Apart from Leadership knowledge, the Leadership Experience Program continues to be of great value to me regarding my attributes. Conducting the Drive Safe 365Challenges project has illuminated my skills in running an operation in an organizational or social situation. Both the motivations and the challenges have played in ensuring my effectiveness as a leader as well as a team player. In my view, I believe that the program has prepared me well in a wide range of aspects concerning character building.
First, I think that the exercise has enabled me to articulate and act on my core values, ethics and a sense of purpose in the world. Notably, handling my team to the successful completion of the task has enabled me to grow my inner-self. I believe my self-realization contributed to my effective leadership that saw the success of the entire mission. It is important to note that management is not only about inspiring others but also looking after oneself. According to George and his colleagues, a leader should first go through a self-discovery process to lead others effectively (2007). Importantly, the process of knowing oneself is referred to as authenticity which advocates for the person be true to oneself (George et al., 2007). Moreover, being authentic inspires self-analysis that helps a person to discover the tenets that drive his/her actions such as ethical values and purposes (George et al., 2007). Chiefly, authenticity grants an individual the courage to pursue his/her ambitions despite the existence of challenges (George et al., 2007).
Basing on the Boise Project, the program required a lot of courage to be launch. I now believe that success would have impossible if I had not discovered my inner-self and purpose. For instance, I had not been comfortable with the increased teen's deaths due to reckless driving. Therefore, my self-identification enabled me to craft a plan that would help in tackling this issue. Moreover, articulating on my strengths gave me the confidence of implementing such a big project that would help save lives in Boise.
Nevertheless, I managed to overcome the difficulties through my inner values. For instance, I advocate for equal treatment regardless of people's diversity concerning culture, social classes, and beliefs. Hence, it is evident that I required this stance in ensuring that I eradicated biases among participants to achieve the objective of the task.
Consequently, the project was beneficial in reflecting on my strengths and areas of improvement as a leader and as a person. One essential benefits of practical project management is that individuals get the chance to practice their skills to gauge their competency (Collins, 2006). Notably, identifying personal strengths motivates n individual to perform better as well as to adopt new strategies in excelling performances (Collins 2006).
Well, I can say that the LEAD Program enabled me to discover my problem-solving skills. As mentioned in the previous reflection, my program faced three significant challenges which were Time management, Biases among Participants and Financial strains. As the manager of the group, I was tasked with ensuring smooth operations of activities which meant that it was my responsibility to come up with tactics of overcoming the challenges. For instance, I solved the financial problem by involving the Chief Deputy Coroner of Boise County who incorporated different agencies that provided financial aid. Again I introduced discipline measures that advocated for time obedience where tasks were completed in time. Given that the time frame for the whole exercise was short, I opted to pressure my juniors to work fast to meet the deadlines effectively.
Consequently, I improved my decision-making abilities as I made decisions concerning the implementation of the project's activities such as assigning roles. On the other hand, I discovered that it was a bit challenging for me to work with a team that comprised individuals from different backgrounds. I think that my inability to accommodate variety created room for biases among my subjects. I realized that, as a leader, I have a significant influence on my followers' behavior and attitude as noted by Hughes (1993). I, therefore, concluded that my weaknesses negatively affected my team.
As mentioned above, the importance of identifying weaknesses is to work on them to ensure successfulness. Hence, upon noticing my failures, I began working on my intercultural communication that enhances the relationships of people who are different regarding beliefs and perspective. This step enabled me to mobilize the unique contributions that people bring as a result of their diverse views. According to Schein, the embracement of cultural diversity in an organizational setting promotes harmony in the organization as each member end up feeling worthy and appreciated (2010). I agree with Schein as I managed to control the discrimination attitude after I imposed rules that equated all the participants' background.
Despite the essentialness of the project, the LEAD program was not educational about online communication. The communication approaches that were used in the project were traditional which included brochures and other promotional materials. This technique could have affected the awareness of the exercise's activities which could have made the outcome unsuccessful. According to Avram, in modern world technology, old methods of disseminating information are unable to quench the needs of globalization (2015).
Digital communicating is more useful as it reaches mass audiences in an appropriate time compared to the traditional methods whose receivers are limited to a small geographical location (Avram, 2015). Importantly, people in this era embrace modern ways of communication; thus, they no longer pay attention to traditional materials (Avram, 2015). For instance, people nowadays prefer accessing information through the phone. Applying this concept on my project the brochures were ineffective as most people may not have accessed them.
Notably, communicating online is advantageous as it is cheaper compared to the print platform (Avram, 2015). The paper medium required to be printed to reach the audience which ought to be expensive; on the other hand, the online method will not need such services as the communicator will only post information for people to access. In my view, communicating online would have enabled my team to avoid the financial hurdles that emerged from using traditional promotion materials.
I plan to start employing digital measures in my future projects to counter the problems that arise while using traditional methods. For instance, we will create the project's website on which we will explain the strategies and importance of our activities. Importantly, we will also have a feedback segment in which we will interact with the public to know their take on our efforts. Apart from the website, we plan also to use social media means to reach the community. This platform will be a less official; hence the community will be able to express their concerns more freely.
Avram, E. M. (2015). The Importance Of Online Communication In Higher Education. Network Intelligence Studies, 3(1), 15-21.
Collins, J. (2006). Level 5 leadership: The triumph of humility and fierce resolve. Managing Innovation and Change, 234.
George, B., Sims, P., McLean, A. N., & Mayer, D. (2007). Discovering your authentic leadership. Harvard business review, 85(2), 129.
Hughes, R. L. (1993). Leadership: Enhancing the lessons of experience. Richard D. Irwin, Inc., 1333 Burridge Parkway, Burridge, IL 60521.
Schein, E. H. (2010). Organizational culture and leadership(Vol. 2). John Wiley & Sons.
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