Leadership is a way in which a person influences a group of people to work towards achieving set targets or goals. This paper describes the beliefs and ideas that I will endeavor to live up to and instill in my colleagues, subjects, and everybody else around me every day. It will help know who I am, what I want to represent and my overall view on the leadership activity. The title makes a leader, but the people decide whether one is an administrator.
Leadership is built and made by influence. This shows clearly that it is neither a trait nor a behavior that one comes up with neither is it a position that one has to stick there always. A leader is a person who has the sense of urgency, a clear mind and deep intention in the heart at the place of work. He performs work willingly and gives the best in all the efforts. (Kouzes, Posner and Biech, 2010). Thus, as a leader, one should lead by example through action, working hard and giving the best effort possible.
At gaining and developing leadership abilities, I was a netball team leader at 19. That was my first attempt at leadership. I worked hard towards my team goals by leading them, organizing netball schedules and playing so hard in the field so that they could emulate me. Within two weeks, I was replaced because of a disciplinary issue in school. Being replaced made me start a long journey of developing my leadership skills.
Leadership varies from different small groups in an organization to the whole organization. It is hard to know how people surrender themselves in following the rules of one leader and as well as trying to emulate other traits from another leader instead of copying all from one. The reason why people do this is because it all depends on leader role- playing. The roles can include position, a leader's power, love and admiration hence some members imitate this. Leaders can as well be perceived as ineffective despite having good behaviors. This is because a leader may have no drive of achieving set goals or targets. They can as well be seen as bad leaders but still achieve set goals. One can acquire various opportunities and turn them into success after having a clear picture of leadership. A leader should always have techniques of attracting followers and have them emulate the actions and behaviors.
I can sum my leadership philosophy into four beliefs to be particular. These include belief in leadership by example, which success is by way of communicating a vision, belief in leadership by positive reinforcement and lastly leadership by action.
The first belief, leadership by example, applies where a leader walks the talk. It also includes measuring team's success against set targets. It also applies where a leader is always in direct conversation with colleagues or keeps workers engaged by setting a higher achievable bar. In 2010, I was hired as a chief executive officer of a small company in Nairobi, Kenya. It manufactured few products and had limited resources and thus, its customers were few. I reorganized the company operations where, instead of its brief meetings, I set morning hour's interaction meetings. This is after discovering that the company lacked professionalism and there was factionalism from the board of directors.
Every member was always eager to turn up for the face to face engagements. They became so open and explained their complaints with no fear. Through this interaction and listening to them, I learned they all had the love for each other and the community. I understood their disappointments, where they lost their hope and their frustrations. I organized a report and presented it to the board. When they learnt of all this, they transformed their brief sessions to major meetings where everyone would get a chance to express his feedback. They set up programs to meet business expo and membership needs. With this, it allowed local company owners to uplift themselves and it ended up as a win-win situation with everyone.
My Belief in leadership by positive reinforcement is inspired by the fact that no one ever forgets the idea of being recognized and valued. It is a nice feeling for an individual to be motivated through rewards. It always increases one motive to perform much more and better. In a company in Washington, I organized a way of keeping employees motivated since their morale was always down hence slowing the functions of the company. I would write short sticky notes to an employee desk when a target had been attained. I would later go and applaud the employee when everyone else was watching. I learnt that every employee wanted to be treated this way and hence they all started performing so well as if in a competition. The mood of the company changed to a very industrious one where everyone was always busy working. Everyone was always encouraged to do better.
In my belief of communicating a vision to acquire success, it is applied in the illustration that follows. A few years back, I was involved in a lake project. I was among the people contributing to the cleaning of the lake to give clean water to the people. It was a hard task to gather all the people together and deliver all the lake information. We needed to enlighten people on the dangers of disposing of waste in the lake, and we were also to teach them on continuity of keeping the lake clean. I did online research on lake events and found out lake activities would attract a large number of people. We organized canoe riding, bonfires, fun sunset activities and water education talks and distributed posters expanding these activities. People turned out in large numbers. It was all fun, and people enjoyed the water talk as they ensured to maintain the lake clean. It was a community success as people mingled. A vision of how people can come together was witnessed. It was planned as a one-time event but turned out a repeat since up to now people run the lake events as others come to enjoy.
Leadership by action involves bringing clarity to one's decision by analyzing every information. Thoughtful pre-work always leads to a straight path hence desired results. Action is the only real thing. It involves being true to processes and always acting with integrity, transparency and utmost dedication, being ready to be a learner, and remaining accountable for all activities conducted. Stakeholders always elicit support showing pursuit to making decisions boldly and endorsement (Ruggero & Haley, 2005). This is after they organize discussions.
I have served many companies, and through this, I have learnt the positive actions of a leader always connect them with the people they lead. They empower workers to own their work and make decisions. By doing so, they open a way for loyalty, commitment to take place and respect. Great leaders have confidence in their worker's abilities. Leaders always have that internal faith on their worker; they can ask the employee how far they can go just because of the potential the employee got (Freedman, 2012). They instill every input and opinion to make a step.
Generally, leadership is a call and one has to deliver from the heart. While implementing the above, I will remain attached to my team and always ensure an eve growing oneness among members.
Freedman, J. (2012). Being a leader: Organizing and inspiring a group. New York: Rosen Pub.
Kouzes, J. M., Posner, B. Z., & Biech, E. (2010). A Coach's Guide to Developing Exemplary Leaders: Making the Most of The Leadership Challenge and the Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI). New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.
Ruggero, E., & Haley, D. F. (2005). The leader's compass: A personal leadership philosophy is your key to success. King of Prussia, PA: Academy Leadership.
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