Over the course of the semester I was given the opportunity to educate myself on different leadership theories that allowed to see how I represented myself as a leader. I was able to match myself up with theories that best described me as a personal leader and learn more about the theory, so I knew exactly what I was identifying with and pointers on how to better develop myself as that leadership style. I identify myself with Transformational Leadership and Servant Leadership. Transformational leadership is defined as engaging with others to build a connection that increases motivation and morality in both the leader and the follower (Northouse 2019.). Transformational leadership has influenced my present leadership experiences. I have been able to use this leadership approach with groups I’ve lead with and its always brought much success to the group. I have been able to gain and give trust to others and share the overall vision I have. It has allowed me to grow as a person and professionally, which is necessary in order for me to best I can be and so I produce these results onto other followers so they can also grow personally and professionally. With my leadership experience I have unlocked a door of knowing how to reach and relate to my followers in the best way possible. When you have a clear vision on your goals and you interact with your team it allows you to build the ability to create a personalized bond with them because everyone can input ideas and know one way or another it can get implemented or used in a different project. Its all about inducing change within how followers and leaders interact with one another, which was great for me because I am all about building quality relationships, so everyone feels comfortable with themselves, the group, and the leader. When I would have the goals or tasks set and broke down how we needed to get there everyone was always able to get on board and help in how they could because they knew what the end result would bring.
With the wide variety of leadership approaches another one that has made a positive impact on me would be Servant Leadership. Servant leadership is defined as gaining a natural feeling of wanting to serve and serve first before anything then aspire to lead next (Northouse 2019.). This has also had an impact on my leadership skills because it thought me how to put other people before me and help those in need. Based off all of the characteristics of being a Servant leader it has allowed me to create value for the community and give off an empowering feeling to others. I also learned it served long term results, which I felt was great who the people I helped because it’s usually better to have long term results than short term results. What also helped with my experience was that I experienced stewardship firsthand, having that responsibility of someone else’s care in your hands because they trust you lets you know that this is something serious, there is no room to play around. You are in charge of helping someone get back on their feet and you want to do a good job because if you were in the same predicament you would want someone to practice good stewardship towards you. Instead of being a leader you are practicing being a teacher because you want them to learn and grow because they are following you, it’s not so much about being a leader with an action driven pack. I was focused on helping others and not myself which was a challenge because I was used to being a leader and knowing my team and I have to look good and be up to far I can’t slack as a leader, but with Servant Leadership I realized I wasn’t a leader and it wasn’t about my looks it was about the other people and how they can hundred percent look better or be better than they were yesterday. I would say that it felt good for once not to be giving orders be rather enabling others to care more about themselves and their future with me helping them instead of doing it on their own.
The definition of personal leadership has changed over time to me. From what I used to think it was to what it is now after taking this course and doing my own reflection. To me personal leadership means taking responsibility and charge of your life, making your own decisions (the right one). Being a personal leader means always being ready to grow and expand in all horizons when positioned to you. You can set goals and attain those goals, which is good personal development. You give yourself a voice you knew never you had and speak up when you have uncertainties, otherwise known as help seeking because it takes courage to do so and also shows you are trying to well prepared for small or big challenges. When you think something should be done in a different way, basically arguing a point of view you are showing personal leadership. What allowed me to come to this definition of personal leadership would be the Leader Member Exchange Theory (In & Out Group) and Situational Leadership. Dealing with LMX is pretty straightforward because it lets you in on the type of people you may come around whether working in a management setting or leadership setting. For this I will mainly be focusing on In Group and Out Group from the LMX to better set my definition of personal leadership. The In-Group contains members who are all about work, but most importantly teamwork. They work effectively to help the leader get tasks done in a timely fashion. They have a high-quality relationship with the leader which means it contains communication, trust, and respect. They enjoy what they do and go that extra mile. In Group portrays my definition because they show the characteristic of good personal leadership as followers so when they become leaders they already have the skills and knowledge to be a great leader. For Out Group they are members who have a low-quality relationship with the leader, they usually just come to work, do what they have to do and leave; they do not enjoy what they do; they are unmotivated and less committed. They do not portray good personal leadership because they don’t set higher standards for themselves to do good and be given the respect they deserve. You have to earn respect sometimes and if you are slacking and not giving something your all, you can not be mad that those in In Group are treated with respect when they do what is asked of them a little bit extra. This can be discouraging for those in Out Group; I do understand, but if you don’t present yourself with courage and confidence to step and be a great team member then you are going to lack personal development skills which would bring tremendous growth to your personal leadership. Out group basically taught me what not to look for in a leader or someone who could have the potential because they already lack in the follower category.
Situational Leadership is a style of leadership that not only focuses on adjusting your style to the situation, but also used with leadership training and development (Northouse 2019.). I think Situational leadership is a good fit for the definition because the main skill is adaptability. That plays a close pair with personal leadership because you need to be able to adapt to any situation quick whether you put yourself in that situation or you got put in that situation. You have to able to adapt to it and know how to handle it. You have to know how to meet the needs of other people, not just yourself. There are four types of styles of situational leadership and they all give you an insight of how to act depending on the environment. You have delegating, supporting, coaching, and directing. All either have a high supportive or a low directive behavior favoring how you adapt. The three main skills of Situational leadership are goal setting, diagnosing, and matching. All three of these skills go hand in hand with personal leadership because you must set goals that’s the only way you grow and know how to haggle obstacles, you must diagnose the goal or task and match how to achieve that goal with a style you are comfortable with. Everyone has a different definition of personal leadership; this is mine and how it best works for me to understand it and know what skills I need to grow and what would hinder me from growing in personal leadership.
From my course of time taking this class it has allowed me to envision how I want my future leadership style to be. As in I know what I want to improve on more to change my style and try something new that may work even better for me. From all of the theories learned in the class the final two theories I look forward to using in my future would be Adaptive leadership and Authentic leadership. For these allow me to build new characteristics about myself I did not have before.
Adaptive leadership is a new hands-on approach leading style that would a challenge for me, but a challenge willing to conquer. Adaptive leadership is defined as focusing on the adaptations workers need to make in response to changing environments (Northouse 2019.). Adaptive leadership stresses activities of the leaders that optimizes work of the followers in the context of when they find themselves. How I envision my future with this leadership style is it teaching me to mobilize myself while thriving and tackling rough challenges that come my way. I want to be able to thrive in more complex environments without feeling stuck or lost on how to switch up.
This is different from my current leadership styles because I am oriented in helping others and putting my best foot forward being a leader everyone can come to because we have high quality relationships. I am not so oriented in changing up leadership styles based off the environment and I would like to become more proficient in that, because it would aid in me learning different scenarios and the most efficient way to handle it. I would also be able to practice working under high pressure cause I can learn to mask such pressure where it literally feels like a breeze.
Authentic Leadership is the last style I would like to use in my future to switch up my style. Authentic Leadership is defined as focusing on whether the leadership is genuine or not (Northouse 2019.). With Authentic Leadership I like how it involves ruling out unethical behaviors and fake “trustworthy’ leaders. We have a lot of scam leaders who are not the best leaders, they are probably just in it for the popularity and money it may bring in, but me I like how you can be the real you and go by your ethical values without feeling like there may be consequences. I envisioned this for my future because I would be able to behave in a manner that falls in line with good principals and values and empower others to take action and do the same thing as me. I would be able to take others into consideration and not feel like I have to meet a status and make the most popular decision that everyone is mostly like going to make too.
This is different from my current leadership styles because they don’t fall into a true authentic feeling or relate to this style of leadership. I only say this because yes you are expected to be your true self, but there are morals or rules you must follow that may break your personal morals and I feel like with Authentic Leadership I would not have to do that. I can be true to my own character that I built myself to be. I would also love to share that with others to be your true authentic self because there are so many people who are hiding that in Leadership and that is how they differ themselves. I would rather open up doors to those who are real than those who hide behind a mask and say they are “real”.
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