District Presidency… wow, what a year. Last year was one of the greatest, yet hardest years ever. I started the year off wide-eyed and hopeful of all the things my team would accomplish. I would like to take this time to blame Cait Lewis for my optimism because she made it all look so easy and left some big shoes to fill. Going into the year I thought that I had to be the perfect FFA member and District President, but your slate doesn't determine your competence. I had said it a hundred times before, “To me, my slate doesn't matter because if I am on the team I know that I can make an impact.” But as soon as I saw “Luc Sproles District I President” on our newly announced slate, that all went out the window. I felt as if I had to put on this ‘armor’ to cover up my shortcomings. That makes sense right? If I cover up my weaknesses, no one will see that I’m not perfect. Guess what? I was wrong and perfect is overrated.
Be brave enough to lead like you; you aren’t in this alone.
I thought that I had to start leading like “Mr. President.” I thought that I had to be “The District President,” so that’s what I started doing. I tried to act perfect, to be perfect. I thought that was the perfect solution. I was putting on armor. I got to the point where I was exhausted, run-down, and felt defeated. I thought that no matter how hard I tried, I wasn’t doing good enough. That’s when I called my friend and told her everything that was happening. On that call, she gave me some advice that truly changed my mind about how I wanted my year to go. She said, “This year you are going to feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders, but it’s not. You have six other teammates to carry that with you. So if you fail you won't do it alone.” That’s when I realized I had started my year all wrong because I was trying to do it all alone. I was blessed with six other amazing people this year that have become some of my best friends. I truly could not have done this without them. Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to take off the armor that was holding me back.
“District I President”, yes, that was my title. It was not who I had to be. Leadership isn’t about titles, it’s about the impact you make on the lives of others. In order to truly make an impact, I had to take off my armor. I had to stop trying to lead like “Mr. President” and start leading like Luc. Let me tell you, that was terrifying. The idea that people would see my faults scared me. I thought people wouldn't respect me if I took off that armor, yet I was wrong again. When I took off that armor I saw the real Luc; my peers saw the real Luc. The honest, happy, coffee-fueled, creative, hotheaded, sarcastic, caring, messy, sometimes-stressed Luc and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
If you are finding yourself in a similar position, let me give you some advice. I'm sorry if I burst your bubble, but you will not be perfect. You are going to mess up. You are going to come up short, and that is okay. We weren’t made to be perfect so be brave enough to take off that armor and lead like you.
Still trying to lead like Luc,