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For this assessment, you are to compile a 4,000 word Leadership Portfolio. This assessment provides an opportunity for you to develop and explore your understanding about, and readiness for, leadership. In each of the relevant chapters in the text (Chapters 1-6, 12 and 14), there are Leadership Skill Building exercises in relation to a leadership portfolio. Complete the tasks as required and compile your responses to these tasks into a Leadership Portfolio. You will find the tasks on pages 23, 68, 104, 141, 175, 205, 415, and 479.

Personal mission statement:

"I want to develop the critical leadership skills for me to help me get the best of organizations"

The Nature and Importance of Leadership

Leadership experiences

Leadership is about implementing academic thoughts at the most appropriate time at both the institutional and the professional level (Bolman & Deal, 2017). It is important for academic students as well as to the professionals that they possess an utmost level of leadership skills to help them justify their candidature at the various levels of life. This is like ways important to me as well for being a skilled professional.

I have realized the necessity of developing the leadership skills in me after being through the several journal and book articles on the leadership skills. This section is related to the first chapter of the text which is ‘The Nature and Importance of Leadership’. The chapter discusses the nature and importance of leadership which has also helped me to reflect on my personal experience regarding the same matter.

I had a lot of experiences regarding the leadership shortfalls in me while being into my first organization, the company where I worked for nearly a year. I will discuss one of the experiences that I had there. I had been assigned a task to find out the error in stock details. The manual entries had differed to the data captured in the tally software. The task was not that difficult and could have been done without much of a worry. However, it was not a good experience to me indeed. I not only failed in providing the details but also had clashed with labors in the stock area. Labors have had fewer concerns for matter which was being highlighted by the company's manager. Despite being absorbed in nature, I shouted at them for their careless approach. Hence, they decided not to cooperate in my task. I ended up finding the errors in stock details.

The above experience that I have shared does reflect on a few very important points like I should have the relevant leadership traits in me. One of the leadership traits is “prioritizing the communication” (Antonakis & Day, 2017). Instead of prioritizing the communication with labors, I had a clash with them. I just jumped on to my point of view. However, it could have been better if I had relied on communicating with the labors. This may have taken them in confidence which could have helped in establishing a bond between me and labors. The picture could have been quite different then. The single ignorance in terms of leadership traits has influenced my performance as a stock manager.

The incident has helped me to think on my credibility as a professional stock manager. This is the reason why I am looking to improve my professionalism in regards to effective communication. This is necessary for my career ahead in the accounting firm as this will only open up ways to get to the higher positions like the senior supervisor.

Traits, Motives, and Characteristics of Leaders

Personal leadership traits

There is an ample number of leadership traits; however, I possess only a few of them. The leadership traits that I have are tough-mindedness, enthusiasm, dominance, self-assurance and compulsiveness.

I am tough-mindedness as I can feel relaxed even in challenging situations. I do not feel lost under any circumstances. However, I have struggled in my last organization but I have never found me blaming the surrounding circumstances. I have rather focused on identifying the loopholes in me.

I have enthusiasm which is also evident in my work attitude. I want to complete my task within its assigned deadline.

I am dominant; however, it sometimes happens for wrong causes as I have found me in one of the experiences that I have shared my communication skills. I was dominating the labors in the experience that I have shared. However, the situation had needed a rather different approach to effective communication skills.

I am good at self-assurance which is also evident in the experience that I have with my previous employer. I had then tried to find the errors in stock on my own. It just reflects I have confidence on self-assurance which is the one that has encouraged me to improve my professional career to develop the leadership traits in me.

I am also compulsive which is evident in the example of my experience of working in my previous organization. I had literally lost my control while interacting with the labors. It had cost me then as I was not able to find the error in stock.

Leadership traits that I need to develop

I need to work on few leadership traits that I am not expertise with. Those few traits are leading with passion, prioritizing the communication and commitment to team building (Fairhurst & Connaughton, 2014).

I need these traits, so that, I could groom my professional career to become competitive in my zone of the industry. Leading with passion is something that never lets one down at every level of life. It is the same way beneficial also at the professional level. Passion to accomplish my roles & responsibilities will make things easier and provide a different set of perspectives like challenging tasks will become easier and enjoyable as well. Nevertheless, patience level is being tested at the private levels.

Commitment to team building is another trait that I need to develop. I have realized on several occasions in past that I lack in team-building capability. The very fact has influenced the outcome of inspection that I had conducted in the stock area to find the area of errors in the stocks.

Prioritizing communication is one of the traits that I need desperately. If I had the element of appropriate communication skills in me, I could have reacted differently to the incident which occurred during the inspection conducted in the stock area.

Analyzing the Traits, Motives, and Characteristics of a Well-Known Leader

NFL coach, Bill Belichick is highly being known as one of the greatest coaches of NFL (Rathwell, Bloom & Loughead, 2014). There are several points which distinguish Mr. Belichick from rest. Such distinguished points are attitude & personality, enabling everyone to thrive to success, communication skills and team building capability (Rathwell, Bloom & Loughead, 2014).

The leadership skills that Bill Belichick has exhibited throughout his NFL career do indicate an urgency to switch the various kinds of leadership traits. Such leadership traits do not just separate one from another but also produce a resonant impact on his or her career as well as the associated team. 

Charismatic and Transformational Leadership

Charismatic leadership skills in me

Charismatic leadership can be defined to have three distinguishing characteristics like behaviors of presence, behaviors of power and behaviors of warmth (Johnston & Marshall, 2016). I am good at delivering charismatic leadership skills at the workplace where I had worked in past. Whenever I meet my colleagues, I have a very smiling expression on my face. I do this to make them feel that they are important to me. I am also confident of fulfilling the expectations which my supervisors have set for me. I can say that my body language is very calm and composed. I usually appear confident to others which is important also to spread a positive message to the team. Additionally, my colleagues had also liked me though I had few flaws like it happened while I was inspecting at the stock center.  

Finding Inspirational Messages on a Social Networking Site

This is really encouraging and helps to develop the much-needed leadership traits which could be important at the organizational level (Tourish, 2014). One of such examples is as below that has impacted me as a person and as a professional:

The inspirational message was regarding the self-development that had stated the importance of collecting smaller things as they are doors to big things. This means that in order to attain some biggies in life, smaller things that may at times be ignored should be collected to produce a much better impact. For an example, the communication related laidback which I had executed while conducting an inspection at the stock center in my last organization. If at that time I had cared the importance of effective communication, it could have produced a rather different result.

This is sufficient to understand the importance of being focused on big things while keeping a good account of smaller aspects also. Building the blocks of smaller attitudes will only help me to reach to the bigger platforms where I will be able to deliver the best of work from every perspective. In addition to the fact, smaller things do also impact the organizational outcome as this is quite evident in my experience which I had while working with labors in the stock zone.

Leadership Behaviors, Attitudes, and Styles

Four leadership task-oriented behaviors

Task-oriented leadership skills are also very important as it communicates the art of handling a task (Collinson, 2014). The four task-oriented leadership skills that I have noticed are problem-solving capability, identifying the appropriate resources for every task, allocating the task appropriately within the team and enquiring the task progress (Daft, 2014).  

1) Problem-solving skills:

This is very vital from the perspective of project handling capability. The higher the one is capable of solving the various kinds of problems, the chances of projects being completed within the time will also increase. For an example, in case of an accounting work, if the stock executive is not able to resolve the errors between the manual entries and the system generated reports, the executive will probably fail to identify the errors. Consequently, this will hamper the company’s revenue as it could not identify the errors in sales.

2) Identification of appropriate resources:

Identification of appropriate resources is another very important task-oriented behavior which may affect the entire project also. Suppose for an example, the auditing of an accounting firm is scheduled. It is an internal auditing which the management will conduct to identify if there is any error in stocks. The task indeed requires a good knowledge of how to track the mismatch. This requires an effective accountant who can deliberately work to find the errors in accounting details. Additionally, this also requires an effective involvement of labors at the stock side area as they will supply the manual details of sales comparing which with the system generated reports will only make the actual errors identifiable. On a broader aspect, if the firm does not have the idea of the required resources, it will definitely end up getting useless data on auditing.

3) Task allocation:

This is another very important skill which helps to identify the best match for every single task. Different tasks require distinguishing expertise which means it is important to allocate the task to the best deserving personnel. For an example, If an accountant executive is new to job & has a very less relative experience and if auditing is being allocated to him or her, the project or the task will probably collapse. The executive will face the challenge to identify ways to tackle the situation. This will not only affect the company's performance but may also influence the professional development of the newly joined executive.  

4) Enquiring the task progress:

This is very important as it may help to save the image that a company has in the market. Auditing is a big and a challenging task that requires a timely update to check whether everything is on the track. If this is not done, it may be the case that the task has consumed a lot of time despite the fact it is a failure. This is even more important in scenarios like a project is being handled by the newly joined executive. To make the executive feel confident and positive, it is necessary to help him or her in challenging circumstances. This will also help the executive feel positive towards the attainment of his or her professional goals.

Contingency and Situational Leadership

Example of leadership scenarios and possible actions from me in the same context

There are two leadership scenarios which I had recently observed. Follow are the details of such situations and my possible answers to the scenarios by being at the position where I have observed the two different leaders:

1) Recently, I was passing through a confectionary shop. I had seen that the supervisor was shouting on one of his staffs for delivering wrong items to one of the customers. The customer had no issue with that and had also mentioned it to the staff to bring the actual item.

If I had been the supervisor at the confectionary shop, I would rather have acted differently. I would have rather tried a balanced approach. The balanced approach according to me could have been asking politely for sorry from the case customer and helping the identified staff with encouraging words. I could have consoled the staff and have said that ‘not to worry, deliver the customer the required item’. It really makes difference to somebody who has just started his or her career. Such person needs moral support from his or her supervisor.

2) Another incident that I witnessed is a supervisor who was leading an accounting team. The supervisor was very angry on the team because they were not being able to identify the errors in manual entries and the tally generated data. If I had been there in the supervisor shoes, I would have rather shown them the way to deal with such task, so that, mistakes are not repeated.

Crisis Leadership

Example: “a pharmaceutical

firm needing to recall an over-the-counter medicine

that has triggered illnesses in hundreds of consumers”

List of suggestions to leaders:

1. Establishing a communications infrastructure will be the first key for leaders for sorting the mentioned crisis (Johnson, 2017). This will help to draw the attention of every single stakeholder in the issue. The CEO of the company should try establishing a fair and effective communication with the stakeholders and the crisis management team.

2. Monitoring the social channels is next important thing for the company’s CEO. This will help him or her to understand the level of severity by observing the comments of people on the escalated issue.

3. Involving members of the press will also do well and provide an opportunity to CEO to act as a spokesperson for the affected company. The CEO will then publically be able to admit his or her takes on the issue. Moreover, remedial steps could also be ensured then (Northouse, 2017).

4. Quick response to affected persons will help the CEO to establish an emotional attachment to them. The affected people may feel the importance of gestures shown by the CEO itself. It is a big thing that the CEO itself is confessing the problem and ensuring a remedial action thereof. 

Leadership Ethics and Social Responsibility

Reflection on a recent scenario

Being ethical and socially responsible is another important aspect of a leader. The fact can well be understood from an example which is based on one of my recent experiences. The example is related with one of my experiences at the workplace. As I mentioned, I had worked as a stock manager with my previous employer. I had found some internal errors like labors were intentionally hiding the actual details of sales and purchase. They had the intention to earn little good money by going an ethical way. Even I could not have identified the wrongdoing if I had not cross-verified the sales and purchase at the tally platform. The inspection has helped me to identify the errors which could have been fatalistic if had been identified me. This will be rated as unethical because actions had been performed intentionally without informing the supervisors or others (Ciulla, 2014). If it had been approved by the managerial personnel, this would not have been an issue then. However, the way that the labors had taken just suggests this was unethical. It was my responsibility to report it to the higher managerial personnel. I was ethical by being faithful to the company and reporting the entire case scenario to my respective managers.

Another example if of being social at the places where human interactions are common. This could be an institution or an organization. Social attitudes do have an impact on a workplace environment. For an example, the organization with better exposure to social activities does also perform better than others. It really encourages the workforce, especially to the Millennials. The contemporary workforce has several distinguish expectations from their employers than their parents had. They do better when they get their requirements fulfilled at the workplace. Requiring a social environment is one of such demands. Nevertheless, such work can never be created if it does not have leaders who have creative attitudes in them. Creative attitudes encourage creative things which could produce positive results. They do not hesitate in taking bold decisions if it looks productive (DuBrin, 2016). Such creativeness does also affect the workforce and their style of working.  

It is important to understand that being ethical and social at the various levels in life does not only help the individual but it also influences them who are associated with the individual for their different reasons. Effective leaders will give high attempts to ethical things. This is due to a fact that ethical practices prevent from being criticized in media and in public. Leaders should also take care of their social responsibilities which are to take care of the workplace needs and the surrounding environment. 

Communication and Conflict Resolution Skills

Personal leadership as a communicator

In this section, I would discuss my leadership skills as a communicator. I have already mentioned one of my experiences of working with the team when I was in my last company. There was a mismatch identified in between the manual entries of sales & purchase and the system generated entries. I was being assigned to the job to identify the errors as I was working there as a stock manager. The job was quite simpler; however, it was totally being dusted due to some issues like an ineffective communication skill. I had lacked at that point of time in regards to effectively communicating the labors. Consequently, they had developed an angriness feeling for me. It had resulted in nothing but a real disruption of the task. The labors did not cooperate with me and hence, I was not being able to identify the reason for the mismatch.

The incident had made me realize that it is necessary to have a communicable approach with the others in the company. At least, staffs sitting at the lowermost positions in the company should be highly concerned (Day et al., 2014). They are not carrying the level of expertise and knowledge which officers rank persons or managerial personnel posses. It should be the utmost duty of a leader it maintains a high level of leadership which is suitable for both the employees and the staffs at lower positions. This is indeed necessary to get committed dedications from them (Day et al., 2014).  

Evaluating the Communication Skills of an Organizational Leader

I had the opportunity of working with a leader. I am speaking about the manager of my previous organization. Though, I had a very little opportunity of interacting with the man; however, I really admire him as a leader and also as a human being. The manager was quite communicable and approachable also. This is something that not only me but compelled other employees also to say few words in his praise. The manager had strong control over what he delivers. I had attended a function where the manager had delivered a few important points like how to manage a team effectively. I was really overwhelmed with what I had witnessed. The selection of contents to deliver and the body-language where all just amazing (Bresnen et al., 2015). I have little or perhaps no clues on what makes leaders look good and effective. The function that I had attended was very informative to me. It has helped me to learn the two most important things like a controlled delivery of attractive contents and the body language. These two things will definitely help me further in my professional career. I have always struggled to leave an impact when there is an opportunity to speak something. Now, I will try to groom my communication in the light of what I have learned from the function. Additionally, I will also focus on improving my body-language which is a big factor to me. This is an area where I struggle a lot and does not even find me suitable to interact with the managers.

International and Culturally Diverse Aspects of Leadership

Effective cross-cultural leadership

This section of the assignment is focused on realizing the importance of working with different cultural and demographic groups. An effective cross-cultural leadership is indeed required during such instances (D’Innocenzo, Mathieu & Kukenberger, 2016). I had the opportunity to work with a culturally different person.  The person had belonged to a different cultural group and has different beliefs as well. I and the person had once worked together in my last company. The person has the same responsibilities to perform as I had in my last company. We were being given a task to find the errors in stock reports. I was a little skeptic on how will we be able to manage the working relationship as both of us have strong connectivity to our respective cultures. On the other hand, both of us have belonged to a totally different culture. However, once we started to work together things become manageable. I was quite amazed at how could we perform despite being from different cultures altogether.   

The experience has taught me many a thing and helped me to have patience under negative circumstances. The way we both have worked together, it is unexplainable to me. I had expected a rather different outcome of both of us working together. My expectations were largely negative as I struggle to cope with different cultures. However, the outcome took me no little than any surprise. We both comfortably worked together. We helped each other when it was required. I helped the other member in a situation when he needed the help. On a similar note, I was also being helped by him when I needed it. The experience has helped me to understand the ways that are used to resolve the cultural based challenges at the workplace.

Cultural diversity can be regarded as an integral part of an organization. This is something which has high-rate of appearance at the organizational level. The complexity becomes much deeper while being at the global level. Challenges are higher at the overseas locations. An ample number of cultures exists today at the global level. Cultural differences will be an additional burden on employees apart from the language barriers (Learmonth & Morrell, 2017).

They will be required to deal with the different languages as well as the cultures. I can rate myself luckier to get the chance of working with a person who is from a different cultural background. It has helped me to learn a few new things about the different cultures which will assist me in my career ahead. Moreover, I will also be able to identify the suitable ways of negotiating a conflict due to cultural differences. Moreover, I could focus on other necessary factors which will help me to groom my professional career and help me to become an effective leader of my company. This is indeed necessary as well for an effective professional career. 

References: 

Antonakis, J., & Day, D. V. (Eds.). (2017). The nature of leadership. Sage publications.

Bolman, L. G., & Deal, T. E. (2017). Reframing organizations: Artistry, choice, and leadership. John Wiley & Sons.

Bresnen, M., Hyde, P., Hodgson, D., Bailey, S., & Hassard, J. (2015). Leadership talk: From managerialism to leaderism in health care after the crash. Leadership, 11(4), 451-470.

Ciulla, J. B. (Ed.). (2014). Ethics, the heart of leadership. ABC-CLIO.

Collinson, D. (2014). Dichotomies, dialectics and dilemmas: New directions for critical leadership studies?. Leadership, 10(1), 36-55.

D’Innocenzo, L., Mathieu, J. E., & Kukenberger, M. R. (2016). A meta-analysis of different forms of shared leadership–team performance relations. Journal of Management, 42(7), 1964-1991.

Daft, R. L. (2014). The leadership experience. Cengage Learning.

Day, D. V., Fleenor, J. W., Atwater, L. E., Sturm, R. E., & McKee, R. A. (2014). Advances in leader and leadership development: A review of 25 years of research and theory. The Leadership Quarterly, 25(1), 63-82.

DuBrin, A. (2016) Research Findings, Practice, and Skills, 8th edn, Cengage, Boston, Massachusetts.

Fairhurst, G. T., & Connaughton, S. L. (2014). Leadership: A communicative perspective. Leadership, 10(1), 7-35.

Johnson, C. E. (2017). Meeting the ethical challenges of leadership: Casting light or shadow. Sage Publications.

Johnston, M. W., & Marshall, G. W. (2016). Sales force management: Leadership, innovation, technology. Routledge.

Learmonth, M., & Morrell, K. (2017). Is critical leadership studies ‘critical’?. Leadership, 13(3), 257-271.

Northouse, P. G. (2017). Introduction to leadership: Concepts and practice. Sage Publications.

Rathwell, S., Bloom, G. A., & Loughead, T. M. (2014). Head coaches’ perceptions on the roles, selection, and development of the assistant coach. International Sport Coaching Journal, 1(1), 5-16.

Tourish, D. (2014). Leadership, more or less? A processual, communication perspective on the role of agency in leadership theory. Leadership, 10(1), 79-98.

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