So simple and elegant yet so profound and complex. An organization attracts people to it through its mission and actions – the USA Ambassador Pageant is a charity driven organization that promotes Success through Leadership, Integrity, Character and Confidence (S.L.I.C.C.) in today’s women. (and if you are not into pageants, keep reading – it applies broadly)
Leadership. One of the best compliments I ever received was by overhearing a comment about me. The group was talking about people who “go against the flow.” One said “Like K” and another laughed. She responded “K doesn’t go against the flow, she doesn’t notice the flow. She sees what needs to be done and does it. The rest of us just follow in her wake.” There have been times when I sought leadership, others where it was put upon me and I had to learn to step up, and even others where I did not realize I was leading. Leadership can be learned, although some people seem to naturally step into the role. However, leadership should never be about yourself. Leadership should be about the other people, the community, or the issue being addressed.
Integrity. Integrity is being true to who you are as a person. This takes knowing yourself – the good, the bad, and the ugly. This can be a painful journey to be brutally honest with yourself and some of us only get there through a valley of fire and legos. One of my personal brand words was selected not because of what I thought/think, but because of how others have described me: authentic. What you see is what you get. Yes, I can be diplomatic, but I will always be authentic. And authenticity is my integrity.
Character. When the question was asked in our group to identify which of the S.L.I.C.C. words to which we each closely identified, I chose character. It means “the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.” So without character, we have no integrity; we cannot be leaders; and we have no confidence. Plus, I am generally “a character.” Somehow, methinks that may not always be meant as a compliment, but I can choose (and do choose) to see it as one.
Confidence. Whew. This one. Well, did you know that it is possible to have high self-confidence yet low self-esteem? I am very confident in my skills, abilities, and talents, but I still feel like a little lost, unworthy, poor girl from the South. But I am working on this. It’s actually one thing that brought me to competing in pageants as a nearly-50-year old woman. I wanted to build my self-confidence in myself as a person. And yes, pageants give me that. I am confident standing with accomplished women on a stage, being judged on many different factors, and frankly reveling in my womanhood. It;s fun and I am becoming more confident.
To me, S.L.I.C.C. embodies the philosophy I try to live by – living out loud. I learned to live out loud because of my success or vice versa: I succeeded because I learned to live out loud. S.L.I.C.C. is a standard to live by and one to strive to reach, whether in pageants, in business, or in your personal life.