Throughout the ages Leadership has come in many forms throughout the ages and can be used in many different situations such as military, business, and aristocratic situations. Leadership also comes in many different forms that can aid many teams in accomplishing their goals in their assign project, within this paper I will be assessing myself as a leader by using trait approach.
According to author Northouse (2016), trait approach’s history dates to the early 20th century and around this period many researchers became interested in what personality traits did many leaders many centuries before hand lead their nations to greatness. This approach works very differently from the other ones that are discussed throughout the general leadership theory because instead of focusing on the situation that is at hand or the people that are within the team, this focuses upon the leader and whether they have the appropriate characteristics to lead a team (Northouse,2016).
In addition, within this approach come three key components that provide its undeniable strengths in a leadership position, such as that it gives people the gift to see those they view as special from the average as an extraordinary person with undiscovered potential, this first components exploits this by giving people the chance to see this person as a leader who could accomplish great things. The second component in this would be the extensive research that trait approach has to back it up in comparison to many other theory’s, trait approach is the only one that can boast out of its vast amount of research that’s been done over the century and as a result of this has a massive amount of data that can point out the most important parts in the process of becoming a great leader, and a final key component would be that trait approach is something that has given everyone a great understanding of what to look for if a person would like to be a leader or finds someone with the potential to be leader in addition this approach gives us a wonderful view of what valuable information to any modern day supervisor or manager about better methods to improve their leadership (Northhouse,2016).
The reason that I chose this approach in leadership would be that I am an avid history fan and I have read about numerous leaders throughout many centuries of time on Earth ranging from Cleopatra, Empress Matilda, Lorenzo the Magnificent, Gandhi, and Barack Obama. Each time I read about them and many others I noticed that each had traits when they were first recognized as leaders each show many differences as some were more bolder and others were subtler in their methods, but the result were equally the same in determining that they were worthy leaders.
From Chapter 2 of Leadership Theory and Practice the assessment tool that I took for leadership would be the Leadership Trait Questionnaire(LTQ), the purpose of this questionnaire was to measure if the person had the characteristics that proved they had leadership potential. The results that I received from the test showed that I self-rated higher in being persistent and being dependable while the others who took the quiz showed that I scored higher in being empathic and sensitive. Looking at the results that were given I find that I can interpret these results as something that needs to be to put into serious thought because I when I think about I am always quite persistent when it comes to wanting to accomplish a goal no matter what it is and no matter how many interferences that I have and another trait that I find that actually am really dependable because of the fact that I have never let down any of my teammates for any reason and I always keeps my promises to my team. However, when I look at the results from the other people I am quite shocked that I am more on the emphatic and sensitive side because considering how I am sometimes quite strict with the people and I am madly focused on getting my goals accomplished that I do not focus on trying to bonding with my teammates.
Strengths and Weakness
Taking the quizzes has shown me that that my greatest strength as a leader would be that I posses’ great integrity. I honestly believe that integrity is a vital trait when a person is a leader because how can anyone lead a team and not have an ounce of honesty between the leader and the followers. In the few times that I have been a leader I have always believed that there should be truth between teammates and that each member should take a responsibility for each of their actions. Basically, I prefer the materialism in Behavioral approach when I lead with integrity because and in addition I would like to see my team as a family rather than objects. In addition, I realize sometimes that being honest with my teammates in the only way for both of us to accomplish our goals because when an important task needs to be completed the only way for us to do this is together with truth and without any lies that can prevent us from accomplishing our goals. (Northhouse,2016)
Another great strength that I believe that I possess would be my sociability. When I was a leader I know that the title is something more someone who barks orders at other people and threatens them they do not obey them. On the occasion that I am asked to be a leader I realize that it is best to interact with my followers in an approachable Behavioral approach manner that is whether it be in teaching someone new on the job how everything works or introducing them to fellow coworkers I believe that sociability is the key to everything. While I realize that while being a leader means that I am above my team in some areas I am on an equal level with them on others and I need to approach them as friendly and kind person who is no better or worse than them.
However, despite these as being my strength I cannot go on saying that I have no weaknesses as a leader, despite my sociability I am not as outgoing as I would like to be because while I am friendly to my teammates I am not that strong in terms of being self-confident. Like any other human that is on the planet I am often not confident in the skills that I have been blessed with while I understand that this often happens with people who take on a leadership position it feels like it happens to me more so than others sometimes because I get so nervous about how I am going to accomplish this goal, how am I going to get my team to work together and how do I make them see that I am worthy of being their leader. My lack of self-confidence has previously hurt my chances of grasping a bigger role when I have numerous chances of becoming the leader more so because I am not comfortable in the spotlight with everyone watching and judging me so naturally I would prefer to work in the shadows where I can find a sort of sanctuary from judgmental eyes.
Another weakness of mine that the quiz revealed would be that I that I seem to also lack determination because while on the outside I am really good at saying we are going to do this and that but in reality I am so wracked with anxiety and doubt that I feel terrible that I’m unsure whether or not that I can complete the goal that is laid before me. In addition, I feel the quiz in saying that while I do have great potential to do anything the problem that I need work on is not letting my mind get to wrapped up in what if’s because then I will wonder from then what could have been.
Improvement in Leadership
The tasks that I would like to do to improve my leadership abilities would be that I would like to work more upon how to grow upon my earning more confidence. My growing edges in leader ship would be that I am a person who would like to grow more confident in her skills and more sociable with her teammates. The steps that I want to take for this would be that I would probably try to stand firm with my decisions once I have made them and in addition to the fact if I were to become a leader once again I need to become more comfortable around my teammates in order for the group to function because while I realize that while it is nice to be sociable to my teammates I also need to be on a level where they can understand that while I am still the leader I can still friendly and sociable. These improvements are basically stemming from the task and relationship approach because they go on quite extensively the self-confidence and sociability are great traits that make leaders and examples of this would be that the main purpose is to aid in aiding group members in completing a goal with the addition that the group feel comfortable with one another (Northouse,2016).
Taking each of these assessments has shown me that I despite my own short giving’s about my own leadership abilities I am stronger than I think I am in terms of connecting with people and being able to complete a goal with my team. To be honest after taking the quiz the first time I kind of wanted to retake it because I felt that the result were incorrect and could not possibly be describing me personally because for 23 years that I have been on the planet I have always preferred to stay in the shadows rather than be in the spotlight leading the team in any form. But while I do not disagree with the results I do admit that they do surprise me and give me a moment to pause and think about my potential and what I am truly capable of doing. The leadership capabilities I feel that I possess would be great social intelligent, prudent, emotional skills, courageous, open minded, customer focused, results minded an analytical thinker with sound judgement and compassionate. (Northhouse,2016)
The quiz also showed that the areas that I need to work on would be being more outgoing with my teammates instead of just having the empathetic boss mentality. In addition, I would need to work on being outgoing with my teammates instead of just having the empathetic boss mentality in addition the quiz also mentioned that one of my weaknesses would be that I am too rigid in terms of personality and need to learn to be more flexible with myself and with anyone else that I work.
Within this section of the paper I will discussing Nelson Mandela and his leadership style that inspired millions of people across the world. Transformational leadership is like its name something that transforms a person and that mainly centers on emotions, values, and goals and making sure in the end that the person is treated fully like a human being. Nelson Mandela was born Rolihlahla Mandela in 1918 and he inherited the name Nelson from his teacher due to the English bias toward African names at the time. Mandela was the first in his family to get an education and when he graduated from college he was one of the first black lawyers in South Africa. Mandela, N. (1990)
Sometime after Nelson graduated law school and went to Johannesburg to be a lawyer where he soon became involved in the anti-colonial and African nationalist politics then joining the ANC in 1943 and became the co-founder of its youth in ’44”. Then 1948 a major change came to Nelson’s life as this was year of the ascension of the National Party during South America’s general election and with this came the Apartied. The Apartied was a racial segregation program similar to the Civil Rights in that it politically and economically benefited the ethnically dominant group, the Afrikaners, and other whites, while members of the black and colored suffered under white supremacy and were forced into inhumane conditions. Benson, M. (1994).
Mandela decided that he and the ANC (African National Party) would rise against this oppression. He was repeatedly arrested for seditious activities and would usually commit to nonviolence protest along with the South African Communist, because he thought of himself as a Marxist. That is until 1962 when he was arrested for supposedly trying to overthrow the state government and while he was originally sentenced to death his “I Am Prepared to Die Speech” saved him, and he and two others were sent to Robben Island for the next 27 years. Until 1990, with the fear of a racial civil war in his midst President F.W.de Klerk decided to release Mandela and together both began the negotiations for the organizations of the 1994 multiracial general election in which Mandela led the ANC to a landslide victory and became the first black President. He then went on to lead the Government of National Unity which gave birth to a new South African Constitution and became the bridge to racial reconciliation between the scared races of South Africa. Even long after his death in 2013, he is still held in high respects and referred to as the “Father of the Nation” Johns, S., & Davis, R. H. (Eds.). (1991).
Leadership Skills, Traits and Behaviors
Throughout his life Nelson Mandela showed three leadership skills in being able to communicate with his followers because he was able to create a strong message and was firm and consistent in his message of racial equality as an expression of his values, goals and beliefs, he empowered a nation by elevating his followers’ consciousness by appealing to their higher morals and ideals, even encouraging many to get an education to better themselves, as it would be the key to success and his continuous positivity , because he lost 27 years of his life in prison and when he was finally released he forgave the Apartied government that imprisoned him with no bitterness. He showed three remarkable leadership traits in being able to show Conscientious, Extraversion, and Openness, and his leadership three behaviors in life showed that he was a modeled the way for others, enabled them to act, and encouraged their hearts. The best Leadership trait that Mandela had would be his Openness, without him having an open mind he would have never accomplished his dream of a future of common humanity, brotherhood and peace. Nelson’ best leadership skill would be that communication because he taught us that every opportunity to speak to someone is an opportunity to influence. For example, while in prison, Nelson Mandela insisted on respect from the prison guards and other prisoners. From there, he was able to influence them to his perspective. Lastly his best behavior would be his flexibility, Mandela was a man that knew how to empower people but at the same time he knew when to listen when others wanted to give him advice or guidance, but at the same time he was not afraid to be assertive and firm when he knew others to be in the wrong and hold them accountable for their actions.
Tie to Leadership Theory
The approach that Nelson Mandela used throughout his life is quite like that of Transformational leadership, according to (Northouse,2016), the main definition of “Transformational leadership is the process of changing and transforming people, and mainly concerned with that of emotions, values, ethics, standards and long-term goals. Transformational leadership involves an exceptional form of influence that moves followers to accomplish more than what is expected of them”. (pg.161) The reason why this style was successful to Mandela was because Mandela like many transformational leaders set out to empower others and encourage them in the department of change. Nelson was successful with transformational leadership because he had Individualized consideration, which is according to North house (2016) is when “Leaders act as coaches and advisors while trying to assist followers in becoming fully actualized. These leaders may use delegation to help followers grow through personal challenges”. (pg.169) Mandela did this by his very supportive behavior of his followers and showing concern for their needs and encouraging and developing their growth into a great nation.
Another reason that transformational leadership was so successful for Nelson Mandela would be that he possessed and Intellectual Stimulation which according to (Northhouse,2016) is leaderships that challenges follower’s beliefs and moral values with addition to the leader and the very organization foundation itself. Mandela did this by changing his and his followers very outlook on life and made his followers realize that their sacrifices would not be forgotten or ignored but would be the very first steps to lead South Africa to “freedom”. Another Nelson Mandela example of Transformational Leadership would be his idealized influence, according to (Northhouse,2016) idealized influence is basically when others want to act like strong role models to impress the followers so that they might try to emulate them in action. Nelson Mandela showed that he was confident, competent and committed to the higher ideals and values of the people of South Africa.
Transformational Leadership is a truly rare find within this world because there are not too many people born into this world that can inspire thousands of people in a nation full of hatred and prejudice into a path of peace and light. Mandela was born a man among thousands if he could do what did and leave behind such a legacy because there have been view like him before and their will be few like him afterword. In this day an anyone can call themselves a leader and have followers behind them, but very few of them can lead by a proper inspiration to live by and mind to challenge. Nelson Mandela in summary was a man who indeed was very ahead of his time and his nation because of the fact that despite South Africa had numerous groups and races he was the one who brought them all together by forcing them all to think outside the box of the Apartied and made them see that there is a better world out there that has no separations of skin color but a united world of many people of different cultural backgrounds that are all part of one nation.
In Conclusion the key findings within this paper would be at the beginning with my personal summary I believe that the main goal would be that telling more about myself through my few moments of leadership shows not only what kind of leader that I am today but also the type of leader that I could be in the future if I could better hone my skills and find out more about how I can deal with my weaknesses and how to hone my strengths better. My personal summary in a way was a vow of sort of what sort of leader I could be while at the same time it measured up my present self, so I could see what my future self can do. The second part of the essay in terms of learning about Nelson Mandela showed that leadership never comes easy and should only be taken by those who are ready to lead and inspire a nation. Learning about Nelson Mandela’s leadership style was meant to example on how to lead others by inspiration an d hope in times of darkness and perhaps in following in Mandela’s footprints will my leaderships skills will be at the level I hope them to be one day.