As the saying goes, no one was born a perfect leader. We all strive to be better versions of ourselves, sometimes through failures. As a leader, I believe in continuous growth and development in all my facets of life. I believe that the only way I can track these is through carrying out a leadership assessment exercise, which will give me an objective view of my abilities as a leader. Therefore, the purpose of this assessment is to act as a guide in creating my career goals and to increase my self-awareness. I will also rely on this assessment to improve my career in all stages including training and communication.
I realize that for me to be a good leader, I need certain qualities and strengths. I specifically bank on my personal values of honesty, love for family, caring for others, peacekeeping and freedom. My leadership qualities include the ability to influence others, willingness to listen, being decisive, being self-aware, and possession of excellent communication skills. From them, I have created effective methods of communication within organizations that I have worked.
They have also allowed me to manage, organize, and lead different teams. While executing all these, I have realized that to be a successful business leader, I need to effectively combine soft and hard skills. While I am proud of my superb soft skills, I am still working on my hard skills. This is particularly in view of the fact that leadership is an ever-evolving and phenomenon that requires different approaches and dynamics. This implies that frequent leadership training is essential for the success of any leader.
Self-awareness is my most significant leadership strength as it allows me to know my full potential, including my abilities and flaws. I am aware of my strengths and weaknesses as a leader. This is important since it helps me to incorporate those approaches that are based on my strengths and limit those that could expose my weaknesses. For instance, one of my greatest strengths is team building. However, a team comprised of professionals drawn from different fields might seem difficult to manage especially if the members fight over supremacy. Self-awareness also involves situational awareness, which entails knowing my surroundings (Brown 11).
Knowledge of the issues, problems, conflicts in my workplace helps in efficiently addressing them. It also helps in evaluating if the goals of the organization are being met or not and if the employees work as per the company’s culture.
My success in managing teams is partially owed to my excellent communication skills. I delegate tasks and ensure that all team members are efficiently engaged in upholding the core values of the organization through effective communication. This also helps in addressing conflicts that may arise during team interactions. From my excellent communication skills, I pride on my interpersonal and public speaking skills as well.
I can also negotiate effectively and thereby enhance employee and client relationships. Good negotiations increase the likelihood of obtaining the desired outcomes as well as creating positive business results. Good negotiation skills put me in a strategic leadership position that has often enabled me to acquire useful information and resources for the organization. It is also a conflict resolution tool that helps in mitigating hostilities and tensions between workers.
Empathy is a leadership strength that has helped me comprehend the aspirations, homes, and even problems faced by others. I have since realized that leadership is only possible if you deeply understand your followers’ problems, hopes, and aspirations. It is only when one understands his or her employees that he can effectively delegate tasks that are tailored to meet their particular tasks. Indeed, empathy enhances creativity, job satisfaction, and loyalty in the workplace.
In addition to the leadership strengths stated above, I am also resilient and reliable. Even in chaotic environments, I can remain calm and steer the organization towards the right course. The positive attitude with which I work has continued to inspire my followers to do the same. They manage to remain calm in stressful situations and instead select to focus on their works instead of their problems.
My professional, personal, and academic lives are full of instances where I was invited to exercise my leadership. While on campus, I was the captain of the university basketball team. This leadership experience empowered me with intangible skills about team building and team organization. From it, I also developed a mentality that is often based on achieving goals. Therefore, I always strive to understand others before assigning them duties that they are best suited or qualified to perform just as I did with my teammates at the basketball court. The tallest of us all would always attack at the front and position himself closer to the rim to net in balls he would receive from teammates.
The most agile ones who could dribble very fast were often positioned at the wings. Therefore, I learned to understand people based on their individual abilities. Moreover, since, as sportspeople, we are often focused on achieving results, which is scoring goals, most of us are not confined to the 9 to 5 work schedule mentality. I am thus committed to achieving the target results rather than reporting and leaving work at specified periods.
At a personal level, I have had opportunities to travel abroad and interact with various cultural groups. In some of these travels, I have found myself in unchartered waters where I have been confronted with uncomfortable situations. As a result, I have been forced to learn to interact with different cultural groups, an exercise that has taught me insightful communication skills. Cross-cultural experiences I have gained from my interactions with different communities across the globe have built resilience in me in a way that I would not shy away from adverse experiences. They have instilled in me a global overview of things.
Naturally, I believe in helping people to discover their full potentials. I remember last summer when we faced a unique crisis at our place of work. After a shipment we were expecting as an organization went awry, there was a looming threat of customers’ rage. There was not enough time to prepare the customers for the misfortune that had befallen the company. Every person was confused and anxious, not knowing the next step to take. Our CEO was furious, agitated, and started showing signs of depression. He watched the chaotic situation and could not help but shed tears. I was bothered by the situation, a situation that necessitated me to assume the responsibility of a leader.
I selected some of the employees whom I knew were the best communicators with excellent public relations portfolios. I converged them in a room to design response messages that would address any foreseeable customer concerns within ten minutes as the rest of us retreated into another room to try to mitigate the situation.
It was a difficult task but I assured my teammates that we did not have an option. Although it was a rush, we managed to solve the situation. From this experience, the leadership role that I played helped me put up incredible teams of communication experts and technical staff to avert a looming crisis. It was a moment of anxiety and a lot of pressure but I managed to keep calm amidst the storm. My followers saw a leader in me and devoted themselves to working beyond the normal working hours to ensure that the problem was solved.
One of the key development areas that I believe would enhance my effectiveness as a leader is mentoring. Although there are various global leaders that I have always looked up to due to their accomplishments, I must admit that I have not had a one-on-one sitting with any of them. I am particularly impressed by tech guru Jack Dorsey, the Twitter CEO. I feel that I should cultivate an effective and close relationship with him to gain from his fountain of knowledge. I am more interested in understanding his personal goals and ambitions and seek his advice on how he builds confidence among his staff. I also wish to know what I need to do to transform myself into a confident leader. Thus, I consider a mentor with an incredible accomplishments as a resourceful yardstick to shape my career.
My other development would be to stay organized and encourage others to follow suit. For the employees to maintain a clean and safe environment, it is important that I demonstrate the same myself. This way, we shall be able to reduce work-related stress and improve our efficiency and productivity. I will strive to create a to-do list that organizes all my tasks that are supposed to be done on any particular day. Such a list helps in prioritizing tasks in accordance with the most important ones in addition to helping in wise time management. These two development areas are important to me because they will help boost my efficiency and productivity and enhance my leadership experiences with my staff at the organization.
Leadership is an experience that thrusts a myriad of responsibilities on its actors. Although everyone can be a leader, it takes more than that to steer an organization towards the right path. However, no matter how successful a leader is, leadership is a continuously evolving phenomenon that requires one to keep on updating and learning the dynamics involved. This calls for a constant assessment of one’s leadership skills in a bid to identify the gaps that exist for subsequent updates. The experiences that we go through in our leadership roles should build us into becoming formidable leaders in the future.
However, even as we strive to become leaders, we must realize that it is a development process that should always be nourished. Therefore, it is significant for a leader to constantly attend leadership training programs. Having mentors who have accomplished marvelous things in their professional careers should be recommended as well.
Brown, Jennifer. How to be an Inclusive Leader: Your Role in Creating Cultures of Belonging Where Everyone can Thrive. Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2019.