Jóvenes Adelante Students Basking in the Afterglow of Successful Leadership

By Don Krim 

 “Afterglow” shines right through their face masks! Pride, relief, exhaustion, and a new self-confidence follows discovering the producers and leaders they have become.

“They” are three Jóvenes Adelante Scholars, Juan Pablo Del Ángel Vázquez, María De Los Ángeles Urbina Téllez, and Miguel Rivera Bustamante, majoring in Gestión Empresarial (Business Entrepeneurship) at the Instituto Sanmiguelense, who organized and led the two day event and workshop “Dragón Emprendedor” (Entrepreneurial Dragon).

There was no production manual from last year and no guidance—there was nothing but an empty conference space on a date, and their own experience of prior attendance at the same annual event. Baptism by fire was the charge, and these three stepped up—Juan Pablo agreed to be the lead producer, Ángeles and Miguel handled logistics, including patron sponsors and presenters.

Months in the making, by all reports from participants, attendees, presenters and the team, the event was an overwhelming success. Check it out on Facebook under Dragon Emprendedor.

“Eustress” is the first word Juan Pablo used to describe his afterglow—pressure relief after months of hard work, contented, and of course, “what next?”

Of the three, Angeles is the most holistic, describing her success in mind/body terms: “I learned not only how to make use of my experience and knowledge, but how to communicate effectively—not only in my words, but in my manner and affect—so that my message and mode of delivery, and my openness to how well my message was being received are one.”

Miguel is more direct: “I am content to have put into practice what I have learned about logistics, planning, and delegating.”

Juan Pablo and and Angeles particularly, felt the need to overcome doubts. Juan Pablo says, “I have a tendency towards self sabotage, negative self talk—to internalize external negative comments.” Angeles reflects on, “Moving out of my comfort zone. In the past I was afraid to hear the word “no,” and now I have the experience of speaking to a complete stranger, to invite them to join a panel, to hold a workshop, and so forth. I overcame fear of speaking by being an engine of passion for myself and for others, with a commitment to the importance of the event and the sharing of the information.”

For Miguel, the most important lesson was one of “self belief, the ability to overcome self doubts and to remember a mantra of successful entrepeneurs: ‘La primera enfermedad es no creer en ti!’”

The collective list of leadership qualities that each identified is as impressive as it is self-reflective: Empathy, confidence, certainty—knowledge of what needs to be done; communicating, listening and reflecting back. In addition, they all demonstrated flexibility; motivating oneself and others with commitment and enthusiasm; finding and utilizing others’ strengths; delegating; taking responsibility for everything; finding not just problems, but quickly determining solutions; overcoming perfectionism; working as a team to grow by empowering others; and making hard decisions. Ángeles sums it up holistically: “Lying awake at night visualizing, projecting what everyone needs until the last minute.”