Leadership can be defined in many different ways. It is considered to be a trait, ability, a relationship, a behavior and a skill. It depends on people how they contemplate the word leadership. The fact is that leadership comprises of all these aspects and every aspect describes the components of leadership. There are many positive universally accepted attributes/traits of leadership such as trustworthiness, dependable, charisma, decisiveness, communicativeness, and foresightedness etc. However, there are also some negative attributes associated with leadership e.g., dictatorial, non cooperative, asocial and ruthless attitude. History reveals leadership traits of many leaders such as George Washington, Harriet Tubman, Eleanor Roosevelt and Nelson Mandela who were brave, prudent and trustworthy leaders. Similarly, Oprah Winfrey, Mother Teresa, and Jeff Hawkins are also some other examples of dedicated, inspirational, humble, determined and goal oriented leaders.
Tannenbaum & Schmidt have presented Leadership Continuum Model, which explains that the leaders can be Authoritative or autocratic, democratic or participative and Laissez faire. Authoritative leadership provide direction to the followers, set standards, help to complete work efficiently in less time span and is efficient as well as productive. The disadvantages are that it pave the way to discomfort, loss of interest, hinders creativity and promote dependence. Democratic leadership helps to promote talent, mutual assistance, commitment, friendliness and cooperation. But, it decreases efficiency; increase the chances of conflict and ambiguity. Laissez faire leaders help to develop exceptional capabilities and skills in individuals by giving them complete freedom. But, it promotes chaos, frustration and discouraged workers.
The popular theories, which describe the views of for motivation of workers, are Theory X and Theory Y. Theory X considers human beings as lazy, having no clear vision and dislike modifications and they need to be controlled. Theory Y regards people as active, responsible and adaptive to change (Stewart). There is also Theory Z, which is combination of both theory X and theory Y and describes motivation of employees for enhanced productivity (Sullivan). The relationship behaviors are task oriented that focus on achievement and relationship oriented that foster relations with others.
As far as myself is concerned, I also possess leadership skills. The major leadership skills that I recognize in myself are foresightedness, intelligence, exceptional vision sense, reliability, effective communicator, decisive, self discipline, brave, goal oriented, stability, wise, motivational, cooperative, competent and dedicated. These abilities help me overcome my weaknesses and attain the desired goal. My strongest leadership abilities are however, cooperation, self discipline, foresightedness and communication. The characteristic of cooperation is utilized while doing team work. In case I am doing work in a team, I provide support to the team members and consider their individual opinion before finalizing anything. This increases the trust, create vision and encourage the team members to work hard in order to attain mutual goal that is beneficial for the whole team.
Self discipline helps me at individual level as well as in team. It helps me to feel about myself, to justify my actions and to distinguish between right and wrong that is beneficial for me and ultimately for the team. My foresightedness helps me at the time of planning. In order to plan for the future, this ability assists me to control erratic and reckless nature and to make a better forecast for future activity. Furthermore, I am an efficient communicator and this ability helps me at the time of conveying message to the fellows. My clarity of words allows delivering the message accurately so that the listener is facilitated with whole information without any distraction.
However, I am also in the danger of overusing my strengths such as being self disciplined I may become disrespectful and other people may adopt rebellious attitude towards me in case other people are not disciplined and do not pay attention to my words or piece of advice and in return I may become angry. Additionally, being foresighted I may expect more from life and from others and when these expectations are not fulfilled then anger and dishearten, discouragement all persist, which forbade me achieve the ultimate goal.
Sometimes, I become aggressive on little issues which hinders my ability to become a leader. I should be humble to others because people are not motivated by the aggressive leader, even they don’t bother to listen him. This can also affect my communication also and autocratic approach may develop, which is an unproductive factor at individual as well as at group level. So, in the future, I have to work on controlling my anger and aggressive attitude that pave the way towards autocratic leader and apathetic mind-set. Moreover, I need to be respectful to the others and should care about the fact that their self respect and ego is not hurt while delivering the message. I am going to develop delegation for the leadership i.e., I will share my experience and skills that allow people and teams to grow.
Furthermore, I will also learn body language n order to know the body expressions of people and the team fellows. This helps me to know the fact who is telling right and who is explaining wrong. I will try to follow the humble leaders in order to develop better leadership skills and develop proactive approach and try to convert the prospective opportunities into the actual opportunities that are beneficial for the people.
Stewart, Matthew. "Theories X and Y, Revisited." Oxford Leadership Journal. 1.3 (2010): n. page. Print.
Sullivan, Jeremiah J. "A Critique of Theory Z." Academy of Management Review. 8.1 (1983): 132-142. Print.