This semester, I have learned that leadership is everywhere. It is present in theoretical class discussions as well as real-life practical applications. Whether we are conscious of it or not, we are all exposed to leadership. It is how we deal with daily challenges and present circumstances that determine our role. The true leader either assumes his or her responsibility willingly or is thrust into the role because others have placed them there. My personal leadership experience has derived from somewhere in between the two circumstances. And now that I am aware of the varying styles of leadership, I hope to develop my own style in each of these following ways:
- First and foremost, be a strategic thinker. The leadership traits you were born with can be honed; and the leadership traits you weren’t born with can be learned. But none of this will be possible if you can’t think critically and strategically about where you were then, where you are now and where you want to be in the future.
- Second, be an effective communicator. Speak with clarity and conviction. But mostly, speak with the credibility you have earned for yourself through continued demonstrations of reliability and trustworthiness.
- Third, have courage in yourself, in your ideas and in others. That means you must eliminate any and all fear. Spencer Johnson says that moving beyond fear can actually help set you free. I agree. Since fear is the primary obstacle holding us back on a daily basis.
- Finally, always strive to exude patience and poise. Warren Bennis likens leadership to hurricanes and says that leaders must always be the calm in the eye of the storm. When life gets difficult, followers turn to their leaders as pinnacles of strength and hope in the face of an uncertain future. Though it is not always easy to maintain a sense of grace under fire, it is extremely important to stand strong while under pressure.