how can you improve on your leadership skills?
Philosophy and Number
Describe the following as it relates to leadership development.
- Self-confidence is a large portion of developing as a leader. Where are you currently in regards to self-confidence? What does this mean for you as a leader? What steps can you take to improve your self-confidence?
Indeed, self-confidence is a large part of developing as a leader. Currently, I have a mild degree of self-confidence. I know how to deal with people at an appropriate time. Because I strongly believe that self-confidence is one of the most invaluable leadership characteristics, I use it to influence people as I simultaneously understand their situations. Since my ideas may not be as pleasant as others see it, I see to it that I do not have a false sense of self-confidence. Considering that great leaders have high degree of self-confidence, I assume that if I ooze with self-confidence (coupled with “good communication and good execution”), I can boost the self-confidence of my subordinates . As a caution, however, I do not only affect my subordinates’ behavior, but attempt to internally change it (i.e., from within them). In doing so, it would be easier for me as a leader to achieve organizational objectives and goals. As a leader, it means a lot to me to always show self-confidence in my decisions and actions. Because I do not necessarily want to equate self-confidence to a false sense of authoritative stance, I am more of a servant leader who empathize with people. I put myself in the shoes of people whom I lead. Thus, as a mildly self-confident servant leader, I respect my followers so that they have respect with me, too (that is, whether I am in front of them or even when I am not with them). To better improve my self-confidence, some of the steps that I should undertake is to learn more how I should affect my followers good affection towards me and others, focus more on empathizing with other people whom I serve and serve me, change the way I treat people simply because they are my subordinates, to name some. I know it is not easy to become a leader; however, when I master the important skills of being a servant-leaders to others, it is much easier then to lead followers and attain target outcomes.
- Leadership traits, skills and styles are all relevant in leaders today. Where are you currently in regard to traits, skills and styles as they relate to leadership? What does this mean for you as a leader? What steps can you take to improve becoming a more effective leader?
I, myself, strongly believe that leadership traits, skills, and styles are all relevant in leaders today. When it comes to my traits, skills, and styles, I am presently a well-rounded leader. I have good character traits such as “high integrity,” honesty, credibility, fairness, openmindedness, to name some personal and professional traits . I am also have outstanding communication, people, and managerial skills. I can communicate effectively not only with subordinates and colleagues, but also with other people outside of my organization. I have both the technical skill in spoken and written languages. In addition, I find it comfortable speaking in front of the public. Likewise, I regularly attend public speaking classes, continue with my graduate professional studies, and read books on leadership management. When it comes to people skill, I adjust to different types of people considering that they have their own personalities. My people skill comes out naturally; hence, I am proud of it. Despite the problems and difficulty that I might be able to encounter along the way, I am happy that I have a sense of compassion towards other individuals’ weaknesses. I listen to their grievances, dilemmas, and other predicaments in life with the purpose of helping and assisting them. In terms of mangerial skill, I can manage effectively and efficiently my job, time, family, subordinates, colleagues, money, and other concerns. I have the right mix of managerial skill that is why my followers are are highly satisfied the way I treat them. In view of my my leadership style, I am a participative-transformational (servant) leader. I make people act according to my legitimate wishes. I prefer people I lead to share their creative and diverging views about a particular issue at hand. Although I may be one of the most knowledgeable people in our group, I always want fresh ideas and high quality contributions (e.g., brainstorming during meetings). At any rate, as the leader, I am still the guider and final decision maker, especially concerning critical matters. As a leader, my traits, skills, and styles mean a lot to me. Without adequate consideration with peoples’ thinking, affection, identity, etc., it would be hard to lead other to same vision that we cherish with our lives. To become a more effective leader, I should improve more on people skills. Superiors, colleagues, subordinates, clients, etc. are all part of being and becoming a better leader. I can be the type of leader that I want to be, but I should also put premium on the shared and vicarious experiences of my subordinates as far as I am their leader.
- Some approaches to leadership include situational, Path-Goal, and Leader Member Exchange. Where are you currently in regard to these three approaches? What does this mean for you as a leader? What steps can you take to improve upon these areas?
In the situation approach to leadership, I am currently at the analysis of various situations that require various kinds of leadership. To influence others, I ensure that I have proper understanding of individuals’ behavioral patterns. Under this approach, I have to focus on the developmental levels of my subordinates to assess their competence and commitment to complete successfully a particular task. As the leader, I have to identify where my subordinates are for me to adapt a specific leadership style on them. Because people move back and forth on a given continuum, their level of development demand a specific style of leadership that I should adopt. Given my knowledge of this approach, I can demonstrate a high level of flexibility considering that this approach is easy to understand and apply in different organizational settings. In regards to Path-Goal Approach to Leadership, I know how important motivation, as well as, “strategic [and] tactical” decisions are for my followers to achieve our target goals . I also learned that if my subordinates are motivated enough to fulfill task I and they know they are capable of doing, my subordinates would easily get motivated to perform accordingly. In order to help my followers achieve our goals, I also ensure that I use a leadership style that is appropriate to my followers and task characteristics, as well as, clear the way for them to encounter a minimum of obstacles. In view of Leader-Member Exchange Leadership Approach, I interact with my subordinates on a regular basis (that is, in consideration of the “process of relationship building between [me as the] leader and [my] followers” . I know how important dyadic relationship is with my ingroup and outgroup followers. I was able to validate from my readings and experience that it is indispensable for people to relate to one another in an organization. With this approach, I am now in a better position to avoid ingroup biases to achieve positive outcomes. The three approaches to leadership have influenced me to a great extent because I know now that interpersonal and interprofessional relationships within an organization require knowledge of the situation, lead the path as my followers focus on the attainment of our goals, and the need to constantly forge good relationship with them. To improve myself in these areas, I need to adapt more to changing scenarios, understand how people behave within and outside a particular group, to name some.
- Other approaches to leadership include Team Leadership, Collaborative Leadership, Participatory Leadership and Transformational Leadership. Where are you currently in regard to these approaches? What does this mean for you as a leader? What steps can you take to improve upon these areas?
Currently, under the Team Leadership Approach, I make sure of my team’s work effectiveness. Additionally, I consider most of the internal and external critical functions of my leadership job. I continually study the conditions that make my group effective by pointing out to them the attributes of an excellent team. Further, I read more materials on group dynamics, leader-team relationship, and related ones. Because this approach is complex and does not offer easy answers to critical questions regarding decision-making. In consideration to my collaborative leadership, I provide the necessary support and assistance for my followers. With this approach, it is easy for me to engage with my subordinates when deciding what appropriate intervention to undertake. On the other hand, my current Participative Leadership is that I share our organization’s work problems with followers. I involve them in decision-making by solicit from them suggestions, recommendations, and other practical feedback. As a transformational leader, I have positive regards and trust to my subordinates . I also inspire them as we share our vision so as for me to model our way. Likewise, I encourage those under me to have the heart to act for the benefit of the whole organization. Because the term transformational is associated with innovation, intrinsic motivation plays an important role for me to effect change and transform my followers to top performing individuals. As a transformational leader, I should maintain a high level of good morals, charisma, and vision to lead people. As a leader, these additional approaches as critical for my growth and development as I lead my followers to achieve our vision, goals, and objectives. It is not easy to become a leader, but with the right approach and mindset, I can inspire and guide people to do what we have agreed to attain. Some of the important steps that I should do to improve more in these approaches are: develop farther my team competencies, learn to cooperate more with my co-equals, participate better in critical decision making, and introduce change whenever necessary.
- It is important to understand what type of leader you are. In regard to gender, the Gender-Leader Implicit Association Test and Masculinity-Feminity Self-Assessments can provide further insight into your leadership styles. Where are you in regard to these assessments? What does this mean for you as a leader? What steps can you take to improve in these areas?
In regard to the gender-leader implicit association test and masculinity-feminity self-assessments, I think women are as effective leaders as men do, such that women are viewed as more participative and democratic (that is, aside from being transformative leaders). However, many literature and studies revealed that, indeed, women are seen as more effective in the select fields such as education and social services), but not in the traditional masculine role. In addition to the above, there is still an large uneven numbers of women versus men who excel in different organizational roles (e.g., less than 5% of women are among the Fortune 500 CEOS, not more than a third of the seats in Congress are women, to name just a few examples) . Nonetheless, there are laws that try to remove these kind of barries (e.g., glass ceiling, women labyrinth, etc.). In regards to those assessments, I strongly believe in an egalitarian society where organizational diversity and performance is not associated with masculinity or feminity. Even when many people have traditionally linked women as performing traditionally domestic roles, women can excel just like men do. It depends on how they view themselves and rise up against the challenges of stereotyping and inequalities. As a leader, my assessment is that I should equally treat men and women, and value them depending on their achievements, not simply because of their gender. Considering farther that they have not chosen to be men or women, which is obviously the case, I should be the first to get rid off the myths that surround feminity versus masculinity in the group that I lead. Again, as a leader, it means so much to me that the rights enjoyed by men should also be experienced by women. If most men can climb up the organizational ladder, so do women. If women are given the same opportunities and privileges as men do, they can also perform better than men. Although this is still far from realized, I believe that it is an important step to undertake. Other steps that I should take to improve in this area is organizational awareness through seminars, conferences, etc. Whenever necessary, there should be equal life chances (e.g., employment, career development, etc.) for all men and women alike.
- Culture plays an important role in leadership today. Where are you currently in regard to cultural aspects of leadership? What does this mean for you as a leader? What steps can you take to improve in these areas?
I strongly agree with the statement that culture plays an important role in leadership today. Since almost all groups and organizations have their own shared knowledge and values, not to mention the attitudes and behavior specific to any individuals, I am currently uphold a culture-free (that is, non-prejudicial, unbiased view) ideals. Because different group of people came from various community backgrounds (e.g., different norms, mores, traditions, etc.), it is important to be tolerant, undertanding, and respectful of other people’s beliefs . Considering further that people have a collective sense of what is of utmost importance to them, it is uncumbent upon me (that is, as a leader) to enforce an atmosphere of camaraderie, goodwill, etc. Given the fact that culture defines individual behavior, it prevails because of a larger communal interest of each of its members. As a leader, I should draw the line between what is acceptable to one group and which is not for another group. In so doing, I avoid the prevalence of culture that may shock others who will be initiated into our group or organization, as a whole. I believe that in a group or organization, I will not be able to get rid off any specific culture without, directly or indirectly, affecting the lives of those under me. Hence, no matter how idiosynchratic a particular culture is, as long as it does not clash with the rights of other individuals or groups, it should be valued for its own sake. In view of the aforementioned statements, they define who I am as a leader. They mean a lot to my personal and professional success within and outside of an organization. To better hone myself in these areas, I should do some of these steps: allow for sufficient room for other people to express their own knowledge, values, goals, etc. in line with the group or organizational goals. Respect people for their own views (such as during brainstorming where there is no right or wrong answers). Put at the center stage the human person, his rights, freedom, success, etc. so that I can be the kind of leader who is impartial to peoples’ concerns, no matter what their cultural backgrounds are.
- Integrity and Trust are essential to successful leadership. Where are you currently in regard to trust and integrity? What does this mean for you as a leader? What steps can you take to improve in these areas?
I have moral soundness (integrity) and belief in the honesty and reliability of other people (trust). At the moment, I have deep regards in my character or moral fiber and other people’s trust and integrity. Because I always try to be honest with other people, I also expect them to be honest in dealingwith me. As much as I could, I would not allow other individuals to take advantage of my kindness or of other people’s weaknesses. I believe in the moral precept that I should do unto others what I would like them to do in exchange. If I like to be treated fairly, I should do the same. However, in the event that other people lied or dishonest with me, I still give them the benefit of the doubt. I make sure that I listen to them, even if it is as clear as the blue morning sky that they have done something wrong to me. In the event they tell me the truth, I should have a forgiving heart. Nonetheless, they should face the repercussions of their actions for them to learn from it a lesson. As a leader, having integrity and trust are really essential to become successful in leading the pact . In case I have lost integrity, I should initiate the first move to step down without waiting for others to continue hurling grime to me. Even when there is not a ‘wholly’ integral people, specific instances in the life of a leader call for it. I should never be blind that only leaders can serve others. Whatever my position in a group or an organization, I can still be a role model to others. Nowadays, putting my trust to others may not be an easy a task. People should be tested how much courage, integrity, virtue, etc. they could carry on such as what makes a diamond a diamond. With the necessary ingredients (e.g., carbon), extreme heat and pressure can make a diamond, which is the most adamant of all minerals. The same holds true to leaders. Hence, the steps I should take to improve myself in the areas of integrity and honesty are simply to continue in those directions. I should, as much as I could and even in the face of constant challenges, remain steadfast to what most people believe in and cherish (that is, a leader must possess integrity and trustworthiness).
- How do you compare your current leadership to where you want to be as a leader? Are you close to where you want to be? Are you better off than you thought? Would other people agree with your self-assessments, or do you think that answers would be different if they came from your coworkers, superiors, or subordinates? How would they differ?
I am an outstanding leader, but there are always rooms for improvement. I cannot be the kind I envisioned myself to be if I would remain stagnant in my position, ideals, etc. I takes constant effort, time, experience, etc. to become an excellent leader. I think I am close to where I want to be, but not as closer as I am giving the unlimited opportunities to become truly what I am years from now. Hence, I think I am not better off than I thought because I dislike being boastful whatever my current or future achievements would be. I think people would agree with my self-assessment giving the fact that I am not trying to appear what I really am not. Other individuals (e.g., superiors, coworkers, subodinates) have their own ways of evaluating the performance even of their bosses. Thus, the cliché: “You cannot please everybody.” I should do my best even when it may not seem good enough to others. Even if I have done everything within my power as a leader, sometimes people would still ask for more. Even when my superior may have been satisfied with my previous accomplishment, it is not a guarantee that it would be the same every now and then. All I can do is to show that I value my position, my contributions to the organization, and continue to aspire for continual improvement and development. Should my coworkers, superiors, and subordinates would assess me, the proof of the burden is already on them. I did my part to the best of my abilities, suffice to say then that at least I tried to fulfill my duties and responsibilities as a leader. Should their assessment on me differs on the way I evaluated myself, I know there is something amiss. I should try to fix whatever is broken; otherwise, it is my reputation who would be at stake.
- How do you feel you compare in your current leadership as compared to your best examples of great leadership? This could be people at work, people in your personal life, etc. What qualities do you have that they don’t? What qualities do they have that you don’t? How do you achieve that level of leadership?
Given the fact that there are great leaders and various types of leadership per se, I feel I still have to prove a lot before I become a truly great leader myself. My current leadership is still far from being great in the sense that my performace is not as remarkable as greatness. Although I may be highly satisfied with my achievements, there are always many more than just what I have already accomplished. I am also of the opinion that true leaders are humble; they let others do the praising for them. I can say that my father (personal life) who is a great leader for me. He has influenced me a lot, personally and professionally. He is an effective leader to me (his son), not just because of his intellectual abilities, but because of the way he uses his higher-order emotive skills when dealing with his family members and other people. His motto is, “To love and let be loved.” He expounded on this by saying that when you learned to love other people (even your enemies), they will learn to love you more than friends do. Such is a statement that keeps on reverberating in my mind and actions. There cannot be far from the truth than that. The quality that he (my father) has that I still do not have (or still keep on improving) is being too sensitive to other people at the point of holding grudges over them. I know love does not keeps records of wrong, but sometimes, it is difficult to let things be. Anyway, that is the direction I want to continue on, and possibly, learn to master such an important ethical principle in life. I cannot think at the moment of qualities that I possess which my father does not have. By and large, I think I can achieve that level of leadership as I become more mature and experienced in life, that there is more important than life here on earth, etc. At a much higher rate, I am a religious person. I think great leaders must have fear in the Divine Power.
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