Many people believe that leaders are born, but in the real sense, leaders are made. When it comes to leadership, I believe I have made significant progress as I have efficiently understood the critical aspects of leadership as well as leadership theories that I have learned in the Masters of Organizational Leadership (MAOL). This program has defined leadership and significantly shaped my leadership skills and further help me to distinguish between leadership and management. This was very fascinating have I got to be able to distinguish between two terms that always had almost similar meanings. Initially, I imagined that leadership was utilized exclusively in the army in describing senior executives in world politics as well as in businesses too. In the prior years, I worked in some jobs whereby most of them I majored in managerial roles. Throughout the MAOL program, I related the managerial term to my lecturers. The lecturer represented the commanding officer taking responsibility for the students and the lecture halls. The lecture gave assignment orders and guidelines and instructions on how to handle them that we had to follow. Suppose any interruption occurred, and the lecturer was responsible for intervening in order to correct the issue.
Whenever the word manager came across my mind, I would think of a McDonald’s employee. This is due to my preeminent learning habits. At a young age, I would visit a nearby Mcdonald’s to eat with my dear friends. This was our local chill spot since it was admissible to spend a lot of time in there using their free Wi-Fi. I remember seeing the managers striving hard as they gave orders to their employees to get work done and fulfill their duties. Managers had to make sure that things are done in the desired manner and in time. It is from then that I appreciated a supervisors’ managerial role in a business.
Currently, I am undertaking MAOL and I am winding up in this program. This is a reflection discussing the cumulative knowledge acquired from this program, the evolution of thinking and professional and personal development in the course of the MAOL program. It will also assess leadership strengths as well as limitations too including my future plan that will enhance my leadership skills.
I was a trivial reticent all through my high school education. I was never active in any sports activities or curriculum activities in school. Instead, I would just hang out with friends in my personal life. I literally lacked leadership skills at that time. After high school, I realized that I began developing some leadership skills as I was being less reticent. I got an opportunity to work in a certain restaurant whereby I majored in credit recovery. I was definitely not permitted to control any task at work. I had to get out of track and outshine amongst other employees. In essence, for a long time, I had a passion for the manager and I believed that it would mold me into a leader I desire to be (Lee, Law, Chun, & Chan, 2017).
Over the years that I have been pursuing MAOL, I have been able to develop some leadership philosophy. According to me, it is my belief that every member within an organization is assigned specified roles that they should fulfill, together with some tasks attributed to these roles. In organizations, managers are used in ensuring the implementation of authority in order to make sure that assigned roles and tasks are finished at the right time and also comply with the set standards and criteria (Bolden, 2016). I got to learn that leaders are managers with the capacity of gaining their subordinates’ trusts and confidence as well as having the ability to influence them to attain the tasks they are assigned. In the course of my undergraduate program, I realized my leadership notion is based on the Theory Y attitude, brilliant interpersonal communication skills, firm servant leadership essentials as well as trustworthiness (DuBrin, 2015). However, I thought that these are the leadership characteristics that every effective leader should have and apply them.
I have leadership characteristics of trustworthiness. I have noticed that I am a trustable person who deserves to be a leader (Northouse, 2018). I commit myself to fulfill the duties that I devote myself to and as well rigid in changing my beliefs. Actually, I came to notice that it is a hereditary characteristic that most of my family member has. To be honest, it is unfortunate that I lack some important leadership skills but I will strive had to develop them. I always believed that communication skills played a major role in effective communication and improving communication skills shall improve my leadership ability.
The most important and topnotch personal skills I possess is my capacity for managing stress as well as maintaining my own wellbeing. I naturally got this skill through birth and have been effective to me enabling me to live without stress. In essence, managing a workplace made up of more than twenty employees tends to be stressful (Woodsworth & Penniman, 2014). Mounting stress is capable of causing a detrimental impact to an individual’s mental as well as physical health. Stress can damage the interpersonal relationships formed the employees and the management of the organization (Goetsch & Davis, 2014). Personally, I do not give stress the opportunity of overpowering me. Instead, I stay calm and determined in instances that I work under pressure. University life of handling too many assignments at the same time has taught me how to determine the appropriate time for delegating and I use delegation in circumstance s that permit.
I also possess good time management skills. It is critical to be knowledgeable on ways of managing time in order to complete any tasks assigned to me in time, offer my leadership current updates as well as managing all employees is vital when it comes to effective leadership (Grubaugh & Flynn, 2018). I prefer making short-term plans in every task or activity I participate in instead of using long-term plans. At the moment I can project and make preparations for the contingency and rarely caught unawares. I am now capable of assessing new situations, analyze them then seek solutions. In real life situation, I have witnessed a number of people who have experienced their long-term plains being impacted or facing cancellation since they entail uncertainty suppose change occurs.
The MAOL program has developed and made me be an effective leader since I now have the fundamental traits of effective leadership. As an effective leader, it manifests itself on the impact on the followers (Rees, 2017). As it is claimed by some that leaders are born, according to me, I think people are born with a varying capacity of excelling in leadership. This ability can only transform into high-quality leadership characteristics whereby experiences teach people on ways of effectively using their dormant leadership skills.
Upon realization of my personal characteristics, I developed an attitude as well as the will of doing more rather than simply satisfying my fundamental job description. I identified my personal characteristics, however, for some people tend to have a tendency of developing an attitude and will of doing more than just meeting their fundamental job description (Grubaugh & Flynn, 2018). Actually, I came to realize that personal leadership is identified upon considering initiatives based on the needs that require to be met without requiring to be told to. I realized that there is a drive that exists which determines methods of managing people or tasks. In an event that intangible management qualities such as problem-solving, follow-up, accountability, initiative as well as vision are attained, effective leadership is nearby (Northouse, 2018). Actually, in the course of this program, I once had some part-time job whereby I had an ill-starred experience to work for an ineffective manager who remained at home drinking beer instead of managing his workplace.
Based on my experience, leaders do not have the authority to choose their subordinates. I believe that this is a way that people can actually change and demonstrate theirs through acquiring trust that is influential to new followers through establishing a rapport. This method gives the leader respect of playing the leadership role on a certain group relying on the leader’s personality. For instance, I have known some first class petty executives to advance to chief petty officer and then get transferred to another work center. Not because of the lack of a chief billet in the work center but because of potential conflicts that may arise because of unduly or friendly relationships (Goetsch & Davis, 2014). I can manage my people very well. I give people time off or early secure time when they earn it and pair up junior members with experienced members to train them. Every member of my work center is correctly and efficiently utilized. I also give some insight to other leaders that I know in ways to improve their human resource management.
Working as a team brings diversity in skills, knowledge, and talent. I like to work together with my people to brainstorm and bring our years of experience and diversity to a situation (Goetsch & Davis, 2014). The situations where I have worked in teams have mostly been for the purpose of problem-solving. The more tactful an issue is approached to solve is better than approaching it alone. A problem can be at the point when a number of group members start to withdraw as other follow their example. It usually ends up with one-third of the group participating and the other two-thirds talking amongst themselves (Goetsch & Davis, 2014). When this happens, it is time to change directions of the group. I may even have to restructure the task to be solved or question that needs to be answered to gain group members attention again.
To improve on my leadership skills, I am looking forward to using the benchmarking method. I will seek to find some reputable leaders with great leadership skills so that I would observe them and note their leadership skills so that I would also apply thus adding value to my leadership skills (Bolden, 2016). I will also attend any leadership forum or summit that will be offered to train on more leadership skills. Additionally, I will find a job to be a manager so that I would get the opportunity of applying the skills that I have learned from the MAOL program.
To sum up, the MAOL program has been of a great benefit to me. I have been able to learn various leadership skills that have equipped me fully and prepared me to be ready to be a leader that I want to be after completing this program. At the moment I feel very confident and competent since I have mastered the basic leadership traits that are critical to management.