President's Public Service Fellow: ‘Program Enables Me to Demonstrate Leadership Skills’
As a member of the University’s President’s Public Service Fellowship this summer, I have been working with City Seed, which operates a series of farmers markets throughout New Haven. I have developed my teamwork skills while growing as a leader.
August 15, 2023
By Toyin Niyi Folorunso ’24 M.S.
Leadership plays a vital role in the President's Public Service Fellowship program, encompassing the ability to motivate, understand, and organize oneself and others toward a common goal. I am exploring the utilization of leadership skills, their future application, areas of pride and improvement, and the essential characteristics of a successful leader.
Utilization of leadership skills
Leadership skills are best utilized in situations that require guiding and inspiring others toward achieving a common objective. These skills can be employed to foster teamwork, promote collaboration, and effectively manage projects. By providing clear direction, facilitating open communication, and leveraging individual strengths, leadership skills create an environment that maximizes the potential of the team.
Future application of leadership skills
Leadership skills are essential for taking on greater responsibilities, leading larger teams, and driving positive change in organizations and communities. They enable the ability to motivate and empower others, navigate complex challenges, and effectively communicate visions and strategies.
Example of leadership at the fellowship site
One example of leadership at the fellowship site was spearheading a community outreach project. As a leader, I coordinated a team of fellow participants to plan and execute a volunteer event. I assigned tasks, facilitated regular team meetings, and ensured that everyone's contributions aligned with the project's objectives. Through effective delegation, motivation, and coordination, the project was successfully completed.
Sense of pride in leadership
I was most proud of the collaborative and inclusive environment fostered during the community outreach project at the farmers market. By actively engaging team members, valuing their input, and encouraging open communication, we created an environment where everyone felt valued and empowered to contribute their unique perspectives and skills.
Success in the leadership role
Overall, the leadership role was successful, as the project was executed efficiently, and the team achieved the desired outcomes. The collaboration and cohesion within the team resulted in a positive impact on the community.
Areas for improvement
One area for improvement in my leadership role is enhancing my delegation skills. While I successfully assigned tasks, I could improve by delegating responsibilities based on individual strengths and providing clearer guidelines and expectations. This would ensure that each team member is empowered to excel in their respective roles.
Characteristics of a successful leader
Successful leaders exhibit essential characteristics such as integrity, empathy, effective communication, adaptability, and the ability to inspire and motivate others. They demonstrate a commitment to serving the team and the community, while also embracing diversity and fostering a culture of inclusivity.
Leadership skills are integral to the success of the President's Public Service Fellowship program. By effectively utilizing these skills, future leaders can motivate, understand, and organize themselves and others toward a common goal. Through personal examples of leadership at the fellowship site, individuals can identify areas of pride and areas for improvement. By embodying essential characteristics of successful leaders, participants can make meaningful contributions to their teams, communities, and the broader field of public service.
Toyin Niyi Folorunso ’24 M.S., a candidate in the University’s graduate program in finance and financial analytics, has been volunteering with City Seed this summer as part of the University’s President’s Public Service Fellowship.