The basic principle about leadership is that one must be guided by a vision that is well articulated and easy for followers to understand (Luc 2009, p. 112). Without such a vision, it is almost impossible for any organisation to make any meaningful progress (Glanz 2006, p. 87). As a leader, I will share my vision with all my followers and make every effort to provide guidelines for effective delivery of services.
Although some people believe that leaders are born and not made, the society needs leaders and we cannot just relax as we wait for leaders to be born (Micciche 2008, p. 47). It is also wrong to assume that teaching someone to be a leader is a task that is next to impossible. Arguably, any person who is a good leader is also a good mentor and can help others become great leaders too. According to Tripathi and Reddy (2008, p. 287), the biggest challenge of the present world is the lack of experienced mentors to nurture great leaders. In order to inspire my followers, I will endeavor to communicate effectively, encourage participation by all and pay attention to concerns raised by my followers.
My Leadership Role Model
To a large extent, the society is shaped by role models and mentors in different areas of life (Ogden & Meyer 2009). At the workplace, role models range from senior managers, immediate line managers or co-workers. In this respect, leaders at any level of the society must serve as role models to shape the future of their followers (Trevino & Nelson 2010).
The person who is inspired my understanding of effective leadership is a former students’ leader during my university days as an undergraduate student. Among many other accomplishments, he demonstrated strong leadership in organizing a fundraising initiative to help a needy student who had just lost his father and mother in a fierce road accident. The accident left the young man with a huge responsibility to take care of his siblings as he was the only older brother who was advanced both in life and age. Through his influence, the students’ leader managed to bring together administrators from different departments of the university as well as students and friends from other universities. Eventually, the committee was established to manage a trust fund in aid of the children orphaned by the road accidents.
The striking characteristics about this students’ leader that inspired me included his ability to rally everyone in pursuit of a common goal, respect for others, caring and listening attitude, and hard work. As a focused leader, he often managed to get his followers to do what was expected. What I liked the most about him is the ability to involve all members of the students’ leadership body in making decisions. Because of his approach to leadership, many of his followers held him in high esteem and were encouraged to take part in any events organized by the students’ leadership body. During his reign in office, the institution enjoyed a great relationship with students and any issue that affected the lives of the students in the institution was dealt with expeditiously.
Feedback from Colleagues about My Leadership
Over the years, I have received constructive feedback from friends and colleagues and I believe that these have helped in making me the way I am today better. At different times in my life, I have failed my followers by among other reasons, not being able to communicating effectively. On many occasions, poor communication led to misunderstandings and friction with my followers. However, constant feedback from concerned friends and followers helped me see my mistakes and work toward changing.
Another hindrance to my effectiveness in leadership has been poor delegation. Although delegation cannot relieve a leader of ultimate responsibility, it helps in getting things done more effectively (Worsam 2002, p. 231). Besides simplifying operations, effective delegation enables a leader to mentor upcoming leaders. Before I understood the importance of delegation, I suffered so much stress and burn out by doing almost everything myself. Feedback from friends and colleagues enlightened me on the benefits of delegation and a change in my leadership style in this regard helped me be more effective.
Leadership Skills I Intend to Develop
Among the list of leadership skills that I have to develop are patience, effective delegation, persistence, and communication. In my opinion, these are very critical skills that all leaders must possess to succeed. Patience, for example, is very important if a leader has to nurture talents in followers (Manning & Curtis 2003). While some people are quick to learn, others may take a considerable amount of time to grasp a concept. Therefore, it is necessary for a leader to exercise patience and allow slow learners to have enough time to catch up (Rothstein & Burke 2010). Having understood the importance of delegation, I would like to improve my skills to be more effective. The same goes for persistence and communication. Although my leadership skills have been strengthened by different situations over time, it is my desire to continue learning in order to become more effective.
Glanz, J 2006, What Every Principal Should Know About Cultural Leadership, Corwin Press, Thousand Oaks, CA.
Luc, E 2009, Unleashing Your Leadership Potential: Seven Strategies for Success, R&L Education, Maryland.
Manning, G & Curtis, K 2003, The Art of Leadership, McGraw-Hill International, New York, NY.
Micciche, R 2008, The Principles of Leadership The People and Events that Inspired My Vision of True Leadership, AuthorHouse, Milton Keynes,UK.
Ogden, G & Meyer, D 2009, Leadership Essentials: Shaping Vision, Multiplying Influence, Defining Character, InterVarsity Press, Westmont, IL.
Rothstein, MG & Burke, RJ 2010, Self-management and Leadership Development, Edward Elgar Publishing, Northampton, MA.
Trevino, LK & Nelson, KA 2010, Managing Business Ethics, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, NJ.
Tripathi, PC & Reddy, PN 2008, Principles of Management, McGraw-Hill International, New York, NY.
Worsam, M 2002, Effective Management for Marketing, Taylor & Francis, Woburn, MA.
Yukl, G 2006, Leadership in Organisations, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ.