Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM)/

Despite very limited support and resources he continues to work with NASA on his theories on how to travel faster than the speed of light (warp speed). Now how would you feel knowing that you are working outside the theories of Dr. Albert Einstein. Einstein stated that nothing can go faster than the speed of light. Dr. Miguel Alcubierre still thinks otherwise.

Regarding the issue of overly concern about what others think. This is one of the few items that practically every leader has had to develop sooner rather than latter. They have tossed out their sense of worry or preoccupation with what others think about them. A minor footnote, I don't refer to media personalities as leaders despite what the public may think. Leaders are humans and thus sensitive and open to hearing the criticisms addressed about them. They do think about what is said. It's just that they don't invest a great deal of time listening to the comments.

They proceed forward in spite of what is being said or labels that are being placed on them. In other words, they don't invest a great deal of energy trying to make sure that that the public respects and approves of them. Practically every leader, even those now held in high regard, can tell their stories of the amount of ridicule and criticism that they received when they first started. They may still be receiving it but they work forward in spite of it.

I think of author and 1992 Nobel Laureate Rigoberta Mench?? Tum. Her background and story is deeply moving. Her work for women rights in a tremendous goal. Rigoberta is a person I look forward to personally meeting. Leaders are aware of the criticism (racial, cultural, height, uneducated, indigenous, illiterate, etc.) and yet they move forward and continue to lead.

Finally, there is the quality that is the hardest to explain and is every present. A deep sense of passion and commitment to fulfill their goal. Where does this human trait come from? The heart, the mind or the soul? What triggered their decision to follow the path they are taking? I don't yet know the answer to these questions.

This is an area that for those that want to quantify and explain the issue of physiologically understanding leadership that will have to wrestle with. For me, I sense it in their tone of voice. They express their goals with clarity and a sense of commitment. They are not working on a goal, they are living and sensing a dream that they see in their mind as it is coming into reality. Leaders hold an image in their mind where things are improved. It's more than just a moving image of the mind, they view it as tangible and real. They talk and describe what can be, rather than what is.

In conclusion, leaders are a strange lot. They stand out. When they take their first steps to be a leader they are usually ridiculed for being different. As their goals grows in popularity they are honored. They don't work for respect and awards, they work to realize their dreams for a better tomorrow. Thank God for each of them because many of our leaders had the courage to show us and take us to a better world.

Support your leaders and more importantly, support our future youth leaders!

About Armando F. Sanchez, Contributing Writer:
Armando F. Sanchez is a New Digital Media executive producer
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