What Leadership Means To Me
By: Cindy Ouellette
MGT 420 Theory and Practice of Leadership
Instructor: Rick Chaffee, Ph.D.
January 24, 2012
Leadership is a very broad topic; I never knew just how many different traits and skills that it takes to become an effective leader. Some of which I was familiar with, and others that I was not aware of, but now from taking this course, they all seem to be necessary for the role of leadership. The attached paper, will explain of some of the important theories and concepts that I thought were most important to be able to become and effective leader.
There were four theories that I found especially helpful for understanding leadership. They include the major leadership traits for leadership, Psychodynamic Approach and Team Leadership, Leader Member Exchange Theory, and Women in Leadership. What follows is a definition of major traits that you need in leadership, how it differs from management, and a description of each of the above theories and the Psychodynamic Approach theory, which I improved based on what I learned in the course. I will relate some examples of important theories from my own personal and professional life. In the last section before the conclusion, I will include insights from the George article on authentic leadership reading in week eight and an incident, a defining moment from my life, that has helped me find my ‘voice’ as a leader.
Major Leadership Traits
There are many traits and characteristics that are identified and related to leadership, however, I am going to discuss the 5 major traits. The important traits that contribute to leadership are intelligence, the ability to have a higher IQ then their followers. However, if they are having difficulty in communicating to the level of their followers to accept, that could be a problem, and that is where your leadership skills would take place. Self Confidence is another important trait, to have the ability to be certain about your competencies and skills. Determination, have the desire to complete the task at hand, high energy and the will to assert yourself. Integrity, is more trustworthiness and honest and you will confide and be more willing to perform work for that leader. Lastly, Sociability is also considered and important trait to consider to leadership, having the ability to pick out friendly, ongoing, good manners and pleasant interpersonal skills is one of my favorite traits that I think is important in leadership. As discussed above are the five major traits necessary to have to become a powerful leader, and their definitions, (Northouse, 2004, pp. 19-22). I am going to discuss in my personnel everyday work experience, on just how these different traits are so necessary to perform in a corporate world. I have only every worked at Goodrich, located in Vergennes, so its hard for me to compare with other leadership areas. As I read in this chapter, that there are many other traits that are associated with effective leadership, however, I am going to discuss that one trait that was the most effective and important to me. Sociability is such a strong and powerful trait, and it so needed to have in Leadership. I know this from experience with the different jobs and management that I have had in the pass years of service. As I get older, and knowledgeable, is when I realize just how important certain skills are important and necessary it is to perform certain tasks. Being social, friendly, civil, and sensitive, will help you to create relationships with your followers, and that is just so important to me and so necessary in a large corporate business. To be able to have a relationship with your leader, just makes you feel so much needed and wanted. Sociability is one of the five traits that I think is very much necessary in becoming an effective leader....
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