Leadership is the ability to inspire and focus members on a common goal, whether short term or long term and have the same vision. Leadership is more than telling or ordering, but having members believe and want to follow the same path as you. It’s a commitment to your people built on trust and respect. Many leaders shaped my personal leadership philosophy, to include several negative and positive experiences. Negative experiences from poor leaders and lessons learned on my part have uniquely shaped this vision. Difficult to be a good follower when your leader lacks competency, integrity, and your trust. If a leader takes credit for work other than their own, or forces and ideology onto others, but does not follow it themselves; these negative influences damage the trust and respect required by all leaders. However, positive experiences can also have a career lasting impact. A leader who inspires through personal actions and convictions can change how an entire unit operates without ever saying a word.
As a graduate student approaching her final semester in school, thoughts regarding my leadership abilities in the soon-to-be “real world” have occupied my mind lately. To further explore and develop my ideas about leadership, I decided to develop my personal leadership theory. So, I asked myself the following questions: What makes a successful leader? How do you recognize a leader when you meet one?, and lastly, what is my theory of leadership? With this last question I thought about what leadership meant to me personally and how I personified it in a role of authority. While I had given thought to how I led, I had rarely taken the time to fully understand what my personal leadership theory entailed. Throughout the length of this paper I will analyze how my leadership skills, traits, values and elements from both Authentic Transformational theories help me to shape my leadership philosophy. In doing so I hope to define the leadership values that influence the way I view and practice leadership.
I took something away from the different sources of power. Power is the capacity of potential to influence. Power can corrupt good leaders. Power, by its nature, it is powerful and tasteless like carbon monoxide. The more powerful one becomes, the more likely we are to overestimate our own mental virtue. There is position, power and personal power. Power can be more deadly than drugs. Many leaders allow power to go to their heads. They forget what and who was important to them. They allow power to consume them.
The text will cover a number of different aspects of leadership. We will consider my personal understanding of leadership and it relates to certain leadership theories. In my philosophy of leadership, I will address what role I believe a health care leader should play, what leadership theory they should follow, and why leaders should follow that theory. It will describe my current sphere of influence and how it has shaped my understanding of leadership. I will explain how I am a leader in my current position and how I apply my leadership philosophy within my position. Then I will provide how I see the use of informal, formal, positive and negative power as it applies to my personal philosophy of leadership.
The path to a personal leadership philosophy is made up of three parts. Each individual aspect is a facet of a complete whole. Much like a timeline that includes a past, present and future, my personal philosophy consists of a foundation, action, and growth. If you do not understand where your foundation of leadership came from, you will have problems acting in a leadership capacity. Also if don’t pay attention to how you are acting as a leader you cannot know in what ways you need to grow. Why should I spend the time and effort in developing myself as a leader? The Gunner’s Mate rating has a strength of just over 600 members. Maritime Force Protection Unit Kings Bay has 31 Gunner’s Mates assigned to it. I have a full five percent of the Gunner’s Mates in the Coast Guard that I lead. During my four year assignment at MFPU Kings Bay, approximately 55 Gunner’s mates (9.2 percent) will have been under my leadership. I see that as an enormous responsibility. As a young Gunner’s Mate I saw my senior leadership as people capable of effecting great change on the rating. Now today I am in the position to have that same impact.
An Army Leader is able and willing to act decisively, within the intent and purpose of his superior leaders, and in the best interest of the organization. Army leaders recognize that organizations built on mutual trust and confidence, successfully accomplish peacetime and wartime missions.” (2006, P. Viii). Balance molds a leader and in turn, an effective leader is a proactive person who works a whole lot smarter. President George Bush (1997) states, “Leadership to me means duty, honor, and country; It means character and it means listening from time to time.” (Adrain, p. 35).
An effective leader must be able to uphold their values against adversity, adapt and overcome, and act in the best interest of their Soldiers. The excerpt “I know my Soldiers and I will always place their needs above my own” from the NCO Creed really speaks to what a leader is. Authenticity is key – showing subordinates and peers that you are not without fault and that just because you are in a leadership position does not mean you cannot learn from others. Leaders with this mentality increase trust and morale in their respective units; thus increasing work productivity and giving their subordinates a greater sense of job satisfaction.
I was able to pull many leadership ideas that are applicable in both my military and civilian careers as a National Guardsman. The easiest thing to boil down in the book are the traits people wish to see in leaders, the Be. In research reported by The Leadership Challenge surveying thousands of people in business and government, four results are remarkably consistent- honest, competent, forward-looking, and Inspiring (Hesselbein 48). These are attributes that have become instrumental in identifying successful leadership and should be used as my basis. Within these traits lay four skills that every leader must acquire knowledge and mastery of; Interpersonal, Conceptual, Technical and Tactical skills. The Know. What is profoundly interesting is the authors description of civilian tactical skills "involving negotiating, human relations, and the like are often necessary to achieve objectives" (Hesselbein 52). Being able to effectively and strategically utilize key units (both in and out of the military) to achieve success falls under such tactical skills. The last portion of effective leadership I'll take with me is, Do. The biggest thing to takeaway here is that successful leaders act in three ways: "they pull together in teams…with a unified purpose, they execute to achieve results, and they lead change to leave the organization stronger than they found it" (Hesselbein 55). With emphasis on the latter part, a successful leader leaves the organization in greater health than originally
strong leaders. The following principles are what I strive to live up to in my everyday life
Leadership has been around for thousands of years, yet experts are still unable to agree on a universal definition. Perhaps it is because leadership is a complex, multidimensional concept that continuously evolves. Nevertheless, explaining leadership and its theories and approaches is a monumental task (Henman, n.d.).
The book selected for the assignment is, ‘Be a people person: Effective leadership through effective relationships,’ by John C. Maxwell. Mr. Maxwell is an author, speaker, leadership expert who is internationally recognized and a pastor. He wrote books on leadership (The John Maxwell Company, n.d.). He has a doctorate in ministry and started his career as a pastor. After 14 years of preaching the word of God, he devoted himself to speaking and writing. He became a religious leader (Christian Books Previews, n.d.). Maxwell has recognized the role of interpersonal relationships in making and breaking a leader. He has also realized the importance of developing personal skills from the people (Victor Books, 2002). In his book, Maxwell explains how a person who follows can turn to a leader by connecting with people and relating to them from a biblical perspective. The author places 50 percent emphasis on others, 25 percent on self and the remaining 25 percent on God in his approach to the followers (Barnes and Noble, n.d.).
Chapter sixteen discusses various leadership theories which can implemented by leaders to achieve success. The choice of leadership theory differs from leader to leader as they possess different vision and way of managing. A theory isn 't always perfect in itself, it is the endless effort of the leaders which makes the theory a perfect one. Two approaches of leadership that I prefer are Situational Leadership Theory and Servant Leadership Theory. Among many theories I prefer these two because I tend to practice those principles most of the time and I assume these are theories that I truly tend to continue in a long run.
This semester we have taken a greater look at the styles and understanding of leadership theories. Through our class readings, I have discovered the good and bad of leadership and management along with a clear understanding of the relationship between leaders and their followers. One thing that I found very interesting was the breakdown of the different types of followers and although I thought I had pretty good leadership skills I have gained a lot of knowledge to enhance my ability to lead.
Throughout history there have been many different philosophies and theories on effective leadership and management. Over time, these theories and ideas have been proven either successfully or unsuccessfully. The key component that stands out is the actual person who is in the leadership or management position. This individual needs to produce many characteristics to ensure smooth and effective management. The character of this one entity is what sets the tone for success or failure in the leadership/management position.
The framework of this critical synthesis is to summarize and critically analyze existing literature with regards to the subject of effective leadership. The review of the literature indicates that there are a number of elements which impact effective leadership. In an organization, when these elements are implemented, they contribute negatively or positively to the delivery of the organizational goals and directives. Subsequently we must first start with analyzing all relative theories and concepts of leadership.