From my experience with leaders in the past, I’ve definitely noticed a trend of having competence, understanding, and collaboration. They would make their teams reach common ground and then go from there. However, I haven’t been watching during particularly stressful leadership circumstances, so I’m a bit in the dark about understanding the high-stress decisions of leadership, including quick choices and choosing for the group without their specific input. Thinking about that, I’d probably put a lot of emphasis on the understanding portion of leadership. Being able to get into the minds of your followers and working through problems with their flows of thinking also accounted for is an important part of leadership I’m assuming is present as well.
One of my first experiences with leadership is with my father! He leads the Northeast-Indian American Culture Organization, and I’ve seen him organize a great deal among the community and work with others to share our culture and keep our immigrant community thriving. He’s been a great role model and has shaped my idea of leadership significantly. I put a picture of him with the others members of NEIACO in 2015, when he was the Treasurer, below! He’s the man sitting down on the right.
Here are my questionnaire results from Activity 1.3!
Looking back on these results, my beliefs on what leadership consists of are affirmed! Going through the numbers, I believe that leadership is not a trait, and instead something that can be developed and learned as an ability and skill. The idea of being born to be a leader is not something I would agree on–I think all leadership is built upon things like confidence, communication, collaboration, and open-mindedness that people can develop with practice if they need to. In this sense, I also believe that leadership as a behavior works when these leadership skill and ability are worked on. When going into leadership with minimal experience–like me before the simulations, for example–the skills and abilities I have already will be shown. I feel like I’ll be able to see how I handle this first simulation and then reflect on what skills I should work more towards in the future. I also place a large importance on the other viewpoints of the other people in groups I lead. Working with and for a group is a big part of what I consider leadership, and is also how I view leadership as a process between the leader and the followers. Though the results mostly aligned with my beliefs, I was surprised by process being a bit lower on the list while relationship was higher. I would’ve guessed they would be more similar, though I’m guessing only 2 points away is not very different to begin with.
The preconceived notion of leadership people have will influence the way they lead in that they will focus on doing what they can with what they believe. If a leader is heavily under the impression that leadership is only a trait, they would focus more on acceptance with what leadership abilities they have and perhaps “making do”, instead of getting to know the other members of the group or even trying out new methods and testing their leadership abilities. I think with the mindset of leadership as a skill, ability, and relationship, I’ll be focusing on improvement and experience and look at leadership as a learning process. The more I work through this course and also continue to leadership positions later, I believe these views will also morph and I’ll probably look at leadership differently and learn in different ways as I go along.