“Anyone can be a leader, but to become a leader, one must take the arduous road to achieve excellence. A leader must hone in themselves qualities that can enable them to lead people towards a common path and help others to develop their own skills and competencies. A true leader is one who can act selflessly and put the bigger picture of a greater good before his own personal agendas. This can be a significantly difficult trait to inculcate, and thus openly a few people can actually become leaders through their hard earned efforts. It might be easier to develop managerial skills than to acquire leadership skills, and a good leader is also an efficient manager, but the opposite is not always true.
To become a good leader, one must develop in them several important qualities. A leader should be influential, which can allow them to influence others activities and behavior and act as their guide. A good leader should possess in themselves effective communication skills, that can ensure that then know when to speak, what to speak and how to speak. In other words, they should be able to assess the situation and communicate according to the situation, and also listen proactively to the views and opinions of others. It is important that a leader should be good in communicating in both verbal and non verbal communication to ensure the maximum effectiveness and extent of spread of their message. A leader should be able to delegate tasks when necessary and know when and to whom work and duties can be delegated. They can act as mentors, and help in the development of others to take up more responsibilities and thus move them towards personal or professional development. Such skills also help the managers to provide a practical training to others as well as prepare them for bigger responsibilities. Confidence is another important trait of leaders that is necessary to take firm and decisive actions on a very short notice. Leading people is not an easy task, especially people look up to the leaders to guidance and instructions. Lack of confidence can cause in confidence in the people as well, and hence a leader needs to have the self confidence in order to gain other’s trust. On the other hand, a confident leader can increase the confidence in others and support their morale. In an organization this can be a very important quality which supports leaders to effectively guide the organization towards growth and excellence. A leader also cannot be biased in their opinions or show favoritism among individuals. I true and good leader is a fair one, unbiased and views everyone with equal respect. They do not show preferentialism and provide everyone the equal opportunity. Equa; ity is an important virtue in here, which a leader should have deeply embedded in their own thinking process. Most importantly, a leader should have a very strong character and sense of morals and ethics, which constantly guide them and their work, in other words they should possess integrity. A strong set of principles possessed by good leaders helps them to take crucial decisions in an ethical manner and differentiate the right action from the wrong one and also help others to differentiate the same. A leader also knows the best strategies towards negotiation and how best to negotiate with others in various situations and conflict scenario. Additionally, leaders also need to have strong organizational skills that can allow them to organize and coordinate the activities of many people in an organization, communicate with them, set their working parameters and assess their performance.
By developing these skills, a leader can give guidance to people whenever necessary, informing them of the best path they can take and also leading them by their own examples. It also ensures that individuals under the leader are able to follow the common goal as well as achieve their own objectives. They can help in the development of innovation and creativity in the organization, by supporting an encouraging individual thinking and problem solving skills and encourage people to find new solutions to existing problems and think ‘out of the box’. They can motivate people by setting in front of them the clear vision of the future that they would like to aspire to or the organization would like to head towards, highlighting the perks of success and thus motivate them to work to achieve those rewards. The effective communication skills allow the leaders to improve communication in the organization, helping to best strategies for sharing knowledge, ideas and information, and help to overcome any communication barrier within a group. This can be a significant quality in a culturally diverse group and help to set up effective means of communication in the group. Leaders can help to develop strong values in the organization, based on their own strong morals and principles. Thus a leader can help others to develop strong work principles which can promote excellence in them and support both organizational and personal development. Resolving conflicts is another important aspect of a strong leadership that allows them to intervene in high conflict situations and manage them before the conflict adversely affects the performance of the team or the organization. Such conflict management strategies helps to maintain social cohesion and organizational efficacy and thus vital for any business.
A leader therefore plays a crucial role in an organization as well as in the society and works towards a social development. Due to the exceptional qualities of leaders, other look up to them for motivation and direction and consult with them whenever one faces a challenge or difficult decision. Effective leadership therefore not only encompasses effective management capabilities but also effective time management, conflict resolution and interpersonal skills. Anyone who can inculcate such values and strengths can become a good and effective leader. They can manage and work with people well, develop a strong team and community of people and help to maintain the organizational values and objectives as well as the values of individual respect, dignity and ideas. A leader does not always have to tell others what to do, but help them to realize what needs to be done.”
Using the Dilt’s Logical Levels, I was able to reflect upon my speech to identify the different logical levels of my argument and understand how the argument is influenced by aspects such as the environment, behavior, beliefs, identity and spirituality. According to the model, these six levels are in a hierarchical relation, with environment being at the bottom and the spirituality being at the top of the hierarchy (Dilts 2014).
The environment for my speech can be attributed to the overall organizational as well as social and political environments where a necessity of an effective and good leader is implicit (Stanescu 2016). A good leader needs to work in this environment to be able to successfully achieve the objective of leading people towards the organizational or social objectives (Cheal 2014).
The behavior is the next level of consideration in which both the behaviour of the leaders and those of the people being led needs to be considered (Dimick and Mulholland 20178). For a leader, the behavior can be the actions to provide guidance to others, giving motivations to people to achieve their true potential, communicate with people in an effective manner and also engage in conflict management and conflict resolution (Robertson 2016). Leaders can also delegate responsibilities to others and mentor them towards professional and personal actualization of their goals and objectives. Such behavior helps the leaders to be influential. For people who follow the leader, the behavior includes following the instructions of the leader, working with them towards a common goal and implementing the suggestions in their professional or personal life (Henley et al. 2017; Phillips and Phillips 2016).
Capability and competence is next level in the hierarchy that represents the capability and competencies of the leaders to perform their duties well and for others to implement and follow the leadership advices and implement them in their work (Vohra et al. 2015). A competent leader needs to have the capability to influence others, guide them to a common goal, encourage creativity and innovation among people and manage conflicts in an organization or social setup. Competencies such as problem solving skills, communication skills, motivational skills and the ability to have clear ideas and values can help the individuals to fulfill their responsibilities as a leader (Reem et al. 2014). While the ability to communicate can help others to effectively put their own views and ideas across to the leadership and engage in meaningful and constructive conversations that can help to share important ideas that can help bother other people as well as the leadership (Renzulli and D’Souza 2014).
Belief is another important aspect that comes after capability and competence, and it involves the main ideas and belief systems around which the perspectives and point of view of people develop (Karim 2016). The needs and expectations of people are related to their beliefs, and thus it is important for leaders to be able to understand the beliefs of others as well as themselves. A positive belief system can help people to have an optimistic point of view and work towards a common goal, cooperate with each other, while negative beliefs can result in non cooperation and a pessimistic mindset (Grubaugh and Flynn 2018). Similarly, cultural, social and personal beliefs significantly affect the individuals’ capacity to be a good leader. A strong sense of values and morals can help the leaders to motivate people in a better manner, and influence them to work together (Wolfson et al. 2015). Also, it can help the leaders to be fair and just in their decisions and consider the opinions and beliefs of others in the decision making process. For example a belief of the importance of the contribution of every employee towards the organizational growth can help the leaders to appreciate their worth and support them better. Similarly, values of equality, respect, and dignity can ensure that the leaders treat their people in a respectful, ethical and dignified manner (O'Brien 2017).
Identity is another significant aspect that helps a leader to mark their position to lead others. A leader needs to first identify them to be in a capacity to perform the leadership role. A strong sense of identity fosters a sense of confidence among the leaders, and the confidence in then helps to instill a sense of faith and trust by the people following the leader (Bates 2018). A competent leader is often viewed as the one that shows confidence in making decisions. Strong sense of identity is also vital towards the self actualization of the potentials of a leader, helping them to identify their known strengths and weaknesses and thus work to turn the weaknesses into their strengths. Such traits can show others the direction towards self improvement and actualization among others that follow the leaders (Gritzo et al. 2017).
Spirituality is at the top of the hierarchy, and it represents an abstract idea about the inner values and thoughts of a person. The sense of spirituality in this context refers to the ability to think outside the scope of the individual preferences, and belief system, and think in the context outside the organization towards a ‘greater good’ (Hudak et al. 2015). A leader should possess such ideals that can help them to think about the overall good for everyone, not just for the people following them or working in the organization, such ideals are based on the principles of human value and worth, and the significance of human capital towards the improvement of the larger society (Lyn et al. 2018). Spirituality is therefore important as it makes the leaders capable of considering the bigger picture of human values, and work towards its upliftment, and not just towards the promotion of the organizational values and organizational development (Gunter et al. 2016).
From these aspects it can be seen that a leader can develop their abilities through these six hierarchical levels to become a competent leader. Through these six aspects, a leader can increase their competencies to fulfill their roles and achieve success in their life. In my speech on leadership the main characteristics that a leader should possess were identified along with how a leader can help a society or an organization (Andrews 2014). Using the DIlt’s logical model to reflect on the speech helped me to arrange these skills and competencies along six hierarchical models to understand its relation to each other and how it can be utilized to be a good leader.
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