The term leadership refers to the ability of an individual for managing a group of people (Johnston and Marshall 2016). The purpose of this report is to represent personal experience on leadership traits and qualities. Additionally, this report will show the evaluation of different leadership theories for identifying own leadership abilities. Leaders are born, note made; however, with effective training and development process, it is possible to improve leadership ability of an individual. Therefore, that individual should have the willingness to set their goals according to the requirements (Boehm et al. 2015). This report will emphasize the key abilities for improving leadership skills.
Personal Statement on leadership
Good leaders can influence their followers for achieving broad objectives. In case of organizational purpose, leaders influence the workforce for establishing their vision. In order to influence the workforce, a leader should build good communication with the followers. In this manner, it is possible to understand key strengths and weaknesses of the followers in an effective manner (Muenjohn and Armstrong 2015). A leader always pays close attention to the performance development of workforce. As per as my understanding concern, a leader should participate in organizational task rather than just leading the workforce. I believe that a leader should be communicative and should have the ability of problem solving. In other words, leaders should have the ability to reduce conflict within the workforce in order to maintain sustainable development (Aarons et al. 2015). The role of a leader is to set realistic goals in order to achieve overall organizational objectives. For instance, leaders should segregate the workforce based on their performance quality and expertise. Thereafter, they should allocate responsibilities according to the expertise of each individual employee for reducing their workload. Apart from that, leaders should consider employee satisfaction as the key factor in order to increase employee engagement (Henker, Sonnentag and Unger 2015). Increasing employee commitment is the major aspect, which a leader should consider as the key to success.
Motivation is the most important factor, which influences the workforce to improve their performance. It is the sole responsibility of the leaders to implement effective motivational strategies for improving performance quality of employees (Deichmann and Stam 2015). Now, identifying the most effective motivational strategy is the most challenging task of a leader in which they needs to identify the appropriate motivational tool for each employee. For example, some employees can be motivated with financial interest and some others can be influenced by recognition tool (Huijun and Jianjun 2015). Moreover, enthusiasm is the most important leadership characteristic, which helps a leader to encourage the workforce in an effective manner.
I have different experiences in leadership activities in my college and other workplaces. I did masters in political science and masters in political accounting and apart from that, I did bachelor in business management. Therefore, I had been a part of the leadership live workshop in which I have presented my leadership skills to attract the employers. In this event, I was responsible for managing the entire event as a leader. Apart from that, I am a part of my own business and I am working as a manager. My responsibility is to manage the workforce, set objectives and enhance overall organizational performance. From this experience, I have earned a vast knowledge regarding employees’ needs and requirements within an organization. My previous experience, where I was performing as leader of the leadership workshop, helps me to learn how to achieve broad objective by creating short-term objectives.
The organization I am running is a business consulting company in which employees are responsible for handling clients’ requirements to improve their business. Apart from that, they also help the clients to build new business in domestic and international market. Previously, I noticed that most of my employees were switching to other job due to low motivation. The employees were moving to other companies because of low salary hike. In order to improve the situation, I communicated with the workforce in order to understand their issues, which helps me to implement effective strategies for retaining the existing employees. However, the situation was under control within few months after identifying the issues.
Reflection in leadership experience
From my previous experience, I came to know that a leader should understand the needs and requirements of the followers in order to gain successive outcome. The workshop I have conducted helps me to learn the way a leader should set objectives and job allocation. From this experience, it can be said that leaders should understand priority of the activities before framing the objectives. However, this experience does not increase my knowledge regarding employee management. In my next experience, I learned the process of managing a workforce for achieving broad organizational objectives. In my organization, the workforce was not satisfied due to low salary hike. Therefore, I communicated with the workforce for understanding their actual expectation. While communicating with the employees, I came to know that monitory reason was the secondary option for the workforce. The major issues they were facing were low recognition for their work.
Therefore, as a manager, I identified their abilities and based on their abilities I implemented some effective motivational tools such as incentive schemes and recognition strategy. Therefore, it can be said that a leader should be communicative in nature and should perform as per the employees’ behavior (Tremblay and Gibson 2016). The leadership theory I would like to introduce here is transformational leadership. This leadership approach helps me to communicate with my employees for understanding their behavioral approach. Every individual belongs from different cultural background and therefore, behavioral approach of every employee is different in nature. Transformational approach helps to communicate with every employee individually, which improve employee relationship in an effective manner (Johnston and Marshall 2016). However, Leaders with this attributes are lenient and therefore, employees can take advantage from this. Therefore, situational leadership is the most effective and globally acknowledged approach, which helps the leaders to change their approach according to the organizational situation. From my experiences, I have understood that people a leader should build the objectives as per the employees’ ability. Setting unrealistic goals can affect employee motivation negatively, which can further affect overall organizational performance negatively.
The employees in my organization were quitting the organization due to low salary hike. It means, employee motivation was the major issue for which the employees were decided to leave their current job. The activities, which I had short-listed for handling that situation was aiming towards employee motivation and relation as well. I have handled this situation by enhancing employee wages along with introducing some lucrative incentive scheme. From this incident, I have understood that a leader should have clear understanding regarding the employees’ needs and requirements in order to increase employee retention. This strategy is effective for achieving long-term objectives. On the other hand, in order to achieve short-term objectives, it is highly important to implement autocratic leadership approach in which leaders can punish or reward the workforce for achieving or not achieving the organizational objectives. Implementing this particular approach for long-term process can reduce satisfaction level of the employees; those are non-efficient and going through a training process (Boehm et al. 2015). Autocratic leadership is only effective for the experienced employees those can perform accordingly to the organizational requirements. I believe that communication is the key factor, which helps leaders to improve organizational environment in an effective manner. Apart from that, leaders should focus on training and development in order to improve performance of the workforce (Muenjohn and Armstrong 2015). It should be the main objective of the leaders to monitor performance quality of the workforce for maintaining a long-term sustainability.
Evaluation of leadership theory and self-abilities
There is different leadership theories have been introduced by different authors such as autocratic, transformational, transactional and democratic. According to my leadership trait and behavior, I believe that a leader should communicative and transparent in nature. The leader should share the organizational objectives with the followers for improving employees’ understanding regarding what they are doing (Aarons et al. 2015). The transformational leadership approach suggests that leaders with this particular approach pay close attention to organizational change. Now, in order to implement change, these leaders try to identify the current organizational situation. Depending on the current situation, transformational leaders implement change in order to improve the overall process (Henker, Sonnentag and Unger 2015). As per the situation described before, employees in my organization were facing difficulties due to low wages. It means motivation was the factor, which was influencing the workforce to change their job. As I am the manager, it was my responsibility to communicate with the employees for understanding their issues. Thus, it can be said that my leadership trait is similar with the transformational leadership approach. On the other hand, transformational leadership approach suggests that a leader should motivate the workforce for improving employee satisfaction level. Similarly, I have implemented many motivational strategies for improving employee satisfaction level.
Democratic leadership approach is another leadership trait in which leaders take others’ viewpoint before taking the final decision. In this leadership approach, employees are allowed to give their valuable feedbacks in order to improve the decision even better (Deichmann and Stam 2015). However, this approach increases the chance of organizational conflict, because different employee can have different viewpoints. Therefore, democratic leaders should have the ability to handle conflict within organization. While managing the critical situation in my organization, I take suggestions from the workforce for making the final decision. It helps me to understand the probable procedures of solving the potential issues. However, there was no confliction within the workforce because all employees were facing issue of low wages (Huijun and Jianjun 2015). I believe that it is highly important to seek innovative ideas in order to improve organizational performance. Moreover, involving the workforce in decision-making process helps the workforce to be self-actualized.
Transactional leadership approach refers to the process of both punishing and rewarding the workforce. This leadership is commonly known a managerial leadership. In this leadership, leaders are solely responsible for influencing the workforce. I believe that a leader should have the understanding regarding transactional leadership approach (Tremblay and Gibson 2016). This leadership approach is not appropriate for long-term purpose and therefore, leaders should implement this process for achieving short-term objectives. The use of this leadership approach can have negative impact on the employees’ satisfaction level.
In order to improve leadership traits, an individual should go through some specific steps. In order to improve leadership ability, an individual should identify personal trait in primary stage. Without understanding personal traits and abilities, it is not possible to achieve overall goals and objectives. Following is the action plan for improving leadership trait.
This activity helps to understand self-traits and ability of managing a group of people.
Building mission statement
Setting mission and objectives
Identification of own skills that can be improved
Identification of leaders examples
Choosing at least two leaders as examples
Setting realistic objectives
This activity helps to set clear objectives for improving leadership ability
Identification of strengths and weaknesses
This step will help to identify potential issues and there possible solutions
Training and development
Knowing the weaknesses will help to improve those aspects
Gather feedbacks from the followers
While concluding, it can be said that a leader should have the ability of understanding changing needs and demands of the workforce. The self-reflection section shows that it is highly important to increase communication with the workforce for understanding the organizational issues. Moreover, it helps to improve employee relationship in an effective manner. It is the sole responsibility of a leader to motivate the workforce by efficient motivational tools. For example, the motivational tool can be monitory or some other such as recognition and incentive trip. The action plan shows that an individual should identify the self-strengths and weaknesses in order to improve their leadership ability.
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