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Personal Statement: Leadership and Mentoring - Essay Example

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While I started to become active in my field, there were a few myths that I had to personally dispel in defining a leader, which I have to mention before I discuss leadership literature in this paper: First, though each person is unique and that each leader has his or her own way in leading others, there is still a core of behaviors, values and characteristics that truly makes a leader great…
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Personal Statement: Leadership and Mentoring
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Download file to see previous pages Third, strategic direction is crucial to being a leader and having a vision and mission is what operationally makes a leader succeed or fail. Strategy weighs heavy on the “how” and “why” and less so on the “where” hence it is important to have a mission and a vision that is in line with each other. Corollary to this, after planning and goal setting, leaders get things done as plans and goals are not much use if they do not materialize. Fourth and personally the most important for me, leaders naturally need to influence others and have friends that they have purposely nurtured. Admittedly, every leader requires great people around them who when challenged, take up the call, and make the most out of it. Many testimonials on being a leader state that the first step to being a successful leader is to know thyself. Self-understanding has always been the springboard of any leader and a lack of self-awareness is the simplest way to fail in one’s career. For this reason, I applied to myself a leading and useful tool for understanding and training self-awareness, personal development, and improving interpersonal dynamics in a team or an organization: the Johari Window Model. This model, developed by Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham in the 1950’s focus on soft or broad skills and behavior empathy from four different perspectives or spaces: 1) What is known by the person about him or herself and is also known by others; 2) What is unknown by the person about him or herself but which others know; 3) What the person knows about him or herself that others do not know; and 4) What is unknown by the person about him or herself and is also unknown by others. In the assumption that the leader is new in a team, the open free space or the first space is small because shared awareness is relatively small. As the leader becomes better established and known, the size of a leader’s first space increases while the other three areas decrease through feedback, self-discovery and shared discovery [Chapman 2003]. The diagram for the Johari Window is below: Picking from the 56 Johari adjectives that are the possible descriptions of a participant, my personal Johari window that I tried to conduct with my peers and myself include the following: In the open area, the following adjectives include warm, smart, reflective, happy, helpful and intelligent. In my blind area, my peers wrote shy, introverted, nervous, observant, patient, self-conscious. In the hidden area, I wrote bold, brave, complex, confident, energetic, logical, loving, responsive, spontaneous and witty. All the other 56 adjectives not used in the other three areas are still in the unknown area. What I can definitely say about my Johari window model is that I have so much room to grow because of the fact that I still have a very large unknown area. There is also the fact that some of the adjectives that people know about me are disconnected from the adjectives that I know about myself but others don’t know about me. People see me as shy, quiet and introverted, but with honesty, I can say that I am not any of those when I am with people that I am familiar with. In a sense, I know now that I am not yet established as a member as I am starting with a relatively small open are because of the little knowledge known about me. Second, I can expand my open area and transfer ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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