Leadership Philosophy and Reflection

Statement

            A leader is someone that has a strong passionate desire to influence and change the future. A leader seeks to maximize a group’s utility by envisioning and striving toward a common goal. A leader accepts a hard sense of responsibility for achieving the goal and is the most devoted effective individual in the group. A leader must communicate well, strategize, and execute a plan with all of the followers trusting the leader. No matter the plan or strategy, a leader will undoubtedly perform every task required by the group’s vision with determination and fortitude.  While achieving the goal, the leader should choose to lead ethically and morally. A leader should follow the set of morals and laws society has defined in order to justify achieving the goal. Therefore, by adhering to a broad set of social standards and principles a good leader can rationalize any difficult action that may be presented.

               

Reflection

Throughout my education in Leadership Studies, I have been able to enlighten and expand my views on leadership and how to lead. The new knowledge and theories that I have been introduced to allows me to provide rational explanations on behalf on my leadership philosophy. The philosophy statement was mostly derived from personal experiences, applying theories to leadership and studying the great historical leaders.

In my philosophy statement, the first sentence is used to define a leader’s intention. This is every leader’s purpose for their thinking and action. Leaders are individuals that ignite change. They influence the future by being innovative and thinking creatively. In order to inspire change, a leader has to be willing to change itself, its followers and its surroundings. This is referring to the Transformational Leadership theory. This theory explains that a leader inspires motivation among his followers. A leader stimulates intelligence by being imaginative and innovative. A leader influences society and acknowledges that each individual has the power to make its own decision. With a passionate belief behind all of the aspects of transformational leading, a leader is able to change the future. For example, Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. were great transformational leaders. They inspired historic movements through non-violence protests and peace. They envisioned a different future and they knew that they could create change by connecting with the people. Gandhi and King impacted the future of the world because they ignited change.

In Leadership in Action, I began reading The New York Times every day to keep up with class discussions. While I was staying up to date on current events and relating articles to leadership, I found one section of the Times to be more inspiring than the rest. This section contained some of our greatest leaders. This section made me want to strive to become more and motivated me to do something incredible in my life. The section I stumbled onto was the obituaries. This section of the newspaper holds some inspiring stories of people who did something incredible in their lifetime. Some of the people in the obituaries of the Times were leaders who maximized their group’s utility. This means that they were able to make the most out of whatever life presented to them and they were devote to achieving their dream. Whether it was the musically talented or the passionate preacher, these individuals utilized their strengths in order to change the something. My philosophy statement is explained and understood through the lives of these great leaders. They completely devote themselves toward a goal and overcome huge obstacle in order to accomplish their dream. My statement is a reminder that anyone is able to lead and accomplish something truly incredible with your life.

Then, my statement focuses on a leader’s character. Everyone is faced with important moral decisions throughout their life and it can be very easy to become corrupt. In Problems of Leadership, I learned the downfalls of a leader’s power. Throughout history and my own experiences, I noticed the ease of becoming corrupt once a leader is given authority. According to Barbara Kellerman, corrupt leadership is defined as the leader and at least some followers lie, cheat, or steal. To a degree that exceeds the norm, they put self-interest ahead of the public interest. Corruption tempts every leader and their followers to act greedily and commit unethical crimes. My statement highlights how a leader should act in order to justify every hard decision. Committing an unethical crime is an easy task, but living with that decision could become unbearable. Author of The Success Syndrome, Steven Berglas, states that these corrupt leaders will have a painful feeling of aloneness, become arrogant seek destructive adventures and adultery. By making the right moral decisions, leader will always keep his honor and integrity. A leader’s character defines how he or she will lead and who will follow.

In the past, I never had much experience as a leader. Frankly, I was shy, introverted, terrified of public speaking and highly disliked the center of attention. Although I lacked most of the traits needed to be leader, I still wanted to understand the minds of leaders and eventually become a leader. Throughout my leadership studies, I have been introduced to various theories such as: The Trait Leadership theories and The Behavioral Leadership theories. The Behavioral Leadership theories explain the specific qualities suited for leadership, such as charisma and extraversion, while Behavioral Leadership theories analyze the actions and style of a leader. In order to become a great leader, I devoted myself to learning from past leader’s actions and wisdom. Also, I have been improving my weaknesses and strengths of those leadership traits. Warren G. Bennis, former university president of University of Southern California said, “The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born-that there is a genetic factor to leadership. This myth asserts that people simply either have certain charismatic qualities or not. That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born.” My leadership philosophy statement is not derived from what I was born with, but rather a result of my education and experience with leadership.

In conclusion, before I started my leadership studies I had very few experiences in a leadership role, but now I am fully confident that I can become a leader that people will want to follow. Leadership Studies has given me a voice allowing me to participate in class discussions and voice my opinion to others. It has helped me understand culture differences between me and my peers. It has given me the essential leadership education and experience I need for my future endeavors. My philosophy provides the guidelines that I will to follow as other follow me. In the future, I will refer back to my philosophy statement during my decision making process.