Personal Leadership Assessment Thesis

Pages: 5 (1564 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 6  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Leadership

Leadership

An Initial Evaluation of My Leadership Skills

Leadership is a quality that is often recognized in certain individuals, but it is often difficult to define. This can make it difficult to see in oneself -- it is much either to recognize the leadership skills of another individual because the effects of such skills are often tangible. When looking to oneself in an attempt to discern leadership, breaking the overall quality into some of the established contributing characteristics can make it much easier to objectively recognize and evaluate. Following are some of the factors that I believe contribute to my current leadership skills.

Knowing and Accepting the Meaning of Leadership

One of my best attributes when it comes to leadership is both having and communicating my visions with others, which modern leaders can use to "transform their organizations and their people" (Covey 69). I have worked with several people who, though in charge of the project, could not clearly articulate what they wanted and/or needed done, and it at times even appeared that they didn't really know what they wanted. It is hard to lead others without knowing where you're going yourself, and I always think through what I want something to end up like as the first step of undertaking something new. Having a clear vision is essential in a good leader, and this is a trait that I definitely possess and am able to communicate.

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TOPIC: Thesis on Personal Leadership Assessment Assignment

A good leader must recognize that he or she is not in an aloof position, but rather that they must work closely with subordinates in order to create an effective culture for growth and development. This is outlined in Bass and Riggio's Transformational leadership (2006), where they claim that effective leaders "place heavy emphasis on differentiating among the varying developmental needs of their followers" (pg. 122). I have always had a genuine interest in people, and this includes a curiosity about the way different individuals think and perceive things around them. This type of understanding is imperative for effectively communicating ideas and principles to others, and one that I can fairly confidently say I possess.

Leading is Manipulating -- But Keep it Nice

Knowing where you stand as a leader is essential. Greenleaf et al. (1977) show that all leadership is essentially manipulation -- the shaping of others futures without revealing the exact motives or direction of those changes -- but also stress that this manipulation must be undertaken with compassionate consideration (pg. 150). I have never really wanted to control other people, and I believe that those leaders who do attempt to control others ultimately fail as leaders. Instead, a leader should be able to convince others to want to do whatever is required for the growth, improvement, etc. Of the organization. Understanding that this comes from manipulation rather than outright control gives more room for openness and some give-and-take. I think I am good at recognizing -- and acknowledging -- when I am convincing others to want what I want.

Leadership is Authenticity

Whatever manipulations may occur, effective leaders must always know themselves and lead without any sense of pretending to be someone else. After extensive study of the issue, George and Bennis () determined hat above all, leadership is being the person you were created to be" (pg. 11). I have a strong commitment ot my sense of self, and believe that my dedication to my principles and my personality will be communicated to others, enabling me to lead more effectively.

Assume Good Faith

Just as I always strive for authenticity in my communications with others, I generally assume that others are doing the same. This allows for a more easy and trustworthy meeting of the minds than either the assumption or appearance of having ulterior motives, or even practicing simple yet seemingly purposeful obfuscation. Covey (1991) reminds us that it is important for leaders to "listen to understand" and "speak to be understood" (pg. 110). Though simple, these are exceedingly important behavioral examples of leadership skills that often go overlooked and done without. I see no other purpose to communication but communication, and therefore I always attempt to undertake it in the most straightforward manner possible.

"The Creative and Directive Force of Morale"

This definition, by Munson and quoted by Hughes et al. In Wren's compilation The Leader's Companion (1995) of leadership is my favorite out of all of those I came across in my research (pg. 39). It encompasses adaptability and decisiveness into one essentially human quality. A leader must be creative in order to deal with changing situations and people, yet must also be decisive enough to direct others towards a common goal. The use of "morale" in this definition keeps the human aspect of leadership ever present, reminding would-be leaders that it is necessary for them to motivate and inspire other people, and not merely to determine what they feel are efficient and effective methods and expect others to follow them.

Personal Leadership Philosophy

I believe that first and foremost, a leader must know what they want for the organization or group that they are leading. They must also have realistic expectations of what the organization/group can achieve in a given period of time. Without these qualities, it does not matter how well a leader gets along with his or her subordinates or how inspiring they can be. If there is not an achievable and clearly defined goal hat is being worked towards, even the best efforts and most positive and abundant energy will simply be too diffuse and unfocused to be useful. Once a clear and realistic vision is set, it then becomes essential for a leader to be able to effectively communicate -- not just to the point of understanding, but to the point of desire -- this established goal to the other members of the group or organization. Though this step is secondary to developing a clear vision in the first place, I believe it is also by far the hardest part of leading to master, and indeed that it takes a lifetime to master.

What I Need to Improve

I need to improve both in my development of realistic vision and in my ability to communicate my vision and my enthusiasm to others. I tend to expect more from others than they can realistically deliver, a habit I am guilty of when it comes to my own self-expectations as well. Setting more realistic goals does not have to come at the expense of ambition, which is often how I view it, but I need to take this conscious understanding more to heart. My issues with communication go somewhat deeper, however. Though I am good at communicating ideas and goals intellectually, I am not adept at creating the sort of "emotional resonance" that makes for truly effective leaders (Goleman et al. 2004, pg. 20). If I could become more emotionally inspiring to others, my ideas might be put to more enthusiastic and successful use.

How to Make These Changes

Making changes to my expectations will not be especially difficult -- it really mus consist simply of my setting more limited goals. This does not mean that I should not expect the same level of success, but I must be more realistic when setting up a timeline for certain achievements to occur. This will allow for what Covey (1991) terms "principle-centered power," which consists of "sustained, proactive influence" (pg. 104). Instead of bursts of energy followed by bouts of disappointment when overambitious goals are not met, sustained achievement of more reasonable goals can be effected through proper leadership and goal setting.

Changing my method of communication will be much harder, and will almost certainly be something I continue to work on throughout my life. I am not a very… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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