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Discussion and self reflection assignment - Essay Example

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Great leaders are admired and emulated based on their character and leadership styles. According to Kouzes and Posner (2007), people seek several traits in a leader they can follow willingly…
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In Search of a Great Leader Leadership has been a of interest for various groups for the longest time. Great leaders are admired and emulated based on their character and leadership styles. According to Kouzes and Posner (2007), people seek several traits in a leader they can follow willingly. They have developed a model for effective leadership called Five Leadership Practices. Their research has yielded evidence that when effective leaders followed these five basic practices, they become successful in achieving the results they want from their followers. They leaders said they challenged, inspired, enabled, modeled and encouraged their followers.
Leaders constantly challenge the established process and improve on the areas in the process that needs it. The never cease in searching for challenging opportunities to change, grow, innovate, and improve. Hence, they are willing to experiment, take risks and learn from whatever mistakes they fall upon (Kouzes and Posner, 2007). They are not afraid of change and are willing to get out of their comfort zones to choose the best options.
Leaders inspire a shared vision with their followers. They communicate their vision well enough for their followers to understand clearly, and together, they envision an uplifting and ennobling future (Kouzes and Posner, 2007) . Leaders enlist more people to share such a vision by appealing to their values, interests, hopes and dreams (Five Practices of the Exemplary Leader, n.d.)
Leaders are also enablers. They are good at encouraging people to act on their own by providing them with the tools and methods to solve their problems. Leaders foster collaboration and among their members (Kouzes and Posner, 2007). When the followers are trusted to fulfill tasks delegated to them, they feel confident and capable to do more for the team.
Leaders have to be good models, most especially when the going gets tough. They should exhibit an attitude and behavior of positivism that their followers can emulate. Leaders set examples consistent with their own values. They are not afraid to stand for their beliefs. To encourage their followers, they create opportunities for their followers to experience small wins with the hopes of eventually gaining bigger ones (Kouzes and Posner, 2007).
Lastly, leaders should encourage their followers’ hearts by recognizing individual contributions and celebrating team accomplishments (Kouzes and Posner, 2007). Such positive response further motivates others to work even harder.
Reflection:
I agree with Kouzes & Posner’s model of the Five Leadership Practices. As a follower, I reserve my utmost respect for leaders who indeed live these practices. I know that these will be my guide when I become a leader myself.
In addition to Kouzes & Posner’s model, I have my own criteria in assessing an effective leader. One is honesty. Nowadays, deception and lies become a way out of corrupted situations, so an honest leader who lives with integrity is a welcome breath of fresh air that followers desperately need.
On top of a pristine and unquestionable character, a leader needs to exhibit competence. His skills, built by relevant experiences and adequate education make him confident enough to lead people through various situations. He envisions consequences of decisions made in the present and knows the way to achieve goals and prevent failure in the future. To be successful in this, he needs the support and cooperation of his followers, hence, he eagerly inspires them to work towards their shared goals. A leader does not see himself as central in the process of change but shares his leadership with key people like his followers, who directly affect the whole team. His caring, considerate and sensitive attitude is oriented towards the growth and development of his followers and the whole team itself. Such an attitude and personality would be a great asset to anyone aspiring to be a leader. That includes me, and this awareness brings me to constantly strive not only to be a better leader, but a better person entirely.
References
Five Practices of the Exemplary Leader (n.d.) Retrieved on 31 Jan 2010 from
www.managementcentre.co.uk/knowledge_base.../exemplary_leader.pdf
Kouzes, J. & Posner, B. (2007). The leadership challenge, 4th edition. San Francisco,
Ca: Jossey- Bass Read More
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