My vision of leadership is one that knows when to be democratic and when a bit of autocracy needs to be implemented. Apart from the style of leadership, a leader in my opinion MUST possess certain qualities without which it would be difficult for him carry out his roles. Some of these personal qualities include vision, charisma, emotional intelligence, good values (morals), communication skills, and a sterling character to mention but a few (Mitch 2011). In addition to this, leadership must come with optimism and the ability to carry other along while leading them by example.
Several ethical leaders have inspired my understanding of effective leadership. However my greatest influence comes from Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela of South Africa and Oprah Gail Winfrey of the United States of America. Mandela is one of the few leaders who were able to inspire confidence and optimism not just inside his country but also outside and to the entire world (Ray 2013). Despite his suffering and depersonalization while imprisoned by the apartheid regime of South Africa, Mandela openly called for forgiveness for the perpetrators of the apartheid regime and led by example by forgiving his jailers and those that caused him pains. Leading by example and encouraging reconciliation in all fronts was Mandela’s means to unite South Africa that was already dismantled by apartheid (Ray 2013). His leadership qualities can be further summarised in one of his quotes which state that “It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger”. This also shows his team spirit as well as the desire to serve and not to be served.
According to Northhouse (2013) charismatic leaders posses a variety of attributes such as strong sense of moral values, a dominant personality and a burning desire to influence others. The leadership style of Oprah Winfrey fits perfectly into this definition because of her self confidence, dominance and positive influences she has had on people (especially women) in our world today. Oprah is well known as a strong advocate for positive change in the world. She propagates this via her various TV programs, books and teachings across the globe. She creates her vision and ensures that her followers understand how their commitment to the vision is vital for success hence, encourage team work at every level (Northhouse 2013). She deals with issues on her shows that affect everyday people in their everyday lives and offers inspiration.
Feedback From My Colleagues
Feedback from colleagues and friends is very important for personal reassessment especially as it applies to leading and working with a team. This is because such feedbacks help us identify our strengths and weakness so as to improve on them later. On several occasions, I have been privileged to work on mini projects and presentations, my colleagues describe me as a very supportive leader because of the time and interest shown for each individual within the group, I still feel there are certain areas that I need to improve on to further embellish my leadership qualities. As my colleagues also pointed out my weakness, indicating I slightly lack confidence during presentation and public speaking, also i have to how to absolve and work under intense pressure without panicking. In orders to increase my supportive leadership style, I gave each member of my group the opportunity to contribute their Ideas during group activities. However I can certainly develop my leadership style based on John Adairs model that stated three core management responsibilities. Task Individual and team. This model is also known as Action-Centered Leadership. According to John Adair a good leader should balance those three elements. they are interrelated to each other.
As I process my MBA International Human Resource management, with the prospect of ensuring that an organisation is appropriately staffed.(Hannagan2008) There are certain leadership skills I will be working on, these include relationship skills (such as Communication Skills, Counseling Skills, Interpersonal Skills, Mentoring Skills motivation skills and Persuasion Skills) Team building skills (such as conflict management, controlling group performance and dealing with difficult people) and decision making skills . These three skills have been chosen because they are core qualities that touch at the core of leadership (Pankaj 2011) it is also a necessity for every good leader to posses these qualities in the highly competitive business world of today.
Jim R. (2014) 7 Personality Traits of a Great Leader [Online] available from http://www.success.com/article/7-personality-traits-of-a-great-leader [14 September 2014]
John Adair’s (2014) Action Centred Leadership [online] available http://www.learn-to-be-a-leader.com/john-adair.html [14 September 2014]
Northouse, P.G. (2013) Leadership: Theory and Practice. Thousand Oaks CA: Sage Publications
Patrick A. (2012) Leadership and 10 Great Leaders from History [online] available from <http://www.industryleadersmagazine.com/leadership-and-10-great-leaders-from-history> [16 September 2014]
Pankaj C. (2011) Leadership Skills List [online] available from <http://www.buzzle.com/articles/leadership-skills-list.html> [16 September 2014]
Ray B. William (2013) Why Nelson Mandela Was A Great Leader [online] available from < http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/wired-success/201312/why-nelson-mandela-was-great-leader>[16 September 2014]