Self-Reflective Paper on Leadership and Group (Followership) Capabilities
Individual perception of leadership and fellowship
The term leadership has commonly been defined as the process of social influence in which an individual can enlist the support as well as aid of other people in the accomplishment of a common objective (Bush, Bell, and Bush, 2002). Some people understand a leader as someone who people often follow, who guides, or who directs other people. On the other hand, the term fellowship implies the condition of sharing similar ideals, interests, as well as experiences, as a reason of religion or profession. Moreover, fellowship requires that time be spent with another person in communicating or caring. I identify myself as a leader because I have always been given the responsibilities to lead my fellow students in various activities including class assignments. Outside the classroom, I have always led my community members into various communal activities and functions, including organizing various projects within my community. Moreover, I believe I am a leader because I possess a number of qualities that a leader must possess.
The world has witnessed many great leaders who strove so hard in order to make the world a better place to stay. I am particularly influenced by the great efforts as well as works of Martin Luther King Junior. He protested against the discrimination and segregation of people in the United States with an aim of ensuring equality and freedom for all humanity not only in America, but also throughout the world. Luther’s aspirations and quotes, especially “I have a Dream” has been fundamental in shaping my values to serve humanity and to always remain a leader who can be counted in any given situation. Martin Luther King Junior remains are my great aspiration and mentor. Moreover, his exemplary and outstanding leadership has trespassed centuries. The events carried by Martin Luther have tremendously transformed my life and leadership views to those of fighting for the equal treatment of all humanity irrespective of class, race, religion, color, or originality.
I often look up to this great leader because in his role, Martin stood for what he believed was the right thing and believed that his cause was worth fighting for. He remained very adamant on the issues of equality and freedom for both the black and white people of America. These are the major qualities and behaviors that I most admire in Martin Luther King Junior.
The terms leadership, as well as management, are two terms that are not synonymous with one another. Leadership does not require any managerial position in order to act as a leader (Northouse, 2004). On the other hand, a manager can be a true manager only if he or she has got the qualities of a leader. By virtue of the position, a manager has to provide leadership to his group. Moreover, a manager has to undertake all the five major functions including planning, organizing, staffing, controlling, as well as directing in order to achieve his or her set goals. Leadership is not related to management. Thus, an individual can be a leader by the virtue of the qualities in him.
As a human resource management professional or manager, there are a number of qualities that I must possess in order to achieve goals and objectives. These qualities include self-motivation, great customer care service, integrity and trustworthiness, team player, conflict resolution abilities, knowledge of the industry, and leadership abilities.
Being a leader means that one must have the ability and competence to compromise, to listen to other people well, and emphasize issues that impact on the society or organization. I have influenced a lot of people in order to make them realize and implement or subscribe to attitudes or roles themselves. While in high school, I always participated in community building through encouraging my colleagues in the community to embrace education and how important it is to continue chasing their dreams even after high school education. In undertaking this noble responsibility I utilized a number of qualities including great leadership abilities, communication skills, determination, self-motivation, and steadfastness in order to convince and make them understand the significance of education. Through these leadership qualities, I was able to impact on the lives of my colleagues in my community through sharing my experience and how hard it has been for me to get to achieve my academic success. In addition, these qualities have helped me to teach them new things, listen to their needs, and try to help them to achieve their goals.
In undertaking any particular noble task, there are always a number of setbacks or challenges that one must encounter. In my case, there were a number of challenges I faced while trying to convince and make my colleagues in my community to embrace the importance of education in their lives. Not all people think or act the same; the issue of communication was a great challenge to me. Undertaking group behavior also proved to be a major challenge. I was, therefore, able to overcome the above two identified challenges by planning my time and communication as well as understanding the various behaviors of the students in my community.
The role of ethics in a group dynamic is very significant. Ethics are the principles or values that are used in order to govern certain or particular groups, activities, or decisions. In my group, ethics offered imperative support for the success of the group. As a leader, I managed the participants in efforts to increase their morale. With a high ethical standard, I was able to encourage the participants in my group in order to acknowledge the importance of education in their lives. The reputation for ethics as well as integrity in the community also helped to improve the group’s outcomes. The participants used ethics in order to guide their behavior and adhere to the core requirements of the discussion. Moreover, ethical individuals are able to meet standards for quality, which can improve the group’s mandate.
Conflict may be defined as any situation where incompatible activities, actions, or behaviors occur together. Controversies are an everyday occurrences within a group in which individuals with different beliefs, experiences, and values meet. When such conflicts are not adequately managed, conflict may then escalate to aggression and violence and can harm many of the personal relationships, thus creating wounds, which may fail to heal. On the other hand, when conflicts are completely avoided and important issues left unresolved, it may create a lot of resentments and therefore, generating an intense environment for the group to operate effectively.
More often, we find ourselves in conflicts with those of whom we spend most of the time with, in this cases, fellow students and parents. The group members are supposed to realize that people around them are very important.
As a leader I maintained the responsibility to maintain stability in the group through quickly eliminating conflicts in an objective as well as reasonable manner. I took a number of steps in order to resolve conflicts in my groups including explaining to the members, investigating issues, counseling them, as well as undertaking a number of negotiations. With an understanding that group conflicts can often lead to unnecessary misunderstandings, I often chose to address the group problems through simple explanations and coming to some sort of compromise through negotiating and giving alternatives.
Moreover, through demonstrating firmness and authority in attitude, I as a leader was able to dissolve persistent conflicts and eased a number of unrest scenarios in certain situations through offering counseling and further investigating into the circumstances. I believed that when members with the conflict realize that someone is taking notice of their situation, they would calm down and an amicable solution be reached. In addition, while miscommunication can contribute to conflicts, good communication is very critical to settling problems in a more peaceful manner within a group, an aspect that helped me deal with my group issues.
In fostering communication and collaboration among the members of the team, I undertook a number of things in order to ensure that everything was intact. The communication levels within a group could be both an art and a science. Once in a group, most of the students will collaborate as a member of the team and every member needs to be prepared for the environment. Collaboration is a major way through which things are done. In order to achieve collaboration within my group, I was able to realize the power of inclusive communication, which helped in fostering the level of communication in the group.
However, collaboration does not come in a natural way to many students. High performance levels of communication or collaboration requires training as well as the development of key personal skills. In achieving this, reframing communication through using terminology of teams rather than group work was necessary. Focusing on accountability as well as commitment forms a platform with shared norms and expectations, an issue that I basically took into consideration. Therefore, I achieve collaboration and communication within the group through examining the individual strengths of the members within the collaborative context, speaking the language of commitment as well as character, setting rules, seeing conflicts as opportunities, and scheduling critical thinking within the group. Moreover, respect for one another within the group dynamic is what helped in achieving a high level of collaboration within the group; I particularly encouraged respect among the group members.
In fellowship capacity, I have once participated in a leadership forum in which we were supposed to learn various leadership skills and techniques. My best group came a day after starting our leadership forum where we were grouped in five people groups and were supposed to discuss amongst ourselves on various leadership theories. It was my best group ever because the provided an excellent opportunity for growth. However, it was also the most challenging group because discussing the various leadership theories was a new thing. My role in the team was basically a group member and I contributed to this group through researching the various theories that we were supposed to espouse. My beliefs and values helped shape the group setting through acknowledging the efforts of others and according respect for every member within the group.
I have learnt a great deal in relation to my self-reflected leadership as well as fellowship traits that I have undertaken. I have learnt that as a leader, one must be able to make a compromise in order to become an effective leader. Moreover, having a mentor in one’s life is a key aspect to successful leadership because one can be able to draw a number of values and aspirations from the works of the mentor.
For an effective and successful leader, one must be able to possess a number of qualities including trustworthiness, self-motivation, integrity, and great abilities in order to resolve conflicts. I also learnt that management and leadership are two different things in a number of ways. While a manager needs to include things such as planning, controlling, organizing, and directing in order to achieve success, a leader does not need this.
I have also learnt that group dynamics or settings can pose a great challenge to a leader, especially if one does not have effective leadership skills. In order to lead a group effectively, I have realized that as a leader, on must communicate effectively and encourage a sense of respect for each and every member of the group. Besides, I have realized that conflicts are part and parcel of group functions and if not handled carefully, it can result in misunderstandings. A leader can be able to resolve group conflicts in many ways including initiating investigations and counseling the group members. Doing investigations in times of conflict is also very imperative in the efforts to foster an efficient and effective group. Again, demonstrating firmness and authority in attitude, helps a leader in order to be able to dissolve persisting conflicts and eased a number of unrest in many satiations through offering the best possible solutions.
In the fellowship roles I have also learnt that one must be a keen follower in order to follow through. Members of a fellowship groups are further, supposed to collaborate with one another in order to achieve high levels of results. This means that, a good follower must be one who respects the operations of the group and also one who is ready to contribute productively to the group. These are the things that I have been able to learn from my self-reflective leadership as can be seen above.
|I don’t miss group meetings or team practices||5|
|I enjoy being part of a group||5|
|I support my teammates or fellow group members||5|
|I feel I must respect the decisions made by my group||5|
|I am not good at working with a group||4|
|I prefer to do everything alone||4|
|I work best when I am alone||3|
|I keep to my self||4|
|I don’t think it’s important to socialize with others||2|
The sum of the nine items is 37. This implies that I enjoy working in groups and that I am a team player.
Northouse, P. G. (2004). Leadership: Theory and practice. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage.
Bush, T., Bell, L., & Bush, T. (2002). The principles and practice of educational management. London: Paul Chapman Pub.