In developing my philosophy of leadership, I should ask myself what essential traits I should possess. In my opinion, leadership is vast accumulation traits and values which cannot be lumped into a single categorical leadership style and dished out to everyone. However, people define the leadership concept in many ways. For instance, Hogan, Curphy, and Hogan (1994) asserted that leadership encompasses persuading other people so that they can set aside for a defined period their differences and concerns, and in turn, join forces so that they can work together to pursue a common goal that is important for the welfare and responsibilities of the group. As such, different people have different opinions of what encompasses good leadership. As such, in coming up with my leadership philosophy, I need to define who I am as a leader, what are my leadership qualities and style. In doing this, I ask myself what are those traits and core values that shape the vision of who I am as a leader? In light of this questions, I believe that leaders should capitalize on their strengths and show a great deal of a variety of skills, including knowledge of self, core values, communication and listening, knowing yourself and others, building a support team, empowering people to lead, opening your mind to new ways of doing things, being creative, thinking outside the box, sharing information, and removing barriers between yourself and others.
First, leaders should have a great deal of self-awareness, including one's limitations, values, abilities. This is a crucial aspect of emotional intelligence showcased by effective leaders (Bennis & Thomas, 2002; Goleman, 2004). This quality enables them to know themselves with a significant amount of precision and accuracy (Goleman, 2004). Ideally, a self-aware leader has a profound comprehension of his or her emotions, drives, needs, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Also, leaders who are self-aware are neither unrealistically hopeful nor critical. As such, they should balance these dimensions. Instead, they need to be honest with others and unto themselves. Ideally, effective leaders need to be self-aware to recognize how their feelings affect them, and in turn, how they affect others, especially on job performance aspects (Goleman, Boyatzis, & McKee, 2001). For instance, leaders who perfectly know that they cannot work with tight deadlines because it brings out their worst on them should plan their time effectively so that they avoid instances where they can get caught by the deadlines.
The main leadership approach that has enabled me to navigate the treacherous path of leadership is the trait approach. Trait approach argues that leaders are either born or made with certain qualities that will make them excel in leadership roles. Assessing my profile as a business leader, I show intelligence, responsibility, and creativity in every process that I undertake. These values have rightly angled me as a good leader in my organization. Caldwell and Cheokas (2012) rightly state that transformative leadership exemplify a commitment to the welfare of all stakeholder and seeking to optimize the long-term wealth creation endeavor of the organization. That has been my obligation in governance in my organization. Excellence has followed my governance style as employees feel more valued when they are assigned critical projects of the organization (Kotter, 2007).
I also believe that excellent communication and listening are vital for good leaders. Leadership is all about being able to communicate well, a high degree of confidence, as well as being decisive. Besides, leadership is all about knowing others and supporting them while also capitalizing on persuasion, but not domination (Kotter, 2007). The leader must be involved in the process of accomplishing the tasks assigned to the team or task group. As such, the leader plays a central role in influencing others from a social perspective so that he/she harnesses the support and help from others with the aim of accomplishing a common task. However, it is worth mentioning that effective leadership only occurs when others are willing to participate in achieving the group goals as their own. As such, leadership is concerned with building goal-oriented and cohesive teams. This calls for empowering people to lead and perform their duties. Cohesive teams and empowering others to allow for building support teams that would enable collaboration as no one knows everything.
I believe that leadership is so much more than having the title "leader" and a group of followers. Leadership is the ability to look to future, affect change, to make a choice not just because it is the popular choice, but because it is the right choice. Leadership is having a vision, getting others engaged the vision, and affecting change by empowering followers to shared and pursue in the positive achievement of those goals and their impacts.
I will lead with creativity and be open to change is also vital for leaders as it opens their minds to new ways of doing things. I believe leaders should be willing to adapt to change having an open mind to accept input from others within the organization. A leader's ability to think outside of the box builds confidence among subordinates and works to empower followers to have a shared purpose allowing a lasting positive encounter. Additionally, I advocate for thinking outside the box while also encouraging and motivating others as the gaining positive results is a goal of leaders (Goleman, 2000). Motivation and encouragement are an essential quality for effective leaders. It also falls within the precincts of emotional intelligence. In essence, they are traits that all effective leaders should have as it enables them to achieve beyond their expectations, as well as others'. Motivation is primarily geared towards achieving what the leader has set, and therefore, the leader takes actions that will, in turn, motivate the employees (Farh et al., 2012). Besides, sharing information with others is also vital for leaders as providing such information makes it easier to make decisions.
Leadership is about motivating people versus controlling and problem-solving. As I think of the different elements of leadership and the critical role they play in my leadership decisions. I lead by following my core values, these values are non-negotiable. In leadership, I believe honesty and integrity are two of the things which bring respect from followers. According to our readings "Making Meaning of Being Bad," it describes two types of bad leaders ineffective and unethical (Kellerman, 2018, p.4). I believe a leader who goes against their core values by lying, cheating, or such putting self-interest ahead of others fall under the corrupt leadership and are motived by power or greed rather than core values.
Lastly, I believe that removing barriers between yourself and others is important, and particularly let people know you are approachable, which is an aspect that allows for interaction and social intelligence (Goleman & Boyatzis, 2008). This is what fosters teamwork and allows for a positive change and no leader can say they are entirely authentic (Goffee &Jones, 2005; George, Sims, McLean, & Mayer, 2007). Areas that I need improvement is letting others know that I am approachable. In fact, my big challenge has been maintaining the growth and development of others, particularly individuals who hold different ambitions. It is often challenging to motivate others to see my vision and get them working towards achieving the goals.
Bennis, W. G., & Thomas, R. J. (2002). Crucibles of leadership. Harvard business review, 80.
Farh, C. I., Seo, M. G., & Tesluk, P. E. (2012). Emotional intelligence, teamwork effectiveness, and job performance: the moderating role of job context. Journal of Applied Psychology, 97(4), 890.
George, B., Sims, P., McLean, A. N., & Mayer, D. (2007). Discovering your authentic leadership. Harvard business review, 85(2), 129.
Goleman, D., & Boyatzis, R. (2008). Social intelligence and the biology of leadership. Harvard business review, 86(9), 74-81.
Goleman, D. (2004). What makes a leader? Harvard business review, 82(1), 82-91.
Goleman, D. (2000). Leadership that gets results. Harvard Business Review, 78(2).
Goleman, D., Boyatzis, R., & McKee, A. (2001). Primal leadership: The hidden driver of great performance. Harvard business review, 79(11), 42-51.
Goffee, R., & Jones, G. (2005). Managing authenticity. Harvard business review, 83(12), 85-94.
Hogan, R., Curphy, G. J., & Hogan, J. (1994). What we know about leadership: Effectiveness and personality. American psychologist, 49(6), 493.
Kellerman, B. (2018). Making meaning of being bad: Different forms of bad leadership. Harvard Business Review, 282.
Kotter, J. P. (2007). What leaders really do. Harvard Business Review, 68(3).
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