As I am thinking about my thoughts on leadership and how it has been changed within a past week or so, I can’t help but to rethink everything that I believed that might have been right. I am sure no one likes to be wrong, but this is not about proving myself wrong or right. This is about learning and growing as a person when it comes to acquire knowledge about leadership. Now I know almost all of us come from diverse backgrounds, and with that said, we all have different view points when it comes to leadership and what it takes to be a successful leader.
I must be honest and say that what I thought that I knew about leadership was not 100 percent accurate or even true. I used to think leaders are born rather than created. Obviously, I wasn’t born with that embedded in my psyche but however it’s what I’ve been told but others, respectfully who most likely did not know exactly what they’re talking about. One thing that we all can not argue about is that scientific research and data can not be argued as much as a mere opinion of an individual, whether that individual is an accomplished leader / entrepreneur or a failed leader and anything in between.
The individualistic views of these leaders are called Maxim which is significantly less reliable than theory research on leadership which is scientifically proven and still being perfected. So, it is safe to say that theory uses scientifically data collected to explain leaderships and even to help us understand leadership while the readers can count on the information that is being presented to them. On the other hand, I would say Maxim is not reliable at all since it takes individuals perspectives to try and explain leadership which would not work for everyone. It’s kind of like one size fits all and we all know that a size 11 men’s shoes, would not fit someone who wears size 8 or 12. It can not be used by every individual looking to learn more about leadership (PSU, 2018).
Now we know that trait is part of a strong leadership. There are several different characteristically traits that are associated with good leadership. Some of these traits are: “drive for responsibility and task completion, vigor and persistence in pursuit of goals, venturesomeness and originality in problem solving, drive to exercise initiative in social situations, self-confidence and sense of personal identity, willingness to accept consequences of decision and action, readiness to absorb interpersonal stress, willingness to tolerate frustration and delay, ability to influence other persons’ behavior, capacity to structure social interaction systems to the purpose at hand” (Northouse, 2016).
There are many other traits that an ideal leader possesses: desire, desire to lead, honesty and integrity, self-confidence, cognitive ability, and knowledge of business. Even though some individuals might or might not dismiss the above-mentioned list, they do believe that leadership is all about the relationship between the leaders and followers. I personally believe that is 100 percent true for a couple or few several reasons; for one, there needs to be a mutual respect and understand. Also, there is a clear need of communication, because miscommunication from both sides or even one side can lead to undesirable outcome and in some instances unwanted disgruntled employee. Now this last part it’s my opinion and I am stating this based on my personal experience, even though it might be looked at as a maxim, it doesn’t hurt to mention it. There is a need for connection, not on a professional level, but I believe every successful leader needs to consider his or her employees and their feeling, issues in their personal lives and try to show those employees that the relationship between the leader and the follower is open and mutually respected (Northouse, 2016).
In my current work, I do have a boss that treats 99.9 percent of the employees very disrespectfully. He claims that he has been doing this for over 20 years (Contractor) work but for someone who has been interacting with employees for over two decades, he is very rude, unconcerned about any of the employees and so far, and so on. It is all negative. Now I did try to approach him once and give him and idea to why he should treat everyone with respect, but he did not want to hear it and his response was not even worth writing down. Very disappointing, but because of his behavior he lost half of his experiences sub-contractors which lead to less “jobs” and ultimately less income. I guess what I am tying to say is if an unsuspecting student asked him what can he tell her or him about leadership, his response wouldn’t worth anything because first he probably would give her some horrible responses and just like in the Maxim view, individualistic view does not and will not support or even hold us against the theory based research on leadership (PSU, 2013).
Another thing that I’ve learned that could’ve came in handy and could’ve even saved my boss from losing employees that he later found out that they did not have the knowledge of the work. Trait approach works suggests that those in charge of hiring would have a designated leadership profiles, or in other words know exactly what they’re looking for in the candidate. Because by selecting the right men or woman for the job, it would increase the company’s effectiveness. By using trait assessment measures, he could have determined which applicant fits or does not fit his needs (Northouse, 2016).
Northouse, P.G. (2016). Leadership: Theory and Practice. Seventh Edition. Los Angeles: Sage Publications
Pennsylvania State University, (2018). Psychology 485: Leadership in Work Setting, Lesson 2: Trait Approach.