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All About Leadership Essay

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Updated: May 19th, 2022

Introduction

Leadership is critical in almost every aspect of life, ranging from family relationships to work performance. Therefore, it is essential to learn how to be a better leader and invest time and effort to achieve it. There are numerous leadership models, though they do not offer one practical way to manage people successfully. However, if they are combined with some life experiences, it is possible to reach the best results. Therefore, I want to analyze how my supervisor influenced me and the work environment, as I consider him a prominent leader.

Concrete Experience

When people talk about powerful and effective leaders, I always recall one person. I was starting my career in active duty at the time I met him. He was my supervisor, who was extremely responsible, self-aware, resilient, and influential. He did not let me take on any project where I could make a mistake leading to significant damage until he ensured that I could deal with it successfully. The supervisor wanted to guarantee that I was properly trained at first. Therefore, I learned and practiced much, experiencing countless appraisals and counseling at the same time. He clearly stated that I needed to improve my knowledge by studying and practicing before getting down to the tasks, which might affect others. Undoubtedly, it hugely helped me at my next duty station, where I performed well. The supervisor taught me to be decisive, curious, and active. Hence, I succeeded in fulfilling demanding tasks without doubts but with confidence.

Reflective Observation

I remember my thoughts and feelings back then when I was starting my career. Indeed, I was incredibly nervous and unconfident and often questioned my ability to do everything in the right way, as I thought that simple mistakes could lead to adverse consequences. Honestly, I was only hoping to have great mentorship, and, fortunately, I was lucky to have one. The supervisor always said that he was glad to pass his knowledge to anyone who would listen because he was on his way to retirement. Therefore, I tried to be his active listener and enthusiastic learner, believing that he knew what was best for me. I suppose the supervisor was proud to watch me putting all the knowledge to good use. He was satisfied when I began to share the same information with newcomers. I felt determined to work diligently when I occasionally noticed his appreciation.

Nevertheless, I clearly understand that other individuals involved definitely experienced different thoughts and emotions due to our varying backgrounds. On the one hand, I think that there were those who felt that they needed to withstand some pressure generated by the supervisor. He was evidently a tough individual who expected others to obtain this quality as well. Some might also regard him as a person highly concentrated on theoretical knowledge rather than practical experience. On the other hand, I suppose that many people greatly appreciated his resilience, which did not capture my own attention. They might view his supervision as a shield protecting them from various challenges. In addition, I heard others talking about his broad-mindedness, which I failed to recognize.

Abstract Conceptualization

Combining my past experience with materials explaining leadership models helps me to gain multiple valuable insights. First, the Fiedler contingency model is undoubtedly applicable to my situation described above, even though I am convinced that my supervisor’s leadership style was not fixed. According to the model, there are two types of leaders – relation-oriented and task-oriented depending on how they estimate their colleagues’ personal characteristics. I suppose that the supervisor would not favorably assess his coworkers’ qualities and be considered a task-focused individual.

Fiedler believed that in “situations, where tasks are structured such as in most blue-collar environments or the military, a personable leader isn’t as much of a required” (“Fiedler’s contingency theory,” n.d., para. 7). As long as my supervisor was in active duty, his leadership style perfectly fitted the situation. He was always assertive and devoted more time to doing high-quality work rather than building relationships.

Second, I think that my supervisor could be called a transformational leader without any doubt. Despite being in the middle of the organizations and having limited power, he undoubtedly transformed people around him, as well as the whole work environment. McNamara (2017) notes that the transformational leadership model offers the idea that leadership is a process in which an individual connects with others, motivates them, and encourages positive changes, resulting in desirable outcomes. When I was working under the leader’s supervision, I felt that my mind was undergoing a major transformation affecting my work attitude and relationships with colleagues. I observed how the supervisor successfully inspired newcomers to innovate changes, which could impact the work environment.

Third, the behavioral leadership theory is also applicable to my supervisor. It states that leaders guide their followers through their own actions. As well as other people involved, I tried to repeat the way the supervisor acted and talked, as most of us regarded him as a role model. He never employed his legitimate or coercive power but always used expert and referent one. Those leaders who practice the latter understand a situation, suggest solutions, use objective judgment, respect others, and outperform their competitors (“French and Raven’s five forms of power,” 2014). He evidently was among them, showing excellent performance and teaching his followers to do it as well. Hence, I never noticed that he faced resistance but only compliance and commitment.

Active Experimentation

Finally, I have learned much about effective leadership from this exercise. For example, I have discovered that prominent leaders may not possess such typical qualities as people-orientation, integrity, or efficient communication. They mostly need to exercise their expert and referent power while being good role models for their followers and caring for their success. However, if leaders use only legitimate, reward, and coercive power, they risk facing resistance and should not expect commitment. Finally, as a leader, I have realized that I must endeavor to ensure that my followers succeed and improve my leadership approaches by being a role model and encouraging changes.

Conclusion

I have met a number of leaders, both effective and weak, though I always recall my supervisor, who was my role model and transformed my mind. Various leadership models offer valuable insights into his leadership style. I suppose the supervisor was a task-oriented person who worked diligently to be a role model for his followers and encourage transformation. Therefore, people went beyond what he had asked and responded with commitment. I believe that his example, along with the knowledge gained from the reading materials, will help me become a better leader, and my followers will regard me in the same way I view my supervisor.

References

Brighton School of Business and Management. (2014). [Video]. YouTube. Web.

. (n.d.). Leadership-central. Web.

McNamara, C. (2017). All about leadership. Free Management Library. Web.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "All About Leadership." May 19, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/all-about-leadership/.

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