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Learning Outcomes

a) Explore and reflect on self- development as a leader to build self-awareness
b) Through critical reflection on key leadership theories develop a personal leadership development strategy.
c) Analyse and develop the capacity to influence, motivate and inspire others in your workplace and/or community organisations.

Partners will be allocated by your Learning Facilitator after you post your personal introduction on the “Welcome and Introductions” Discussion Forum. Partners will be allocated on the basis of maximum diversity of backgrounds to enrich your learning experience. Where possible, partners will be in similar time zones. More detailed guidelines for working with your partner are provided at the end of this section.

You should include a summary of the feedback you receive from your partner and others, combined with your reflection and interpretation of this feedback in the context of your leadership journey.

You may wish to also include a summary of the feedback that you gave your partner and reflect on it. Feedback often says as much about the person who gives as the person who receives it. The feedback summaries can be included as appendices, where they will not be included in the word count. While the assessment includes feedback from the interaction with your partner, each person is to submit his or her own, individual report.

Family and Church Leadership

My journey as a leader started in my family. Being the first born, I had the responsibility to look after my siblings especially when the parents were not around. My parents trusted me, and they knew that everything would be fine when they were not around. They used to assign tasks such as feeding my young brother and ensuring that he does not cry.

At church, I was appointed as the Sunday school leader, and I used to carry out my duties effectively. I used to ensure that all the children were adequately organized before our Sunday school teacher arrived.  I also used to take the roll call for those who were present and submitted to the Sunday school teacher which enhanced making follow up for the kids who were not attending the services.

At school, the teacher appointed me as the sanitary prefect in my fifth grade where I ensured that all the classes were clean and there was no littering the compound by ensuring that the dustbins were strategically positioned for all the students. I used to assemble all the students after which I thoroughly examined their school uniforms for cleanliness, I examined their hair to ensure that it was well trimmed, I observed their socks to ensure that they were sparkling clean, I observed their nails to ensure that they were short, and this made the students clean and presentable in school which was a good behavior. Teachers were pleased with my leadership, and I was awarded as the prefect of the year at the end of the year due to the act of corporate social responsibility where I led the students in the cleaning of a nearby market.

Later at the university I was the students' leader, and during my tenure, the students were comfortable in all the aspects. They had decent hostels, good food at the school canteen, good library fully equipped, etc. After my studies, I worked in a tea factory as an intern in the field of human resource management. My main task was to oversee all the employees' activities and address their various grievances on issues such as overtime and pay delays which rampant in the company. I left the company for further studies, but the legacy I left behind made the management to reserve the position of an assistant human resource manager for me which I automatically assumed after my Postgraduate studies in Business administration.

Sanitary Prefect and University Leadership

I work as a Human Resource Manager in a tea processing factory. According to Bolden (2016) my main responsibilities are:

Facilitating the recruitment and selection process of new employees to the organization

Ensuring that performance appraisal is conducted by the supervisors for various production units to ascertain the skill gaps.

Preparation of employees' payrolls to facilitate compensation.

Facilitating employee training programs.

Leadership challenges in the company

Employees' resistance to change which inhibits creativity and innovation

Understanding employees' behavior that affects their performance due to the limited interaction between the employees and the management.

Frequent conflicts which slow the production process.

Limited career development opportunities among the employees.

A large number of old employees who are very complicated especially when training them to cope with the new technology.

Since I was young, my parents have been shaping me through various roles in the family such as supervising the employees at the farm and many other tasks. My teachers also influenced me by appointing me roles which build my confidence.

As a leader in various capacities I formed my self-image in the following ways:

By being a role model through been morally upright and avoided all the hostile acts such as corruption, fraudulent acts, etc.

I ensured that I met my objectives which contributed to the general success of the organization.

I related well with my subjects, and the excellent relationship enhanced their better performance.

As a leader, I was very confident when I was faced with challenges which I solved them effectively.

Many people approached me with various challenges, and I was able to help them effectively which made them talk positively about me.

Critical event that has been influential

As a leader I always upheld justice, and I never wanted to see an individual been discriminated when the person is very innocent.  In my culture Adultery was a taboo and if anyone was found guilty, the person was stoned to death as a sentence. There was this case where two men brought charges against a woman who they claimed to have found her committing adultery only because she refused to sleep with them. They claimed that they had seen her under a tree, but the man escaped so they could not identify him. I knew the woman very well, she was so faithful, and I felt that everything was a made up story. The judge was convinced that the woman was guilty of the charges and was to be executed. I thought and requested to say something before the execution of the woman. Since the men claimed to have found her under the tree, I requested if they would be separated, and each man was asked which tree it was. They gave different answers. One man said that he had seen the woman under a sycamore tree and the other said under a mango tree, and as a result, the woman was spared, and the men were found guilty of false accusation, and they faced the penalty that would have been suffered by the woman. The people were pleased with my critical thinking skills as a leader, and indeed many were influenced on how important it is not to be quick in making decisions without critically examining the situation (Wagner, 2016).

Human Resource Management Challenges

According to Harms (2017) it is usually advisable for a leader to accept his strengths and make plans to build on his strengths through a career development program. Gallup strengths finder enables individuals to know their strengths by advising them to work and small wins and avoid been over-ambitious by expecting an overnight result in good performance (Sotarauta, 2016).

From Gallop strengths finder, I have discovered that I have the following strengths:

I am an achiever

As a leader, I have always ensured that the organization achieves the set goals and objectives. If it is a project, I provided that it was completed at the right time.

Adaptable to situations

As a leader, I am always flexible to the changes that might occur. In most of the cases there were technological changes which created an urgent need for training the employees, and as a leader I never had a big problem with that because I made the employees see the significance of the training.

As a leader, I usually measure the words I speak to someone especially when I am angry. I have also inspired many young upcoming leaders by talking to them. In the organization, I usually ensure that the employees get the necessary information at the right time.

I usually treat all my subjects on equal ground without discriminating against any person.

As I leader, I am usually not comfortable when I see individual suffering, and as a result, I typically offer to help where I can.

I always apply the participatory approach to leadership where I usually involve the employees in the decision-making process (Shamir& Eilam-Shamir, 2018). I also use the situational approach in various circumstances in the organization (Storey, 2016). This has contributed to my success as a leader within the organization.

According to McCleskey (2014), participatory style of leadership is the best style since the employees like to be involved in the decision-making process within the organization with enhances their performance as they feel a sense of belonging and furthermore reduces their turnover rate. Managers are advised to apply the participatory style of leadership when dealing with different situations among the employees in the organization

Various skills such as accountability, responsibility, ability to motivate the employees, effective decision making and conflict management skills have been central to my success as a leader hence leaders are advised to adopt such skills for success in the organization.

An effective leader should be in a position to gain the support of his subjects to facilitate the achievement of specific goals and objectives at any given time.

Interpersonal skills

Social skills

How we manage ourselves

How we deal with other people’s relationships

Self-awareness- we should be in a position to understand ourselves so as to know how best to control our emotions especially when we are annoyed.

Been empathetic- a leader should be in a position to understand the problem of others and seek ways to help them overcome their problems.

Self-regulation- a leader should always have self-control and should not have the tendency of losing his temper easily.

Conflict management- a leader should not relax when there is a problem to be solved between individuals in the organization, he should always purpose to enhance peace and unity among his subjects.

Motivation- A leader should learn to reward the good work which enhances the commitment of the employees in the organization.

Interaction – a leader should learn to interact with others so as to understand them better with their deepest needs and help them appropriately.

I have appreciated the significance of engaging the employees in the process of making decisions in the organization. The aspect of emotional intelligence has shaped my perception of the approach to be used when dealing with various individual challenges.

According to Landis, Hill & Harvey (2014) some of the theories that have been relevant in my journey as a leader are:

Situational approach

This theory suggests the application of various styles of leadership in different situations.

Trait theory

Various qualities make up a good leader. A leader should exercise multiple skills to achieve success

Reciprocity theory

As a leader in multiple capacities, I usually did my best because of the rewards, and I also rewarded others who performed well in their various activities.

Conclusion

As a leader, I have learned that leadership is more than just giving instructions as it also involves listening to your subjects. A leader should use various approaches to various problems in the organization among the employees. Leadership is a never-ending process that occurs throughout the life of a person.

References

Bolden, R. (2016). Leadership, management, and organizational development. In Gower handbook of leadership and management development (pp. 143-158). Routledge.

Harms, P. D. (2017). Gallup Strengths Finder. Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences, 1-3.

Landis, E. A., Hill, D., & Harvey, M. R. (2014). A synthesis of leadership theories and styles. Journal of Management Policy and Practice, 15(2), 97.

McCleskey, J. A. (2014). Situational, transformational, and transactional leadership and leadership development. Journal of Business Studies Quarterly, 5(4), 117.

Shamir, B., & Eilam-Shamir, G. (2018). "What's your story?" A life-stories approach to authentic leadership development. In Leadership Now: Reflections on the Legacy of Boas Shamir (pp. 51-76). Emerald Publishing Limited.

Storey, J. (2016). Changing theories of leadership and leadership development. In Leadership in Organizations (pp. 33-58). Routledge.

Sotarauta, M. (2016). Shared leadership and dynamic capabilities in regional development. In Regionalism Contested (pp. 63-82). Routledge.

Wagner, W. E. (2016). Leadership for a better world: Understanding the social change model of leadership development. John Wiley & Sons.

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