It was interesting webinar based on the interesting topic of people, culture and leadership, which ran for about 1 hour. The industry guest speaker who was invited to give us an industry overview of leadership was Ms.Paulette Kolarz. Ms.Paulette Kolarz is an entrepreneur currently and has its own business since the past 11 years of HR recruitment, training, coaching business based in LA, and services worldwide. Past experiences of Ms.Paulette include heading the HR department of a large retailer as the General Manager. This session provided me with detailed insight into leadership and its related aspects like qualities of leadership. As being from an HR business, Paulette explains that everybody needs to be a great leader and that means being strong and people skills. She explains that leadership role should be of coaching and leadership type, where the role of a leader should be to move every one of your team members from being deployed. One of the biggest challenge that a leader's faces can recognize what exactly a team needs from the leader and alter to meet their needs. A strong team does not define a good leader necessarily, but a good leader who has really strong belief or vision in something and then they delegate people or form their team to achieve that (Dugan, 2017). Another trait of an effective leader is proactively identifying a problem area, and finding a solution or recommendation to it. The difference between someone who is a great leader and how and when we start to call yourself a leader is when you have a vision that you're passionate about. Paulette explains that the three terms people, culture and leadership are interrelated and go together. In my opinion the after attending the session, I believe that the one differentiating factor that will determine the success of a business is the quality of their leaders, and consistency of a leader will prove to be a strength for the business. This session helped me understand how reflection is a critical part of leadership. This implies that the more it's embedded and retained into someone’s habit, it is reflected with the same similarity in business. A reflective leader can identify personal weakness and strengths that can affect a business (Matuso, 2016). One of the really important things of reflection is having a clear position on what one stands for, and this helps significantly in your decision making. Another feature of authentic and reflective leadership is learning from failures and taking risks, and accepting the mistakes and improving on them (Matuso, 2016). The strength of a leader in the strength of your vision and if you can create something that somebody wants to follow. Thus, attending this session helped me to understand the concept of leadership better. The webinar guest speaker gave us detailed insights on how people of an organization, its culture and leadership are interconnected. I was able to understand how the affective qualities of the leader have a positive impact on organizational performance (Castelli, 2016). Most important understanding that I gained from this session is why reflection is essential for effective leadership.
Leadership is an important function for the success of an organization. Leadership can be described as an ability or a competency of an individual to lead and guide, or influence, teams, or other members of the entire organization, to achieve a common goal or objective of the group (Franco & Seth, 2018). Leadership can also be defined as a relationship between the leader the person one who intends to lead and the individuals who prefer to follow the guidance or instructions of the leaders. Most of the problems or issues that organization face nowadays is due to ineffective leadership or leaders leading the organization i.e. they are either overland or underled. Thus, organizations need effective leaders and leading capacities to exercise balanced leadership. Good and effective leaders strive to bring out the best and maximize the performance of the people around them (Khajeh, 2018). Leadership is a function which describes some various qualities in combination with some learned skills and competencies that a person must possess to become an effective leader. A leader might have some of these skills, but it is essential for a good leader to regularly do a self-analysis with some leadership self-assessment tools and test understands the current skill gaps and thus develop own leadership skills (Bong, Kihwan & Wan, 2017).
One such leadership self-assessment test was undertaken by me to analyse my leadership style. This test helped me to understand the strong qualities of leadership which I possess, the current skill gaps in my leadership style and some areas of development which needs to be addressed by me. This self-assessment test consisted of 18 questions concerning reflective leadership, and responses to the questions were given in form of five categories i.e. Not at all, Rarely, Sometimes, often, very often. After answering the questions the automated score calculation is conducted on basis of the responses recorded, and my score for this assessment was 78/100. According to the score interpretation of this test, the score is an excellent score and a reflection of a good leader. The leadership style that I possess is the transformational leadership style where I can effectively motivate my members, effectively and successfully manage the implementation of resources and operations, and inspire the members of their teams to be even more effective in the future (Bong, Kihwan & Wan, 2017). However, you can never be too good at leadership or too experienced. Thus, this score helped me to identify the areas where I could not score maximum points and enabled me to understand my focus areas and what can be done to improve my performance. As per the result of this test my top three leadership skills or qualities can be explained as follows:
Questions number 2 and 8 are questions related to the quality of self-confidence, and my score for this quality was 10 out of 10. Self-confidence is built by developing competency for certain significant skills and situations, and by the understanding that it can add real value to the work, one performs. The awareness of one’s past achievements can help increase the self-confidence of a person significantly. Being self-confident helps to maximize the strengths and improve on personal weaknesses.
Questions number 10 and 17 are questions related to the quality of Positive attitude and outlook, and my score for this quality was 10 out of 10. A positive mindset is very essential for strong leadership. Positive attitude and outlook imply developing a strong sense of balance and recognizing and accepting that setbacks and problems are common and happen everywhere. Positive leaders have a realistic and ready approach to difficult situations and are always find solutions to overcome a problem.
Questions number 5 and 15 are questions related to the quality of Emotional intelligence, and my score for this quality was 10 out of 10. Emotional intelligence quality includes attributes of soft skills, personal character, communication skills, empathy, self-awareness, and self-regulation. EQ is the ability to recognize emotions of self and those of people around us and manage those emotions to create strong relationships.
The current gaps in the leadership skills that need to be addressed and focused on to develop my leadership skills are as follows:
One of the important function of a good leader is to manage the performance of its employees or team members effectively. Questions number 3 and 13 are questions related to this quality, and my score for this quality was a low score of 4 out of 10. This low score explains that there is a gap in my style of managing the performance of my team members and this area need to be improved upon. Effective leadership can efficiently manage performance by outlining the clear and specific and concise outcomes and expectations from their employees or group members from the very beginning. When all the team members are adequately aware of the results and outcomes expected from them, they can perform to their maximum capacities and thus, perform effectively. This gap can be addressed by regularly making the employees aware of the different rules and their purpose, involving them in a certain decision-making process, and aligning the common group goals by individual member goals. The performance management system should be fair and consistent.
Another important function of an effective leader is to create a vision for the future for the team and to ensure it to communicate it to the entire team in a manner to inspire them. Questions number 6 and 14 are questions related to the quality of self-confidence, and my score for this quality was a low score of 6 out of 10, which fairly a low score. Creating a vision for the future and presenting it to the team in an inspiring way, will drive the team members to achieve the common goal in the most efficient way. For creating vision it is also important to know various other factors in which you are performing. Thus, I can improve on this skill gap, by using a variety of strategic analysis techniques to understand the operating environment, and then explore the potential challenge and finally outline the vision of the group. One vision is defined I will communicate it to the group utilizing creative and inspiring stories, to inspire them.
Thus, to be successful in one’s career, it is essential to focus on developing leadership qualities, as effective leaders can help add value to the entire team or organization.
Bong, C., Kihwan, K., & wan, K. (2017). Effects of transformational and shared leadership styles on employees' perception of team effectiveness. Journal of Social Behaviour and Personality, 45(3), 377-386.
Castelli, P. (2016). Reflective leadership review: a framework for improving organisational performance. Journal of Management Development, 32(5), 217-236.
Dugan, J. (2017). Leadership theory: Cultivating critical perspectives. San Fransisco: Jossey-Bass.
Franco, G. & Seth, S. (2018). Leadership, leadership styles, and servant leadership. Journal of Management Research, 18(4), 261-269.
Khajeh, E. (2018). Impact of Leadership Styles on Organizational Performance. Journal of Human Resources Management Research, 20, 1-10.
Matuso, M. (2016). Reflective leadership and team learning: an exploratory study. Journal of Workplace Learning, 28(5), 307-321.
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