In life, I have found that being a quality leader can require different characteristics depending on the situation but there are a number of core qualities that a good leader always has. For example, a good leader of a small team of a few people (such as 3 or 4) will likely act with different characteristics than someone leading a larger group of a dozen or more people. While these situations are very different and the process a leader uses will be different, the expectations of a leader’s behavior and demeanor are similar. When I think of the great leaders of met during my life, I often think of my teachers and summer camp counselors that have been role models to me throughout my life. Many of them share a similar set of characteristics which helped make them so beloved by my peers and I alike. These characteristics are things like empathy, creativity, fair, and motivational. I often think of my favorite leaders and see them as friends as well as leaders. I believe a good leader is able to balance their role as the leader with personal relationships with their followers.
When I took the Conceptualizing Leadership Questionnaire, my results were as follows…
Trait emphasis: 11
Ability emphasis: 18
Skill emphasis: 20
Behavior emphasis: 18
Relationship emphasis: 19
Process emphasis: 16
Overall, I found these results to be fairly in-line with what I had assumed they would be. According to these results, the most important aspects of my personal leadership style is skill and relationship with scores of 20 and 19, respectively. These are closely followed by behavior and ability with scores of 18. The two aspects that seem to be least important are process and trait that had scores of 16 and 11, respectively. In particular, trait is significantly lower than all of the other aspects.
I did not find these results to be particularly surprising as they appear consistent with my views on leadership. I feel as though I have always been taught that anyone can be a leader. While some may be initially more inclined than others, the position is open to everyone. I think this is why the trait aspect was so unattractive to me. The idea that some people are born with traits that make them good leaders while others are not discounts the possibility that anyone can step up in a time of need. Leadership as a trait feels far too absolute and I believe leadership can be learned just like a sport.
The fact that I scored highly on the other aspects makes sense as I feel as though many of them are highly connected. For example, skill and ability are quite similar in my mind so it makes sense that they both would be high scoring. Additionally, the relationship aspect is connected to behavior is similar ways so it also makes sense that they would be similar scores.
The way a person thinks about leadership has a big impact on the way they practice leadership. For example, I see leadership mostly as a skill as well as a relationship so when I practice leadership, I am naturally going to focus more on those two aspects. I am going to strive to be the best leader I can be, based on my interpretation of what a good leader is. The ideal leader is different for different people, and how they see leadership is going to change how they practice their own form of leadership.