Leader Self Assesment

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From the time that we are children we see leadership in action. A gutsy young child decides that she will be the captain of the kickball game; she stands up proudly and takes control. There is a raw quality to her leading, alliances are made and alliances are broken. If her team wins, the cheers abound. If her team loses it may be the last time she picks the players. Though this is anecdotal and elementary it is perhaps one of the earliest examples that I saw of leadership. Some of those so-called leaders became bullies and some become the popular kids. One thing is certain, based on our experiences over time we begin to see ourselves in each of these 2 extremes. We learn traits of leadership that we carry with us into our careers. The article, Concepts of Leadership, defines and examines leadership traits as elements and not steps. I appreciate this model; I can absorb elements into my leading to create a natural leadership style. Whereas steps lead to a process that feels forced and tasked. Don Clark’s article, Concepts of Leadership, examines many of these elements and though they are all useful I found 5 that resonated with me. The first being, “Know my followers” (pg. 3). I have to know what the team needs in order to succeed. I have to understand what motivates each person individually as well as what motivates the team. Secondly, I must “Know Who I Am” (pg. 3). It is not enough to just know the elements of leading; I have to know what my own strengths and opportunities for growth are. The third element of leading is to “Seek Responsibility and take Responsibility for your actions” (pg. 6). I learned early on that when I admit to others that I messed something up, I immediately take of the need for the... ... middle of paper ... ...me a leader who consistently inspires and influences those around me. Don Clarks article begins immediately by talking about theories of leadership; is the leader made or born? He believes that leaders are made. Though I agree with him, I also believe that each of our personalities determine the struggles and triumphs we will have in developing the effective leader in ourselves. Just like the young child eagerly volunteering to start the kick ball game; she will quickly learn her own strengths and opportunities for growth. Her first attempt at leading and the reception from her teammates may very well encourage her future leadership roles. Works Cited Buckingham, M. & Clifton, D. (2001). Now, Discover Your Strengths. New York, NY: The Free Press. Clark, D.R (1995). Retrieved April 29, 2011 from http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/leader/leadcon.html

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