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Personal Leadership

Essay by   •  September 18, 2011  •  Essay  •  1,884 Words (8 Pages)  •  1,627 Views

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As a leader I have discovered that being charismatic, communicative, empowering, visionary, and competent are key components to successful leadership. I have identified my core leadership style as transformational and I aim to be the best leader possible. In this capacity I seek to bring about positive change, empower, inspire, and motivate those that I work with to move beyond their current skills to achieve greater success. I attribute my accomplishments to my organizational skills, attention to details, motivational skills, my desire to empower others, and my continued desire to learn. After holding leadership positions in several industries I have found my work in the nonprofit arena most rewarding. I am gratified as a leader because I am personally and professionally challenged and fulfilled. At the same time I have the unique opportunity to make a positive impact in the lives of both my employees and my clients/community. In my non-profit organization the leadership roles are sometimes blurred; this often stems from the lack of funds which tends to lead to fewer employees, and increased responsibilities for those who are in the organization. Our work in teams highlighted the moving form loop two to loop three is easier said than done and requires practice. In my leadership capacity, I identified that as an international organization virtual teams would be beneficial and suggested that this concept be realized. The virtual teams' concept was successful implementation by our IT department and our managers.

I have learned that it is with giving to and improving the lives of others and watching them grow that I have found happiness and been able to demonstrate my style of leadership best. My self-identified strengths are aligned with those that my team mates noted and I discovered a new strength. My team mates pointed out that I am skilled at recognizing when the team is heading in the wrong or too broad direction and refocusing the team. Personally, I saw my weakness as taking my work home but I did not consider a team work area for improvement. Some members of my team described me as quite, but differentiated between being quiet and none participatory. Three out of four of my team mates noted that while I was quiet I was decisive and provided valuable ideas that contributed to the team's success. Rather than a weakness, I saw this as a skill that is necessary in my area of expertise but quickly realized that this approach is not the best for all team settings. As the days progressed, I took corrective action and by day two this was no longer on my area of improvements. The lesson learned, is that flexibility in necessary in leadership. As I strive to grow, learn, and become a more effective leader frequent self and external assessment of myself will contribute to my success.

Team Dynamics

In both team experiences the outcomes were positive for me. The idea of switching team members proved to be beneficial as we were given the opportunity to interact with new members and receive feedback from individuals of various backgrounds. Kesler, (2002) discusses the value of feedback at an organizational level indicating that follow up and feedback should be periodic. The value of constructive feedback contributes to the growth of all involved Kesler (2002), goes on to suggest that feedback could translate to tangible actions that would improve the skills, knowledge, and behavior of those at a management level. I have experienced all of the results Kesler (2002) indicates would occur after receiving the feedback of my peers. Leadership as well as follow-ship was demonstrated through the team process which resulted in very little conflict or animosity. Every idea was valued and respected as we used the triple loop approach to address our prompts. As we were given tasks, loop one was demonstrated as we first worked to define the problem statement. According to Pescl (2007) loop one of the triple loop model tends to be limited. At this point of the learning process our knowledge was limited and it was reflected in our presentations. As our level of awareness developed and we were challenged we moved to loop two where we engaged in brainstorming and analyzing. Pescl (2007) indicates that during loop 2 perceptive and scholarly learning occurs. Eventually, we moved to loop three where we demonstrated our policy and recommendation abilities. At this level we moved from processing as managers to thinking as leaders. Attaining this level of scholarship as identified in the SPL model proved to be more challenging that it appeared on the surface. As a class we established and identified the different characteristics between managers and leaders. Becoming more aware of what managers do namely manage people, mange tasks, oversee, delegate, organize, implement, control etc. contributed to my grown form thinking as managers. Instead, I moved to thinking more like leaders since descriptive words for leaders were reiterated. For example lead, establish goals, transform, inspire, motivate, interpret results, and integrate. Knowing the differences between the two disciplines aided in moving from loop two to loop three of the triple loop model.

Our team of leaders quickly recognized that if we allowed the concept of "too many Chiefs and not enough Indians" to seep into our band it would lead to our demise. Each member of the team at different times assumed the leadership and followership roles. Frisina, (2005) postulates that the leaders who choose to lead and as well as those who choose to follow are both committed to successful outcomes. This idea was evident in our team. We focused on the end result and not who was leading the charge and our approach proved advantageous to us as a team and it was evident to our audience. I grew in this respect as I stepped out of my comfort zone into the followership role. In this capacity I was still able to be transformational.

Scholar Practitioner Leader Model and other Models

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