A Little Can Be A Lot
My Idea of Leadership
What is a Leader? (According to Me)
1. A leader brings people together.
A leader is someone who knows how to work with many different kinds of people. If someone in a group is being difficult, the leader knows what to say to get them to cooperate with the rest of the group. A leader can see everyone's strengths, and allows them to use their strengths to help the group. He/she will not force anything out of anyone, but will help them to understand why doing their part (which is what they do best) is absolutely necessary. A leader will not "judge a book by it's cover" but respect everyone's differences and personalities.
2. A Leader Knows What To Do, and How To Do It.
A leader knows how to organize and get information/materials together to finish a project. A leader does not stall or procrastinate- they get right down to business and start working. He/she knows how to use people's strengths in the best way possible, in order to get something done. A leader can use his/her knowledge and skills to help his/her group complete an assignment, and show other group members what needs to be done.
3. A Leader Listens.
A leader does not just order other people around to do their bidding. A good leader is able to listen to the ideas of others in their group, and use those ideas to create a better outcome. A leader shows respect to the thoughts of other group members, and values their input. He/she realizes that he/she may not always be right, and is willing to admit when he/she is wrong. A leader will do his/her best to make sure that everyone in the group is heard and their ideas are thought upon and considered before dismissing them. A good leader makes everyone in the group feel important.
4. A Leader "Talks the Talk" AND "Walks the Walk".
A leader doesn't say one thing and do another- a leader is very honest. A good leader will lead by example. He/she will act in a way that is positive in order encourage others to do the same. For example, a leader will not say "We will not talk over one another", and then turn around and interrupt the next person. A leader will stick to the same rules as everyone else, and not put his/herself above the rules or moral codes. A leader is truly "one of the crowd".
5. A Leader Inspires People to Follow Them.
A leader will gain followers by inspiring others and bringing out their best sides. A leader will not just have followers because the followers are forced to be there- the followers will WANT to be there. A leader is someone who makes everyone feel needed, and treats everyone with mutual respect. They do not yell, scream, or coerce people into doing what they say- they politely ask, and because a leader is so likeable, followers will do what they ask. They set examples, and people follow them out of respect and mutual understanding.
6. A leader isn't "Untouchable".
A leader does not have to be someone who is raised on a pedestal, higher than everyone else. A leader can be a normal person, who just happens to have the qualities listed above and the confidence to use them. He/she could be the person sitting right next to you on a bus, in line for ice cream, or in class.A leader doesn't have to "save the world" and do "heroic feats"- they just have to inspire others to be their best. Because if everyone was the best possible person they could be, the world WOULD be changed.
My Leadership Story
In high school, I was one of eight captains of our school's girls swim team. Since there were eight of us, we often did not agree on a course of action. We all also had extremely busy schedules, making it hard for all of us to get together at the same time. During one of our meetings, we had to decide what to order as our annual "captain's gift" to the rest of the swimmers. We had many options, some examples being flip-flops, shorts, water bottles, swim caps, towels, or any combination of these. We also had to consider our budget. At first, we all wanted different items- and we each thought the team would like our items best. After debating for awhile, I decided to take a step back from the situation and weigh the pros and cons. I got out my laptop, and started pricing all of our options, and labeling the options as to whether they were "useful" or just "cool". After I was done, I presented my information to the other captains. After viewing the info and debating what we now knew about the pros and cons, it was decided that we would get flip-flops, because they were useful to swimmers, low in cost, and if we personalized them they would have a "cool" factor as well. I realize now that my actions were my "deliberative" talent being put to use, and am glad that I was able to help lead the group to a good decision. Another strength that could have helped me in this situation was the "relator" strength, because I would have been able to see everyone's point of view and find a way to explain these points of view to the others, which would then help the group come together and form a collaborative decision.
Thoughts on my own leadership skills
I believe that I can be a leader when it is necessary, but for the most part I want to work on my leadership skills. I have always been slightly on the "shy" side, and been afraid to put myself and my ideas out there. Now I recognize this as my deliberative trait- I think before I act, and am cautious about acting. But as shown above, I have also learned how this trait can make me a better leader if applied correctly. I just need to learn that it is alright to "speak up" and that sometimes I WILL make a fool of myself, but it will turn out okay. I also think that my achiever trait can help me with being a leader; it will keep me focused and will push me to be my best self in order to get things accomplished. If getting things accomplished involves being a leader, this trait will help me to push myself out of that "shy" zone and prompt me to step up. I also believe that if put in the right situation, by strategic and analytical talents can help me to lead a group to success. I am good at seeing many possibilities and where they will lead, and use my analytical skills to decide which path will carry our group the farthest.
How my "talents" can help me be a leader in business:
1. Strategic- This talent can help me see how different decisions in a business will affect the outcome, and I will be able to figure out which decision will have the best impact.
2. Analytical- Using this, I will be able to think through problems, and will use only facts. I will use the data available to prove an idea right or wrong.
3. Achiever- I will work hard when I am at work, and always try to be accomplishing something. This will make me a very productive worker who will always give my best.
4. Competition- The business world is all about competition- from other employees, to other businesses. This type of competition will motivate me to do my best and help the company be better than all the others.
5. Deliberative- This talent will help me make sure I think things through before deciding on a course of action. It can help prevent hasty decisions, and I will be very careful not to offend anybody.