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Finding the Leader in You, Research Paper Example

Pages: 3

Words: 915

Research Paper

Leadership

Leadership is the accumulation of skills and qualities an individual utilizes when he or she is trying to accomplish a task or objective.  This influence that the individual has becomes the process in which they pull together the support of others in a common goal.  Leadership traits include influencing skills, charisma, intelligence, foresight and integrity to name a few (Caroselli, 2001).  These traits are critical in the ability to lead a group of individuals to accomplish a common goal.  There are five elements of leadership that will be discussed ranging from the individual leader, their followers, context, skills and management.  Each area plays a critical role in the understanding and implementation of leadership.  Leadership is a skill honed by practice, study and imparting the right guidance and practices (Zaleznik, 2008).  Leadership is what will drive change and new processes and methodologies that will take business, government and other entities to the next level of performance and goal achievement.

Continual Improvement

In order to fulfill the requirements of being a leader and taking on the increased responsibilities and inherent challenges with being a leader it requires the ability to continually improve and adjust to the situation.  Throughout my previous career I held multiple leadership positions and the ability to remain flexible, agile and ensuring the adaptability to the circumstances allowed me to thrive in those leadership positions.  As I transition into a new career the need to complete the self-assessment provides a new set of objectives and opportunities to increase my capability and utilize what has been learned to become a better leader.  The assessment provides an insight into the areas that I may have not necessarily been able to view from an internal perspective but this is based upon two key criteria.  The first is the ability to be open and honest about the feedback which will raise my self-awareness and secondly the ability to disclose those areas that I deem necessary and personal to my style and ability.

Profile

The profile assessments provided an insight into key attributes revolving around intuitive ability, conflict management, time management, organizational design preference and culture fit.  Each one of these areas provides a window into the strengths, weaknesses and potential environments in which the person would thrive and become successful.  While the assessments were insightful it was a highly successful exercise in awareness on the skills, abilities and organizational fit on my behalf.  With the assessment on transformational and transactional leadership I can see where my limitations fall and where I am able to thrive.  Transformational leadership takes on more of a strategic outlook on the business model, the organization and the future activities of the organization.  Throughout my career in the military it was my primary objective to lead and execute tactical or short term objectives while allowing the senior military ranks to mold and develop the strategic implementation of our objectives.  As I advanced in my career the tactical operations become more operational or mid-range goals and objectives.  The assessment allowed insight into the areas of strategic thinking as a leader and provided me the context for my continual improvement.

My intuitive ability was slightly lower than what I expected.  The ability to foreshadow and deliberately plan what potential courses of action could be taken as well as their results was not a primary responsibility during my previous career in the military.  With that I was not able to hone this skill and ultimately will need some much needed effort to ensure I raise the bar on my execution.  Within the project management career field it is key to have that intuitive ability to make decisions and guide the project based upon historical reference, intuitive ability and strategic intent.

Conflict management should come naturally based upon my experience but with the culture of the military the tact and sensitivity of conflict resolution is negated by the structure and cultural roots of following orders and chain of command.  As I complete the transition between careers, this assessment brings a level of awareness that plays to not only my conflict resolution skills but to a fit within a specific organization.  Time management is the key to performance in the military.  The downside is that there is a cultural push on timing, schedules, and activities.  Everything has its time and place.  As I transition, the time management structure falls completely on me and I see that I need to work that skill to increases my awareness and time management capability.  All of these areas show the assessment on what my strengths and weaknesses are.  They also point to the type of organization and culture that would fit my leadership and personality styles.  While my flexibility and adaptability will allow me to thrive in any environment I see an organization with a structured culture with individual as well as team accountability ingrained into the people that work there.  The team mentality is the cultural trait that most resembles the environment in which I thrive.  Each team member ensuring their tasks and objectives are executed precisely and then as the leader ensuring that the team has achieved those deliverables and they align with the operational and strategic intent of leadership and the organization.

References

Caroselli, M. (2001). Leadership skills for managers.McGraw-Hill Professional.

Hughes, R., Ginnett, R., &Curphy, G. (2012). Leadership: Enhancing the lessons of experience. (7 ed.). Montouri, Amsterdam: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.

Zaleznik, A. (2008). Managers and leaders: are they different? Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business Review.

Zenger, J. H., &Folkman, J. (2009). The extraordinary leader, turning good managers into great leaders. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Professional.

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