Personal Leadership

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June 5, 2011

Module 1
Reflection Paper - Leadership
By Jason Fagerquist

Leadership is difficult to define. Leadership is a concept that probably carries many different reactions with many different kinds of people. However, we all feel we know good leadership when we see it, and we can often tell when good leadership is missing by the way a team or organization struggles without it. Ask yourself, Are you willing to do absolutely anything for the common good for your employer, your teammate, your family, your friend?

I feel that the following can identify effective leadership: Mission, Values, Planning and goal-setting, Delegating authority, Team building, Giving feedback, Coaching team members, Motivating people, Working for the team, and Resolving conflict.

Mission: A clear mission helps to focus the team so that they can ignore distractions and pay attention to what’s most important. I wanted to build a personal mission statement that not only showed an objective professionally, but at home also. “I will look for strengths in others, and the good in every situation. I will ensure that I do what I can to create a learning environment everywhere I go. I will live with the attitude of gratitude. I will repay every kindness shown to me. I will live, work, and play with renewed spirit.” If this does not help define leadership, it is definitely a great start.

Values: When a leader demonstrates values that sync with the company’s mission and the team’s goals, everyone can benefit. My ambition will help guide me to a sense of achievement. Balancing on a common ground of helping a striving business grow as well as being the best father and husband I can be. Having the confidence and believing that I did everything in my power to make a difference at work and at home, and consistently bringing it to the table. Will people follow in my footsteps? Will they look up to me? Will my children take the same course as they grow up? I think so, and it has already shown with my two boys. The statement “boys will be boys” is so true in my house, my wife and I have instilled respect, manners, and the idea that we do not quit or give up. When we start something, we finish and learn the most out of the situation. I am very proud!!

Planning and goal-setting: With clear goals and effective planning, leaders make their expectations understood and team members know what to do at all times. What goals? Long-term, short-term, daily, monthly, personal, organizational, ten-year, lifetime, etc., it does not matter. However, to the employee, the scariest part of following the new goals is finding themselves in unfamiliar water, how are these goals going to affect me. I have been there, and all I can say is I am not alone in this process. It still affects me today. It’s the Great Unknown. What opportunities will be brought forward? Are they true or are they rumors? I believe I will always need to learn through constant communication with the people that surround me about how the goals will affect them, and in turn, the success of the business. Goal setting and change are not always negative; it is what you make of it. Be supportive and work for a common goal, and then we will only know if it was beneficial. Without communication with your team, it can cause unnecessary stress.

Delegating Authority: The job of leadership is usually too big to handle alone. By sharing responsibilities with the team, a leader instills a sense of purpose and empowerment. This is where I struggle the most. I find myself as a very dominant and controlling person. I want it done this way and I am the only one who can do it and do it to my liking. However, in the grand scheme of things, allowing others to help fulfills their ownership within the company. There comes a time that you need to ask for help. Guide that person to success instead of letting them wilt away in the chair...
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