LA #2 CHRIS
At the onset of this course I believed that a “Good Leader” was someone who just carried out the mission and vision of an organization all the while exceeding expectations and being a good role model for subordinates. At the time the class started I would have gauged the success of the leader on whether or not the leader was satisfying the shareholders of the organization and how satisfied those under the leader’s tutelage were. My persona of the “Good Leader” has changed and this change was garnered by what I learned in this class.
An article entitled, “Building the 21st Century Leader”, by Carol Tice personifies what I now think are positive attributes of what is truly a different type of leader in what are different times in the business world. In this article the author describes how this new leader is a decision maker that must be intuitive all the while bringing change to the way of doing things. A point that the author makes that would allude to a 21st century being a social architect is described as the leader reaching into every corner of the organization to garner ideas and exploit the talents of everyone in the company (Tice, 2007). This trait of a 21st century is that of a social architect. The leader actually goes out into the organization and looks for talent in non-traditional ways. In doing this the leader is exuding a message that everyone makes a difference in a successful company not just those with fancy titles and degrees from notable schools. I think that this is an empowering aspect that every 21st century leader must exploit to embrace what the workers in a 21st century organization bring an organization which is diversity and talent.
Learning Activity #2
Compare the vision you had of a “Good Leader” when you started the course and the vision you have today. Be detailed in your description. Address the role of social architect in the 21st century, characteristics, and perspective of the leader as you have come to understand them from the class reading and ideas. What are the major differences between the two visions and therefore the major ideas you will take away from this course?
This is what I first wrote about a leadership: Leadership is influencing people to do what’s right by example. A leader has to have loyalty and integrity in order for people to respect their leadership. People want to follow someone who is honest and does what is right even when someone is not watching! They also want someone who is going to lead them in the right direction for success; communication is a key factor when leading someone down the right path.
My vision remains the same! From this course I have learned different ways to go about rewarding those who work under me, the article from: Motivation = Empowerment taught me that rewarding people can cause short term production and there are other ways to reward your employees without actually giving them someone, like for example: someone did an amazing job at a project so you reward them with a day off. So now that person may think everything he/she does he is expected to get someone for doing something they should be doing anyway. There is nothing wrong with rewarding your employees but just don’t let them get comfortable with it and feel as though they have to receive something for doing a good job. You can always use things like recognition, promotions and giving someone more responsibility.
Also from this course I have learned that it doesn’t matter what you write on paper “How to be a good leader”, it’s all about your actions. I have known many people to write good things on paper about a “new plan” and how they are going to make a difference in their leadership but their actions say otherwise. I may not be the best writer but I know I am a good leader and my leadership skills and actions reflect it.
So with my vision I stated in the beginning of the class; I strongly stand behind it, because I honestly think a good leader has to lead by example. People will follow those who are strong, honest, loyal and have integrity!
Becoming a great leader doesn’t have to be a soul-searching journey, nor is it dependent on your natural charisma. Instead, through a series of relatively simple actions, you can refine your leadership skills and cement yourself as an authority in your space. 1. Actively Listen. Active listening is a crucial skill for anyone in a collaborative work environment, but particularly so for leaders. Engaging with your followers directly and showing that you truly hear what they’re saying is one of the best ways to build strong bonds and make yourself more accessible as a leader. Keep your mind and ears open, and take the time to build that level of trust. Encourage your employees to do the same by maintaining an open collaborative environment for discussion. 2. Express Your Gratitude. Take the time to express your gratitude, to your employees and to your followers. For example, you could individually thank workers for doing a great job and regularly thank social-media followers for their support. No matter how you choose to express that gratitude or what you choose to express gratitude for, the very act of expression can make you a better leader. Finally, expressing gratitude will make you happier and more positive in your own life, giving you a better experience in your leadership role.3. Help People Understand Their Strengths. Everybody has strengths and weaknesses, and if you take action to help people understand and develop their strengths, you’ll establish yourself as a better leader. For example, if you notice a worker struggling with one set of tasks but exceeding in another, let him or her know your observations, and make an effort to arrange the workload to a balance more favorable to the person’s strengths. 4. Simplify Something. Go out of your way to simplify something at least once a week. It can be a complicated procedure, a wordy email, a messy office, or a hierarchal chain of command. The act of simplification is great for leaders because it encourages new ways of looking at old problems, and sets a standard of continuous improvement that can (and will) become infectious in your business or organization. 5. Get Involved at the Ground Level. One of the best actions you can take as a leader is getting involved on the ground floor. If you’re a popular social-media personality, take the time to have conversations with regular users. If you’re the president of a manufacturing company, head to the factory floor and get a taste of what your lowest-level employees are doing on a day-to-day basis. It’s a strategy that politicians often use to connect with the “common man,” but it doesn’t have to be superficial.
Leadership doesn’t always come naturally to people. Some leaders are born, but most leaders are created through a series of circumstances and a passion for great work. Commit yourself to continual self-improvement as a leader and eventually you’ll earn the respect you desire. Once you earn the trust and respect of the people around you, the rest will naturally fall into place.
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