Inside vs Outside

By Ernestasia Edwards

“Leadership isn’t a one-day, two-days, or two-month thing, leadership is consistent … Once you get into team sports and you see how you are succeeding, you understand it isn’t about you. In order for you to continue to be successful, everyone has to be important and have something to do with the success.”- LeBron James

Someone who reminds me of an “inside leader” is LeBron James. LeBron James is a professional basketball player, who currently playing for the LA Lakers.

He shows leadership both on and off the court, from the organizations he creates or funds for the well-being of the black youth to the excessive use of his platform to raise awareness on injustices in the world especially regarding black people.

Lebron James Sketch by Ernestasia Edwards ‘20

I consider him an Inside leader because hes is very connected to the things he plays leadership roles in. For example, he donates thousands of dollars to organizations that fund schools and after-school programs especially basketball. He is a parent to three children so he is very affiliated with the issues of the school system and the funding. Also, he still experienced the struggles of a school system failing a kid and the only way they see out is the NBA, when he was a student himself. Regarding the injustices, being a black man in America you have no choice but to feel connected to the injustices of the world. Its more powerful that he uses his platform to gain the awareness for the world since many people decide to be silent. His connections through ethnicity and experience makes him a inside leader.

An Ouside leader example that comes to mind is Yandy Smith. Many people know Yandy through the reality tv show , Love and Hip-Hop on VH1. However she stands for more than just a reality show. In the show it does share things about her personal life like her husband and father to her children has been back and forth in prison. The show doesn’t really expand on it as much as it can but Yandy started off as an activist for the Prison injustices. Her husband was apart of the mistreatment in the prison he was in, causing her to want to stand up and fight against these issues. She did begin her activism based on the prison reform movements because of the injustices in the prison but she didn’t stop there when the public outrage to police brutality in general became nationwide.

Yandy Smith Sketched by Ernestasia Edwards

The world began to have more frequent protest due to the increase in fatalities, especially regarding the black community. She began shedding light on these issues just as other celebs had. Yet, Yandy took her activism and platform to the next level when she went to actively participate in the peace protest. She has been arrested multiple times over this but it doesn’t stop her.

She’s an outside leader beause wasn’t directly affected to the things she fought for (until she started fighting for them) but she still found a role to lead.

The difference I notice about being an inside leader versus outside is how your perceieved from society. For example many people see Yandy’s activism as a way to gain “clout”. However she doesnt even gain clout from risking her life and many people still will never know her outside of her involvement in the relaity show. While LeBron doesnt get questioned on the purity of his intention to help because of him being an inside leader. I expect an outside leader to have restrictions on how much they can exert in their leadership skills based off of how serious the world would take them without having direct connections.

Three example of divison that I dont like is color pigmentation discrimination, age division, and prison systems. I get bothered how both society, and just the people I know, feed into the negativity of descrimination or insecurities based off of skin tone. No one I associate myself with discriminates against people because of their skin complextion but a few carry strong insecurities within themselves based off societial norms. I currently just encourage my friends to be happy within their skin but I feel my efforts havent registered deeply to those I’ve spoken to, causing me to want to take a back rode. Age division bothers me as well because as someone who has always been mature and kind of grew up fast , I cant stand being seen and treated as weak-minded or having invalid feelings based off of age. It’s not just in my world, I notice it throughout the world of others. Lastly, the prison system really bothers me due to its misconcept of its mission. Prison was originally used as an institution for criminals to be rehabilitated, but those havent been fulfilled. I have many people in my life that have been in and out of prison who were treated worse than those who committed worse crimes than them. I do try to gain awareness through my facebook account but I don’t feel its strong enough to spark change. I need to gain more confidence, a stronger social status, and deeper intellectual understanding so I’m not bias when looking into other’s lives and problems.

Regarding Binti, using the passages you provided, passage 3 on page 67 stood out the most to me. I seen a lot of leadership characteristics inside of her as she embarks this new journey. I see how she likes to teach as she explains everything she sees that she already knows. From what I gathered she talks a lot as a way to hide her uncomfortability with not being able to control and know all thats around her. That also stands out because she also loves learning more, she seems very curious and eager to know the rest of the world she has yet to be educated on. Another way that stands out is because despite the scares of a new adventure she shows her confidence to Okwu. I’m not sure if I should see that as her defense mechanism to keep a strong fact or if shes really as confident as she exerts to be. Either way, I realized that wasnt that important because both of those skills will apply greatly to her being a leader.

Last thoughts on Binti as a master harmonizer and leader is she is very aware of how smart she is which seems to work in her favor. What we’d perceieve as cocky isnt seen that way when analysising her due to her being able to “back it up”. She really is all that she perceives to be and more, resulting in a clear understanding on her characteritics and how she can apply them to leadership exertion. For example, her confidence will lead her far because she wont let people bring her down or stop her from being great. Or even her ‘smartness’ can be used to swindle her opponents or even be turned into wit to keep people from messing with her. Overall, it is very clear that her abilities can benefit her in all the roles she is destined to fulfill and all those she already has.

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