Individual Mission Statement
The term leadership can be defined in different ways. Some scholars define leadership based on the individual capabilities of leaders. In this definition, leadership is defined as a function of having self-knowledge, having a well-communicated vision, creating and developing trust among other people, and taking the right actions that lead to the realization of one’s leadership potential. Leadership can also be defined as the process through which an individual influences other people’s behavior towards the achievement of collective objectives in a manner that does not violate their freedom (Richard, 2007).
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The study of leadership is important to me since leadership is critical in maximizing efficiency and plays a crucial role in the realization of organizational goals. A leader is an individual who has the motivation, which is important in the process of achieving the goals that have been set. Studying leadership is also important in that it will equip me with the right knowledge to guide other people in a working environment.
Besides, the study of leadership builds confidence in an individual and this is an important aspect that I should possess as a leader. The experience acquired through the study of leadership is important since I will use it in the future to perfect various aspects of my leadership. For example, this experience is important in building morale among employees. A leader is equipped with skills of motivating employees since lack of motivation results in poor business performance. The experience will also be important in creating an appropriate working environment to ensure that everybody in the workplace is satisfied.
Being in leadership positions is an important way of acquiring experience in leadership and discovering one’s potential. In my life, I have held several leadership positions that have influenced me greatly and shaped my perception of the concept of leadership.
My previous leadership experience was in the hotel industry where I managed a small restaurant alongside a hotel together with my partner. As a leader, I was in charge of all employees at the restaurant and I ensured that everything in the restaurant ran smoothly. I discovered that leadership can be full of challenges and that is why a leader needs to be equipped with the required skills to execute the roles of a leader effectively.
One of the challenges of leadership I discovered while at the restaurant was that coordinating all the employees and ensuring that they perform their duties accordingly was not an easy task. This is because people have different personalities and as a leader, I had to be accommodative to all of them to avoid problems. I also realized that a leader is supposed to build a good relationship with the people from outside who interact with an organization.
My experience at the restaurant was very important since it greatly influenced my concept of what leadership is and the role of a leader in general. Previously, I had a wrong perception of leaders since I believed that leaders have little to do and their work involves only sitting in the office and having things done. However, I discovered that a leader is supposed to be a determined, active, and results-oriented person who works tirelessly to be an inspiration to the rest of the employees. As a result, other employees look at him as a role model and work hard to emulate and follow him.
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This course has been very important to me since it has influenced me greatly and shaped my perspective on leadership. To begin with, the course has changed my thinking about leadership from a negative one to a positive one. In the past, I did not anticipate being a leader because I believed that leaders face a lot of challenges that are difficult to overcome. For instance, my thoughts on leadership were that leaders are always in conflict with people since at times they have to do certain things that their subjects do not like. However, after studying this course, I have discovered that leadership requires certain skills and a leader does not necessarily become an enemy of the people.
Also, my interaction with leaders of various organizations has been limited because I did not like to be associated with leaders. However, the course has changed my behavior in that I am now close to leaders and I’m eager to learn from them. This is because the course has changed my plans. I want to be a unique leader in the future after dispelling all the fears and misconceptions that I had on leadership.
Just like any other human being, I have my strengths and weaknesses that might influence my endeavors of becoming a good leader. My first strength is that I am a good communicator, something which is essential for leaders. The second strength is that I am an organized person who is capable of making the right priorities. This is important for leaders because they have to coordinate many things. My third strength is that I am a resilient person who never quits easily amidst challenges.
However, my weakness is that handling a lot of people with many different concerns sometimes becomes overwhelming to me. To practice my leadership skills, I have various opportunities that will be useful. Some of the opportunities include community service assignments, furthering my studies to acquire more leadership skills, participating in public speaking forums, engaging in formal/informal mentoring, taking part in strategic issues in my organization, and global assignments that offer me multicultural communication chances. It is important to focus on leadership in my career because if I ignore it, it will be difficult to succeed in the career. Also, changes in getting promotions will be limited if I ignore leadership.
To improve my leadership skills, I will use various resources that will improve my skills. The first resource is the book ‘The 360 Degree Leader with Workbook’ by Maxwell John. This is an important book that dispels the myths about leadership and reiterates that every individual influence the organizations they work for regardless of their status (Maxwell, 2011). Another resource I will use is the Harvard Business Review magazine. This is one of the best magazines that train individuals on how to become effective leaders. I will also use Management Today Magazine, which has useful articles on leadership, human capital, and governance.
Besides, there are important websites that will give me critical information on how to improve my leadership skills. The first website is www.jimcollins.com by Jim Collins. The author of the website is knowledgeable about leadership matters, and his website provides invaluable information on how to become a good leader. Likewise, John Maxwell has a website, www.giantimpact.com, which is an important resource that will improve my leadership skills.
Maxwell, J. (2011). The 360 Degree Leader with Workbook: Developing your Influence from Anywhere in the Organization. New York: Thomas Nelson.
Richard, L. (2007). The leadership experience. New York: Cengage Learning.