For a long period of time, I want to know how people become good leaders and prove their worthiness to guide the rest and make the other believe in the power of the leader’s word. I think that a huge sum of money and the required business connections are the two aspects that can turn an ordinary person into a good leader. As soon as I start taking the courses within the frames of which it is explained how to develop leadership capabilities, I get to know that my understanding of the essence was false.
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Everyone can become a good leader regardless the opportunities available. Any person should be ready to develop a number of qualities, behave accordingly, and think about the possibilities as a chance to make this world better.
Though many people may admit that a true leader cannot make mistakes, I would like to disagree with this thought. Because a really good leader should be strong and mature enough to accept the mistakes, learn from them, and help the rest not to make the same. I think that my mistaken attitude to the leadership qualities and the possibility to change my mind is a pathway from an ordinary student to a good leader. Behavioral change is crucial to leaders, and I am ready for it.
With the help of the discussions I was lucky to participate in and a chance to share my own, I turn out to be more ready to the challenges of leadership and the necessity to make fast and well-grounded solutions, consider and respect the opinions of different people, and not to be afraid to develop my own ideas and suggestions. The peculiar feature of leadership is the possibility to become a leader in different spheres of life and make sure the rest of the followers are involved in a process, there are a number of clearly defined goals to be achieved, and the relations are properly developed in a team.
As soon as the main idea of leadership is cleared up, and a person understands that leadership is actually a process during which one person can influence others in order to achieve a particular goal (Northouse, 2010), it is high time to think if a person possesses the required number of traits and skills. The assessment process takes place. For example, it is possible to pay attention to the assessment offered by Kouzes and Posner (2003) and try to find out if I am able to become a leader. Still, I know that it is not enough to answer one question about leadership. To understand if I am ready to lead people, I should be ready to do much work, self-assessments, and analysis, as well as gain the required portion of knowledge, respect people, or self-develop.
Among the variety of statements offered by Kouzes and Posner, I pay more attention to such ideas like the ability to listen to diverse points of view actively, praise (not just give orders), and encourage others (not just to follow how the work is performed). I am not sure if I consider these statements properly without any hidden intentions. I cannot be sure if I give a proper answer or just consider the possible public opinion.
At the same time, I want to believe that such attitude to the duties I have to complete and the thoughts I have in my mind are more or less appropriate and correspond to those of a true leader. I am ready to analyze each step taken and use the knowledge I have. I want all my answers are clear and honest so that I can realize if leadership is the process I should or should not be involved.
During the course, I get a chance to meet two interesting books: one is written by Northouse about the peculiarities of leadership, the qualities any good leader should possess, and the theories according to which leadership traits can be developed; another is developed by Kouzes and Posner to provide students and young people with a chance to evaluate their skills and personalities and clear up if they can become good leaders.
These two course readings are powerful sources of information that help to combine theory and personal practice. They help to understand that everyone is able to learn and gain the required qualities. It is not an easy trick to be a good leader. It is just necessary to demonstrate good behavior, develop skills, learn new material, and understand when and how to apply the knowledge got.
Northouse (2010) explains the reader that leadership is the process that can be learned and available to everyone. Kouzes and Posner (2003) admit that people should possess a number of qualities, and if some of the statements offered do not apply to a person, it is not necessary to despair or leave hope to become a leader. It is the time to start engaging in the required behavior. Leadership is effective if people continue educating all the time. People should understand that they cannot have enough knowledge all the time. As soon as some time passes, people need to learn something new regarding the current technological progress.
In general, the readings, assessment, and discussions during the course are effective and help to realize that it is never too late to become a good leader. A bit of passion, desire, and knowledge are necessary to succeed in the activities that are expected from leaders.
Kouzes, J. & Posner, B. (2003). Leadership practices inventory (“LPI”) Self-Scoring Instrument. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
Northouse, P. (2010). Leadership: Theory and practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.