Reflectionon Leadership Practice and Development
Titleof your paper
Reflectionon Leadership Practice and Development
Theorganizations in the contemporary society are faced with anassortment of challenges that need to be addressed. The notableexamples of these difficulties include the growing regulations, theheightened levels of competition between firms, the shrinking naturalresources, the demand for social responsibility and the emergence ofmany other forms of challenging social and economic development thatconstrain organization success. For concerned parties, thesedevelopments justify the need for a rethink on strategies toguarantee realization of the short and long-term goals. Whiledifferent suggestions have been put forth, the urgency of nurturingleadership skills is perhaps the most outstanding recommendations onthe issue. Interestingly, these developments have tended to coincidewith the shift in paradigm from the mechanistic approach that treatsthe human resource as non-autonomous machines, to the humanisticmethod that recognizes the human resource to be a special componentthat has psychological needs that must be addressed to realizeproductivity (Barth-Farkas& Vera, 2014).Although this thinking has been welcomed and even ingrained in themainstream organization practices, there is an outstanding dilemma onwhat leadership models, styles and theories assure the best results.
Inthis paper, I review leadership models and theories to benefit theprevailing organization environment through a self-reflection on whatI have learned and observed from practice. With my choice ofleadership approach as situational-based and distinguishingleadership traits as transformative, the governance development goaland action plan will need to focus on several skills thatcharacterize exemplary transformative management.
MySuitable Leadership Model and Distinguishing Leadership Trait
Theleadership model that best describes me is the transformative model.I see myself as inspiring, risk-taking, result-oriented, listening,and understanding. However, to a certain extent, I am a situationalleader because I tend to vary my leadership styles based onprevailing environment.
Mymost distinguishing leadership trait is listening. According toSousaand Dierendonck (2015),listening trait essentially describes an attribute of leaders thatallows them to ‘wear the shoes’ of the team members, approachissues from their perspectives and, therefore, be able to understandthem in their concerns and worries, and strive to make decisions thatbest accommodate them. I recognize that this trait is significant tomy leadership journey because it is the platform by which otherattributes of exemplary leadership such as communication, empathy,sympathy and effective communication are founded. Other outstandingleadership traits are honesty, compulsiveness, social boldness,conscientiousness, and self-assurance. Nevertheless, I acknowledgethat these are not all the qualities that are needed to help mebecome an exemplary leader — I also have some areas of weaknessesthat I will need to address to increase my leadership capacity. Theseareas include dominance, emotional stability, and enthusiasm.
MyExpectations from Leaders as a Follower
Asa follower, I have several expectations for leaders. My expectationsare essentially borne on the needs of the contemporary organizationleadership. One of the expectations is ethical conduct. I expectleaders to be engaged in communicating the qualities of morality andtrustworthiness. They will need to fulfill these responsibilities tocultivate high moral values. I believe the commitment to moralitysupports the institutional success since it creates the allowance forleaders to serve as a role model whom the subjects can trust, exhibitaccountability, and transparency. Secondly,Ialso expect leaders to nurture the skills of imparting the sense ofpurpose to organization members through collaborative practices. Thisstep is critical because it aligns the followers’ actions with teammissions. Thirdly, leaders also need to communicate the desiredinstitutional values continuously through voicing the need forchange, bridging the gaps in communication, encouraging sharedleadership, and seeking to develop headship capacity within theinstitutions. Fourth is the aspect of risk-taking. Like the present,future scenarios will require effective leaders to exhibit thewillingness to challenge the status quo when a need for changearises. Risk takers can adjust by implementing norms vital forintroducing and sustaining change. Even as they exhibit these traits,leaders also need to have strategic planning skills. In essence,leaders should be concerned about practices that would not onlyfoster followership, but also improve the wellbeing of theindividuals under them (Barth-Farkas& Vera, 2014).
TheLeadership Theory that Best Describes how I Influence Others
Theleadership theory that best explains how I influence others istransformational style. This method defines the form of leadership inwhich leaders liaise with subordinates in identifying the areas thatneed change and create the vision for guiding the transformationprocess through inspiration and implementing the change in line withthe needs of the interests of the team members (Yaser,2012).The most outstanding personal traits that present me as atransformational leader is the tendency to focus on boosting morale,job performance and motivation using various strategies such asserving as a role model, nurturing organizational citizenship,building a sense of self-identity among members and recognizing andstriving to fulfill the member’s needs. To be able to performroles, I always endeavor to understand the followers’ strengths,weaknesses, and assign them the roles that best suit them. Indeed,Northouse (2015) has noted that these elements are the mostoutstanding traits of a transformational leader.
Asearlier mentioned, I have several areas of weaknesses that will needto address to become an all-round leader and motivator. Building onthe transformational leadership model, I intend to position myself tonurture skills that are in line with contemporary management practiceneeds. I consider planning to be an essential skill that any leadershould have. Based on the personal assessment, I would considermyself to have mastered this skill satisfactorily. However, Iconsider that leading is about not only planning, but also liaisingwith all parties involved, sharing ideas and collaborating to makethings successful. The success of this process heavily depends oncommunication skills. I would rate my mastery of this skill lesssatisfactory, with 6 out 10. Indeed, I sometimes cannot communicatefluently and consistently in the oral and written form in aprofessional way. Moreover, I have also mastered the theory ofefficient communication, but I cannot apply it well in practice, andI feel will not be able to communicate effectively with team members.Teamwork is also another essential skill that a leader should have.The importance of collaboration follows from the fact that, in manycases, leaders do not work alone, but as a team. I understand that,as a team, members liaise and share information on how to achieve agoal. I have mastered a lot in this area, but I would give myself ascore of 6 out of 10. While I am aware of what teamwork entails, I donot have exposure to practical experience. I feel such an experienceis crucial to rate myself a satisfactory score.
Culturalcompetence is another essential skill of leaders because theytypically work in a culturally diverse environment that requires themto deploy the skill. I consider that self-assessment is all aboutacknowledging the cultural differences and being able to work withother people, regardless of their background disposition. I amequipped with the theory to guide my practice in a culturally diverseenvironment, but I also lack experience. I would give myself a scoreof below average. I would also give myself a rating of below averagein other areas such as independence, time management, and motivation,problem-solving because I lack practical experience. In essence, thiscategory of skills is the area I will need to focus on for furtherdevelopment. Therefore, I intend to spend much of my time at thecollege striving to address these areas of weaknesses to improvepersonal leadership and motivation capacity.
LeadershipDevelopment Action Plan
First,I acknowledge that the college environment creates various learningmediums that allow learners to discover and improve their abilities.I recently undertook a VARK test to identify who I am as a student. Ifound out that I am a kind of learner who prefers to learn throughengagement in physical and practical activities, followed bylistening, seeing, reading and writing. This discovery defines what Iwill need to do to succeed in academic studies on leadership. Therealization of my most appropriate learning style means I will needto focus on the learning strategies that suits me as a learner, andnot just following what other students are doing. I will venture inmy preferred learning styles by improving ways of listening, andengaging in practical learning activities, exploiting theopportunities in teamwork and consultation. To achieve these skills,I will need to guarantee full participation in field and practicalwork. Besides, I will need to create time to enable me to seekfurther consultations from instructors on difficult topics andprocedures to enhance my understanding on coursework. In addition, Iwill also strive to identify students that have similar interests tobe able to work together towards a common goal.
Inconclusion, the purpose of this paper was to review leadership modelsand theories to benefit the prevailing organization environmentthrough a self-reflection on what I have learned and observed frompractice. My choice of leadership approach as situational-based anddistinguishing leadership traits as transformative. Therefore, theleadership development goal and action plan will need to focus onseveral skills that characterize exemplary transformative leadership.I find that my most distinguishing leadership trait is listening. Thelistening attribute allows me to wear the shoes of the team members,approach issues from their perspectives. As a follower, I haveseveral expectations for leaders. My expectations are essentiallyborne on the needs of the contemporary organization leadership,including ethical conduct, role model, a good communicator, planner,risk-taker, motivational and collaborative. Personal leadershipdevelopment goals pertain to nurturing cultural competence, teamworkbuilding, communicators, independence, time management, motivationand problem-solving. The action plan for realizing these goalsincludes doing well in academic studies on leadership lessons,learning through practice and collaborating with members whom weshare the goals and aspirations. I hope that success in these areaswill go a long way in making me a successful leader and motivator.
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Sousa,M., & Dierendonck, D. (2015). Servant leadership and the effectof the interaction between humility, action, and hierarchical poweron follower engagement. Journalof Business Ethics,1-13.
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