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I believe that leadership qualities are those sets of skills and qualities that are present only in selected few people. I had often heard people saying that leaders are those people, who have the ability to influence others. In beginning, I used to believe that the people holding the leadership position are not only having puzzling characteristic but at the same time, they are elusive as well.
I have the quality of the leadership present in me. In my school days, I was the captain of the Soccer team and I played the role of the captain very efficiently. I realized that I actually, enjoy the position of the leader because I feel that I could influence my followers effectively. Moreover, I believe that I have the capability of shaping a project towards a particular direction. Therefore, I am currently leading a startup company, which provides cleaning services to the people of my locality. I had the support of my friend Dora in this particular venture. The leadership qualities of Abraham Lincoln had always attracted me. Thus, I follow the democratic leadership style.
In my leadership, I was fortunate enough to redefine the definition of the term “leadership”. I was even fortunate that I received the chance of exhibiting my leadership skill; along with I had the opportunity of developing the leadership skills at the same time.
I feel that the leadership style assessment, would help me to assess my own self and among all the assessment tools that are there I believe that the Myer-Brigg’s leadership assessment tool, is such a tool, on which, I could have my faith and trust. The Myer-Brigg Type Indicator or the MBTI, assess me as someone who, is closes to the INFJ personality type. Therefore, I can assess myself as someone who:
Therefore, if I go by this assessment of my own self, then I can define myself as someone who is having not only a strong, but also a private sense of knowledge as well as a vision. I very easily know especially those characteristic traits in the other, about which they are not aware. Many researchers believe that those leaders whose personality trait is closest to the personality trait of INFJ, they possess the vision of seeing those things in other people that are rarely noticed acknowledge by the people only; in short these kinds of leaders have the quality of seeing the hidden traits in an individual (Rashid & Duys, 2015).. If I go by the personality trait of mine then I believe that I have the imaginative possibility of seeing the future for the others individual and accordingly could utilize their qualities to bring out the best in them. I am also aware of the fact that most of the time insights are so unusual that I may not able to find people who would readily accept my visions.
In my leadership journey, I have always found Dora by my side and she is the only person who has always inspired me to carry on with my business. According to her, my leadership style is quite appreciating, which is why I am able to continue with my business. My business includes people of various occupations, from maidservants to window and carpet cleaners. Dora always believed that I have handled all of them efficiently, and has vision their capabilities in a different way, which had turned out to be fruitful for both the employees and the business. She, although, believed that I lack the capability of dealing with the negativities. According to her, and she supported her views with the views of many other researchers, unlike the resilient leaders, I am unable to deal with the negativity. The important characteristic of a resilient leader is that they neither ignore the negativity nor do they dwell with those negativities; rather they filter those negativities, had reframed issues, and had directed in a proactive direction. Dora believes that I should work on this and try to deal with negativity more efficiently.
According to Dora the current leadership challenges that I face includes the challenges related to managerial effectiveness and the challenge of inspiring others. Since my business is a new business therefore, I face the challenge related to managerial effectiveness. There are times when I have to deal with many projects and thus, prioritizing one over the other becomes difficult for me. It increases the workload of my employees and at the same time, I face problem when I have to make an effective and strategic decision. The company is a startup company therefore, I could not motivate my workers with the financial rewards therefore, I have to find other ways to motivate them, and thus, it becomes one of the challenges for me.
My friend Derek has also been a leader of Multinational Corporation, who is holding the position of the manager in the company. The leadership journey of his life is not like that of mine, he had never received the opportunity to be in the leadership position, although through hard work, he has been able to be in this position. Since he belongs to the low-income group family, therefore, he rarely had someone who would actually mentor him and would guide him in the process.
Therefore, I noticed that he is facing certain challenges while handling this position. One of the important challenges that are being faced by him is related to managing the internal stakeholders that are there in the organization. Getting supports from the line managers and other departments and individuals have turned out to be a problem for my friend. Moreover, my friend also faces the challenge of building the team and developing the team and the team management. Therefore, these are the certain challenges that are being faced my friend.
According to me if my friend wants to overcome these challenges then he should rely on the mentoring skills of the leaders, since the mentoring skills of the leaders help the leaders to motivate his followers. Mentoring, according to many researchers and philosophers, is an informal transmission of knowledge. The particular transmission of knowledge allows the perceiver in not only gaining knowledge but at the same time, it provides the perceiver with psychosocial support, as well as with socio-capital support (Johnson, 2013).
(Figure 1: Mentoring Helps in Gaining a Win-Win Strategy
Source: Johnson & Ridley, 2015).
The Australian national culture has remained more or less stable for few years, with rarely having few disturbances. The Australian people believe in the freedom of all and they tried to respect the people of all the community, irrespective of their birth and national identity (Biddle & Swee 2012). The population of Australia is 23 million, out of which, 25.6% are from the overseas companies. My company, therefore, have people of varied culture and there are possibilities that cross culture conflict can arise in it. The culture of the company, although, is such that I rarely had t face any serious kinds of conflict. Instead of having a bureaucratic culture, the organization gives emphasis to the people. Thus, the decision-making is always people oriented and is sensitive for the individuals.
The cross-functional teams are those teams that include people carrying out various kinds of works. The team that I handle is a cross-functional team, some carrying out the work of window cleaning, some carrying out the work of carpet cleaning and even there are someone, who handles the account of the whole organization, other take care of the legal issues. In my organization, the use of technology is less, but it is there. Thus, it includes people who handle, and maintain the machines or the technologies.
Thus, the people in the organization has varied kind of perspective and point of view, and therefore, to maintain the unity in the organization, it is important for the leaders of the organization to come up with effective mentoring quality, only then building a strong team, which would not be affected by the outside externalities is possible (DuBrin, 2015). Since my team is considerably a new team, therefore, I know that he members in my team have some sort of daily priorities and these day-to-day priorities. Therefore, I know that these priorities will have conflict with the other business operations. Therefore, a win-win negotiation and communication is important in this case, for effective team building (Street & De Haes 2013). Since, the team my contain people of various linguist background therefore, the communication skill depend more on the body languages and the communication should be more open and honest with the employees working in the organization. It will not only help in relationship building and mentoring but at the same time, in this cross-functional team it would help in carrying out the operations and the functions effectively (Kerry & Mayes 2014). My leadership style is democratic in nature therefore, I believe in the participation of all the members in the team and thus the mode of communication that I rely upon is informal communication, which helps me in relationship building. Therefore, for the development of my leadership style discipline I rely on the informal communication skills.
The leadership approach that I follow presently is the democratic leadership approach, and there are several reasons, because of which I have chosen this particular leadership style. The leadership theory, generally classify four important leadership styles and those four important leadership styles are, autocratic, democratic, laissez faire and the transformational leadership style (Bhatti, Maitlo, Shaikh, Hashmi and Shaikh, 2012). The autocratic leadership style is such a leadership style where, the leaders expect only obedience from the employees and force them to follow the decision made by the leader (Van Wart, 2014). The leader does not care about receiving any inputs from the employees, nor does the leader understand the requirements of the employees, their priorities. Thus, according to me and I have found many researchers too; state that this type of leadership style is quite negative in nature.
The main point of difference between the laissez fair and the democratic leadership style is that the democratic leader may seek opinion from the followers, but the ultimate decision making power lies in the hand of the leader (Lussier and Achua, 2015). In the laissez faire leadership style, things are different, because here the leaders allow everyone at the head to follow the path they think, according to them, is the best. Such a kind of leadership style is only affordable if there are expert in each department. Since venture is new and I do not have expert in each department I could not take the risk of adopting this leadership theory or style. My focus is there on my team and I like to improve the service I am providing. Therefore, I need the support of all the members in my team, as well as their perception and decisions.
Transformational leadership theory or style may depend on the charismatic and the energetic personality of the leader; but then again this particular leadership style is about the followers looking up at the leaders (Northouse, 2015). Like autocratic leadership style, this particular leadership style does not ask for the input of the followers. Moreover, always keeping up with the expectation of my followers, and presenting myself as someone who is energetic and charismatic will create a pressure for me.
The leadership style and theories are mainly into these four leadership theories or model, but then there are many other kinds of models and style as well. Thus, there are transactional, situational and various other kinds of leadership styles. I had to choose the one I felt is appropriate for my business. In my long leadership journey, I know, depending on the circumstances and situation may have to adopt some other kind of leadership style, but for the time I like t recognize myself as a democratic leader.
Bhatti, N., Maitlo, G.M., Shaikh, N., Hashmi, M.A. and Shaikh, F.M., 2012. The impact of autocratic and democratic leadership style on job satisfaction.International Business Research, 5(2), p.192.
Biddle, N., & Swee, H. (2012). The relationship between wellbeing and Indigenous land, language and culture in Australia. Australian Geographer,43(3), 215-232.
DuBrin, A. J. (2015). Leadership: Research findings, practice, and skills. Nelson Education.
Johnson, C. E. (2013). Meeting the ethical challenges of leadership: Casting light or shadow. Sage Publications.
Johnson, W. B., & Ridley, C. R. (2015). The elements of mentoring. Macmillan.
Kerry, T., & Mayes, A. S. (2014). Issues in mentoring. Routledge.
Lussier, R.N. and Achua, C.F., 2015. Leadership: Theory, application, & skill development. Nelson Education.
Northouse, P.G., 2015. Leadership: Theory and practice. Sage publications.
Rashid, G. J., & Duys, D. K. (2015). Counselor Cognitive Complexity: Correlating and Comparing the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator With the Role Category Questionnaire. Journal of Employment Counseling, 52(2), 77-86.
Street, R. L., & De Haes, H. C. (2013). Designing a curriculum for communication skills training from a theory and evidence-based perspective.Patient education and counseling, 93(1), 27-33.
Tate, K. M. (2016). The Impact of Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) on Team Success in the Workplace.
Van Wart, M., 2014. Dynamics of leadership in public service: Theory and practice. Routledge.
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