In the past, leadership has been discussed from many angles and perspectives. This paper though seeks to give an interpretation of leadership development mostly from a personal experience perspective. In the essay, I am going to look at my two weakest leadership skills, which are, communication and setting goals and ways to enhance them. I will then embark on my ability to create and maintain harmonious relationships in an environment and motivation. The latter two are my strengths. Before jumping the gun, though, let us see what the concept of leadership development entails.
Leadership is one concept that can be defined from different perspectives. Leadership can be said much to it and at the same time remain a mysterious phenomenon while trying to give it a conclusive definition. There are two broad categories of leadership. On one hand, there are those characters born leaders, and, on the other hand, those that are nurtured through training into leadership. In the latter category, leadership programs enable characters develop skill and insight to become great (Goleman, Boyatzis & Mckee, 2001).
In addition, these leadership programs stretch each individual out of their comfort zones and enable them gain insight into understanding themselves. Viewing things from all angles and focusing on the ability to see what is happening are key factors to success of every leader. These are qualities all leaders ought to arm themselves with for success to be realized. Success in a broader perspective, therefore, is dependent upon looking at things from a wider perspective and ability to understand what others are undergoing (Nahavandi, 2008). If a leader achieves the latter, then he or she will effectively develop all the other essential skills within self and his or her workers.
Skills of leadership are many and vary from one person to another. Different leaders do posses different leadership traits such as communicating effectively, humor, integrity, being articulate, flexibility, empathy et cetera. Leadership development is essential for an individual growth as well as company's success (Nahavandi, 2008). This serves to give an overview of meaning of leadership development. In this paper, however, I am going to narrow down on the leadership skills that I have a weakness in and suggest ways in which I am going to strengthen and enhance these skills. On the other hand, I will highlight strength skills, which in most, cases work to produce positive results.
Firstly, communication, which is an, effective tool in effective leadership, seems to lack not only in me but also in many people. Communication as a skill is in one way or the other synonymous to clear articulation of leader's thoughts and ideas. This, in turn, enabled the employees to learn what is expected of them by their manager and work towards it. Furthermore, communication enables one to identify the problems facing people he or she is leading and, therefore, creates a conducive work environment. Despite being aware of then vital role communication plays in effective leadership, I am yet to perfect the art of communicating effectively. Since communication enables a leader understand what is going on in a work place environment, I will embark on other channels of identifying problems facing different people at any given time.
Encouraging teamwork and offering a platform for constructive feedback will serve to cover up my weakness in communication. Criticism for shoddy work and praise for jobs well done is a professional way of doing things. Assuming this tact will see to it that goals are met with much ease. Teamwork also plays a significant role in understanding other individuals. Working as a team enables me to get closer to other people and, therefore, understand their problems and needs. Moreover, it will make it possible to identify varied, individual potentials and capitalize on them to achieve the set goals. Teamwork will also allow trusting other people with big responsibilities.
Secondly, setting goals has been another weakness for me. I have been depending on the goals already set. Goals in any organization help to keep things in check and streamline operations in the workplace. Bearing this in mind, from now henceforth, I will set short term personal goals which will help assess situations and help implementation of the required changes in the organization. These clear goals need to be pursued in a systematic manner. The goals intended for others should also be clear and achievable. This will see to it that the intended goals are met with minimum struggle.
Despite the weaknesses that I do posses, there are skills that I feel assist me a lot in leadership. One of them is the ability to facilitate harmonious relationships and atmosphere. Conflict hinders successful results whereas harmony bears it (Seidman, 2007). In my day to day leadership roles, I minimize conflict and disharmony and encourage harmony. For instance, in setting a harmonious atmosphere, one ought to identify problem areas at work and work towards creating an enjoyable atmosphere. In creating and maintaining a happy and healthy atmosphere, achievement of results is propelled. Delegation of tasks without favoritisms or bias as a leader helps in maintaining a harmonious environment. In so doing, the right people are assigned the right tasks and, therefore, results are realized within a short time. I have learnt to distribute tasks accordingly and this has helped in managing effectively.
Motivation as a skill has positive effects on workers and, therefore, propels them to work towards the goals of an organization. In my leadership skills, I have learnt to encourage satisfactory results through rewards, for instance, giving incentives. Verbal reinforcements also instill a sense of value to workers since they feel appreciated.
In conclusion, a leader can capitalize on the leadership qualities and skills him or her posses to manage effectively. With the right thought and process, one can make use of the strength skills he has to achieve as well as work on improving the weakest skills (Bennis, 1990). This way, an individual will grow into a respectable and successful leader.