Developing the Leader in You

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Developing the Leader in You
Melissa Brooks

Abstract

Aristotle’s philosophy on leadership states, “Men make themselves leaders by performing acts of leadership”. This paper is written to bring forth a better understanding of leadership development. Following the understanding, will be an explanation of key factors that are salient to leadership, and why it must be covered. Great insight will be brought forth in elaborating on ‘collaboration’ as the key to developing great leaders. Life experiences will certainly have an impact on how effectively a leader develops good character, and how experiences can hinder and strengthen a leader’s ability to motivate others and create company growth. Flexibility and adaptability in spite of any circumstance can be the factor to make or break a situation, in coming toward the end of this paper it can be said that learning about continuous change can be deemed as extremely valuable in their leadership career in knowing how to bend when the wind blows. Finally, a lesson in life… it’s not a fairytale, learning to accept failures and successes alike.

The Leader in You
The most important factors…
Leadership principles can be taught to the masses, although behaviors in a great leader is a learned trait; acquired over time. The crucial word in leadership is "trustworthiness", a behavior that Cam, Caldwell, et al. (2010) state is associated with an individual’s perception regarding image, knowledge, and development style is of utmost importance (p. 500). Developing the leader within entails evolving through experimentation as a person learns new innovative approaches to solutions and problems. In time, new challenges arise that once seemed insurmountable, are now a part of the pragmatic approach that defines a leaders leadership style and strategic ability to overcome. To reach this stage in leadership empowers an individual, and reaffirms the persons ability to exert the skills to make informed decisions. This also means that the leader is in no way influenced by anyone in what to say or do; guiding and directing is the mark of an effective leader.

The leader’s most effective tool is to constantly develop themselves; never stop learning. The most important characteristics of an effective leader are: to have their own identity, having openness to change, have self-respect, make good choices, be sincere and authentic, maintain a sense of humor, be willing to make mistakes-admit and learn from them, have an appreciation for cultural differences, genuinely care about others, maintain effective interpersonal communication skills, receive meaning and purpose from their work, be passionate about their work, and maintain healthy boundaries. Realize that no leader is perfect, and may not have all of these qualities… Although, should strive to be well-rounded for the sake of the people they are mentoring, and themselves. Truth be told, the key or ticket to accomplishing the most vexing challenges—collaboration. Collaboration is the key to developing great leaders

A collaborative relationship is based on mutual reciprocation of which is intended to assist each other in personal growth and development toward new levels of understanding to improve each others lives. In this section of the paper, the question that should be asked is, “What type of leader does a person want to be known for…and how do they wish to be perceived by the people they are developing?” This question has many answers, although to streamline it, the leader should be known for being innovative, results-oriented, and having a collaborative leadership style. This means that the leader will creatively expand the proverbial ‘pie’ into equal sections, and bringing in different talents and abilities to work together to solve a problem. One of the advantages of working together is that everyone is enthusiastic, motivating each other, and willing to implement the group plan because they developed it. There is...
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