A leadership philosophy is a range of principles, beliefs, convictions, and mindsets, according to which a person decides what actions should be taken and what reactions and attitudes are appropriate in a particular situation. Leadership philosophy regards the existence of issues, mannerisms, goals, behavior in daily pursuits, and the view of leadership in general. Defining and following personal leadership philosophy has a positive influence on lifestyle. It appears to be effective not only for companies’ chief executives but also for people who do not pay much attention to leadership because each person encounters situations or ordeals where persistence, firmness, and strong will are essential. According to Benson (2018), “if our sails are set correctly, our personal leadership philosophy — not the gales we encounter every day — will tell us where to go” (p. 1). This way, the purpose of the paper is to describe my leadership philosophy in detail, trace changing of understanding of this term, outline my leadership role models, and mention leadership theories that resonate with me.
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Personal Leadership Philosophy
First of all, starting to describe my leadership philosophy, it is necessary to state the meaning of the term ‘leadership’ to me, as there are multiple definitions for this word. As for me, leadership is about knowing my wishes precisely and following them and my principles in any situation at the routine level. In the deeper context, leadership includes inspiring people, who are surrounding me, encouraging and motivating them for taking steps forward to overcome fears, dealing with slings and arrows of life, and achieving ambitions. In the working sphere, a leader is a competent employer or employee, who is capable of controlling working processes, working smart, ruling, and motivating the staff. Leadership in all my definitions includes morality, kindness, determination, honesty, hardworking nature, competence in a chosen sphere, and powerful character. Leaders do not settle for something unacceptable for them and have elastic thinking, which allows them to find a specific solution in any situation. The reciting traits of characters and principles present my values and goals.
There are some aspects that appear to be helpful for understanding personal leadership philosophy. According to MacLeod (2019), they are determining a person’s performance as a leader, answering the question about behavior in conflicts and ordeals, and describing the way of communication with people. Analyzing these aspects, I have concluded that I have quite an active life stance and obtain some leadership skills. For instance, I approach hardships with determination, resoluteness, insistence and do not escape taking responsibility for finding a solution. Also, I perceive employee mistakes and the lack of appropriate knowledge as a reason for additional education or practice. In the context of communication with people, I frequently advance suggestions, initiate and organize events or a common pastime. Occasionally, I manage to fill my surrounding with inspiration to stick to a healthy habit, find creative ways to earn money or start a new hobby.
However, I have some negative traits that need to be addressed. For instance, among my habits, there is one that causes a significant amount of anxiety and discomfort, which is standing inappropriate treatment and apologizing for serious mistakes and deceptions in order to escape controversies. Also, underestimating my capabilities and skill and not announcing an initiative while having all the possibilities is my frequent behavior. In summary, I obtain some leadership potential and an active approach to my life, but some aspects should be drawn attention to and tackled in some time. This way, developing a personal leadership philosophy provides an opportunity to make a little difference in the world. As for me, improving my personality contributes to creating a favorable atmosphere around me that influences my surrounding. I become capable of supporting or inspiring others for sticking to new habits or activities or giving them positive emotions. Moreover, self-improvement helps highlight my inclinations, that have the potential to help society benefit in the future.
Understanding of Leadership
Since the beginning of the course, my perception of leadership has undergone some changes. I was initially assured that leadership philosophy regards businessmen, companies’ chief executives, and other people who have senior positions and significant influence. While exploring course materials and getting accustomed to the philosophy, my opinion on this matter has changed considerably. By the end of the course, I have understood the necessity of developing my own leadership philosophy. It can become a key to my effectiveness, and the first reason for it is receiving consistency (Macleod, 2019). Without singling out targets and self-examination, our actions reflect current problems and worries. Secondly, leadership philosophy appears to be the “true north” (Macleod, 2019). Finally, it contributes to the realization of a personal mission and occupying a leading position. The importance of having a clear mission is contingent on obtaining a leader role. Summing up, approaching leadership philosophy is a primary stage of developing the personality and character of each person.
There are six major leadership theories, in which the behavior and qualities of excellent leaders are analyzed. They are the great man, the trait, the behavioral, the transactional (management), the transformational (relationship), and situational theories. Among all the leadership styles, the trait one has resonated with me most of all. This approach draws special attention to the personality, values, and skills of a leader. However, the precise traits of characters that guarantee the successful development of a leader have not been found (Arenas et al., 2017). Moreover, researches highlight that people with such traits of character as stress tolerance, initiative, intelligence, and responsibility have a limited influence on others. Smart, friendly, conscientious, and hardworking are more likely to succeed in it (Arenas et al., 2017). Despite all the controversies and mysteries, this theory matches my perception of leadership more precisely than others. From my perspective, leaders have innate traits of character that make them outstanding and unique, though their presence does not equal the success guarantee. Achieving a goal depends not only on personality but also on the efforts a person makes.
A Famous Leader as a Leadership Role Model
History is replete with famous leaders who were admired and respected all over the world. One of them is Sir Winston Churchill, who inspires me most of all. His talent, intelligence, courage, and hardworking nature are worth being highlighted. His proverbial phrases, such as “Never, never, never give in!”, are used all over the world and inspire millions of people. His figure has a special place in history due to his image, which he diligently cultivated. Obesity, gages, a glass of alcohol, outrageous manners, and habits are internal parts of his image. By contrast with that, his working efficiency was always at its peak. Apart from administrating state affairs, Churchill managed to spend his time on writing, and he even received a Nobel prize in the field of literature in 1953. Moreover, he used to allocate time for painting which was his favorite hobby. Churchill’s major rule included an intention to get 1,5 or 2 working days in one. The prominent politician managed to achieve this aim via a special schedule, which Churchill elaborated by himself (Maclellan, 2017). For the aforementioned reasons, Churchill presents an admirable and motivating figure not only for me but also for people all around the world.
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Although Churchill does not absolutely match my values, which are mentioned above, he presents a respectful and motivating figure for me. His persistence and unwillingness to capitulate, despite any circumstances, cannot but arouse admiration. Obviously, his working efficiency and unique intellectual facilities make him stand out from the crowd as compared to other historical figures. This way, Winston Churchill presents my leadership role model and infuses me to develop my personal leadership philosophy.
In summary, during the course, I became acquainted with leadership philosophy, its basic principles, terminology, and theories. By the end of the classes, I comprehended the necessity to determine my personal one and attempted to do it. New information prompted me to analyze my personality and particular aims for my development as a leader. Moreover, while exploring the leadership theories, I posed a question of leadership origin and was allowed to look from a different perspective to contemporary and historical leaders and at leadership in general. This way, the completed course appeared to be an educative and beneficial experience.
Arenas, F., Connelly, D., & Williams, M. (2017). Developing your full range of leadership: Leveraging a transformational approach. Air University Press.
Benson, D. (2018). How to determine your personal leadership philosophy. American Association for Physician Leadership. Web.
Maclellan, N. (2017). Grappling with the bomb: Britain’s Pacific H-bomb tests. ANU Press.
Macleod, H. (2019). Humanizing leadership: Reflection fuels, people matter, relationships make the difference. FreisenPress.