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.
Your task in Assessment 1 Part B is to reflect on you own leadership journey up until now, your current role or position, how you influence others, how you lead, contribute to or react to organisational and cultural changes and your current level of self-awareness and selfconfidence to lead others in your organisation and/or community.
My Role of Leadership and the Resistance I Have Faced
Throughout my work experience, I have come across touch points that ended up influencing and shaping the perspectives I have on leadership. Particularly, my role of leadership has mostly been about articulating and putting into action a vision for the future. Along the way of articulating the vision, I experienced a lot of resistance. Human beings do not accept changes easily as usual. Such resistance is what has reshaped my thinking and focus on leadership, through the daily struggles I have to go through in order to overcome these obstacles. I have come to perceive leadership as a dynamical distributed process. There have been peak and low moments in my career that has shaped the way I view leadership.
Currently, I work as the informal laboratory for a large global company. My current thinking has led me to maintain that position for quite some years now. I recall the excitement of joining the firm. Before that, I had been employed as a CIO for a smaller company that was later absorbed by this large global firm. Through the emotional transition, I had seen it all as the headquarters were moved on to another location. In my new job, my roles and responsibilities were to devise a long-term strategy for the growth of a key business from a technological point of view. From the first day at work, I noted the operational problems in the company. With my thinking abilities, I developed various solutions to address the problems. For the last couple of years, I have seen the company acquire substantial growth through acquisition, yet over that period of time, the company suffers the same problems I had seen since the first day I joined.
Since my first day at work, I noticed that most of the times the employees were always in meetings. This tyranny of meetings actually left no or little time for work to be done. For that reason, projects were never completed in a timely manner because, in the middle of the work, a meeting would be called for decisions to be made. There was this organizational belief that all the key stakeholders were to be present in order for a decision to be made. This meant that when one stakeholder was not available, an agreement would not be arrived at. The meeting would be postponed until the member was available. This trait led to a tyranny of meetings that went on as a continuous caucus race.
My Work Experience as an Informal Laboratory for a Global Company
Well, my presence in the company was to bring strategies that would bring noticeable changes to the business unit that I managed. However, I realized that more had to be done. The change was actually driven by demands form certain clients and executives who have no significance in our quo. At that point in time, I was managing a team that was responsible for managing technical issues and projects for the business. Thus I reported to the Executive president of this particular unit. During one of my reporting duties to the Executive Vice president of that business unit, I had a talk with him and we explored the problems we were experiencing as the larger IT department of the firm. The conversation brought a lot of changes in the IT department such as the election of a new VP. I was to report to the new boss independently. The rest of the team was assigned a different leader to whom they would report.
This transition period was not an easy one for me. However, it shaped my views of dynamic leadership. First, I self-searched and deeply reflected on my identity, values, and integrity as a leader. In the long run, the self-reflection revealed to me that transition in leadership is just a way of engaging in a new manner of addressing issues. However, the transition left me in a shadow of the task I was supposed to do initially.
Through an analysis I carried out at Gallup’s strength finder, I identified a number of strengths in my dynamic leadership. One is the ability to be restorative. Instead of focusing on the problem, most are the times my energy is driven towards seeking a solution for a particular problem (Coombs, 2015). At my work of place, the crisis is inevitable. A dynamic leader should effectively handle the crisis to restore the operations of the firm back to normalcy (Mendenhall, Osland, Bird, Oddou, Stevens, Mazneviski & Stahl, 2017). With this kind of a trait, I am sure to face any challenge in any organization out there.
My other strength is excellent communication skills. I have always considered communication a very essential aspect of my life. At my place of work, I have always brought out strong verbal and written communication skills. From time to time I always try to create an atmosphere of open communication. In an organization where communication is open and transparent, the employees end up trusting one another as well as their bosses (Blattner & Walter, 2015). I have always been inconsistent work to perfect my communication skills so as to better my relationship with my employees. A good relationship between employers and employees is essential for the productivity of the firm (Storey, 2016).
The Problems with Tyranny of Meetings
Another strength of mine is discipline. A leader is someone other people are looking up to. Thus discipline in dynamic leadership is paramount (Wenner & Campbell, 2017). I learned the art of punctuality and discipline since my tender age when I was actively involved in sports. Being a leader I exercise discipline by attending my meetings on time and even before my employees arrive. I set an example for them to follow. Another strength from the Gallup finder is that I am a learner. For leadership to be termed as dynamic one has to be a good learner (Nguyen & Hansen, 2016). Through my leadership roles, I have always worked with people from across the world. I have always put myself in a position where I learn from them. Being a learner has widened my horizons. Also, it has improved the culture of everyone feeling free to share their opinions and criticism.
Lastly, I am a futuristic type of leader. Well, I have both short term and long term goal but I always have the big picture in mind. Currently, I am so fixated on the long-term goals that I barely address the current concerns. I believe when keeping in mind of the future, even the present is well catered for.
Emotional intelligence is very pivotal when it comes to dynamic leadership. Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and control emotions as a leader, keeping in mind that they can affect those around you (Daniel, 2018). I am a leader with high emotional intelligence as most of the times I am aware of what a feeling, the meaning of my emotions and what they can do to my colleagues. To be a successful leader, emotional intelligence is paramount. Having done a personal assessment, I realized that I possess five key elements of emotional intelligence; self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills. I am self-aware as I have a clear picture of my strengths and weaknesses. Having that in mind, I always behave in humility as I know the impact my emotions may have on my subjects. Each day I write down my thoughts. Keeping such a journal has enabled me to improve my self –awareness. Also when am faced with situations that expect me to show anger I always slow down and examine why. As a leader, no matter the crisis or situation, how you react towards it is always in your power.
My Strengths as a Dynamic Leader According to Gallup's Strength Finder
Also, as a dynamic leader, staying motivated is important. Motivation has enabled me to work consistently and set extremely high standards in the work that I do. Besides motivation, being an empathetic leader has come in handy I,n managing my subjects. An empathetic leader always put themselves in their employer’s situation. Through empathy, I challenge employees that are acting unfairly, give constructive feedback and listen to those that need a listening ear. Through my empathetic actions, I can confidently say that I have earned the respect and loyalty that any leader could possibly demand from their team of employers.
Social skills are an aspect of emotional intelligence that cannot afford to go ignored when it comes to leadership. My great inter-personal and social skills have become handy in communication and diplomatic conflict resolution. Being in possession of social skills I have never sat down and let the employees do all the work, I have always been at the forefront of setting an example with my behavior. Social skills are vital for dynamic leadership.
Reflecting on my leadership, I realize that dynamic leadership is diverse. Leadership is not confined to just the position and title (Chin, Desormeaux & Sawyer, 2016). To be termed as an effective leader, one has to possess very may qualities. As stated earlier, a leader is someone that is looked up to. Thus as a leader, I would never want to set a bad behavior example to my subjects. For instance, I cannot afford to call myself a leader and yet I report to work late. As a leader, I want employees to come to work punctually and observe discipline. Thus I have to set an example to them. The reflection has helped me realize that in some aspects of my leadership I have to make changes. For instance, when it comes to the issue of empathy at times I fail. This is especially after an employee reports to work late in a row. Often they come citing excuses and expect me to understand. Most of the times I do not. I actually criticize them for being late. However, from the reflection, I have the learned the importance of being an empathetic leader. If I were in the same situation, I would love that somebody understands and listens to me. However, I have to strike a balance between being empathetic and tolerance of tardiness at the place of work.
My leadership paradigm is as a result of the many experiences I have had. While at it I have learned much life-changing revelation. Through the experiences and self-reflection, I have had a chance to have the clear definition of who a dynamic leader is. To have qualities of a dynamic leadership one should have discipline, effective communication skills, punctuality, and interpersonal and social skills. Social skills are especially very important as they affect how one relates to other people. Social skills have helped me in my leadership career to know how to communicate effectively and solve conflicts. Without social skills, one is likely to worsen conflicts at the workplace as they will not be aware of when and how to react towards a certain situation. I have also learned that employees and humans generally resist change. At the workplace, people are used to doing their things in a certain manner. When you introduce change as a leader what follows in most cases is resistance. It is through this resistance that I learned to build my career in leadership. Knowing how to handle resistance is key to becoming a dynamic leader.
Blattner, J., & Walter, T. J. (2015). Creating and sustaining a highly engaged company culture in a multigenerational workplace. Strategic HR Review, 14(4), 124-130.
Chin, J. L., Desormeaux, L., & Sawyer, K. (2016). Making way for paradigms of diversity leadership. Consulting Psychology Journal: practice and research, 68(1), 49.
Coombs, W. T. (2015). The value of communication during a crisis: Insights from strategic communication research. Business Horizons, 58(2), 141-148.
Daniel, G. (2018). What Makes a Leader?. In Contemporary issues in leadership (pp. 21-35). Routledge.
Mendenhall, M. E., Osland, J., Bird, A., Oddou, G. R., Stevens, M. J., Maznevski, M., & Stahl, K. (Eds.). (2017). Global leadership: Research, practice, and development.
Nguyen, N., & Hansen, J. Ø. (2016). Becoming a leader-manager: a matter of training and education. Development and Learning in Organizations: An International Journal, 30(6), 10-12.
Storey, D. J. (2016). Understanding the small business sector. Routledge. Wenner, J. A., & Campbell, T. (2017). The theoretical and empirical basis of teacher leadership: A review of the literature. Review of Educational Research, 87(1), 134-171.
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