RUNNING HEAD: LEADERSHIP and SELF-AWARENESS
Leadership and Self-awareness
I believe leadership and self-awareness will assist me the most not only for the next 10-15 years of my career, but the rest of my life. In this paper I will cover who produces the best leaders, leader characteristics, attributes, interpersonal skills, communication skills, supervisory skills, mentoring and counseling skills, creating the right environment, as well as what a leader must be, know, and do. Through this reading, I will also explain why you don’t have to do all of the following listed above by yourself. Being a product of the military culture will give me the success I seek in the future.
Leadership and Self-awareness
One of the most interesting aspects of leadership is answering the question, who makes the best leaders? According to Professor Peter Drucker, a writer, management consultant, and college professor at Claremont Graduate University, and Jack Welsh, the former CEO of general Electric, the best leaders are produced by the military. What is especially interesting is that, all these leaders I’m referring to are grown from within. The military doesn’t hire external leaders at higher levels from the outside. They produce them all themselves. What are characteristics of a leader? There are many and they varied.
They have to be physically and mentally tough. They have to be confident and competent. Leaders are highly trained, knowledgeable, and disciplined. Multifaceted people who are adoptive and self ware. What are the constants of quality leadership? Some of these items are loyalty, up down the leadership chain, to those above and below. A sense of duty, respect, and selfless service. Honor, integrity, and personal courage, by that I mean not only physical courage but moral courage as well. The courage to do the right thing, even in the face of opposition or embarrassment. What does all this lead to?
Leadership: It is not for the Faint of Heart This article is actually a speech that was given by Mark Ernsberger who is also President and CEO of Farr Associates. This organization is a "leadership and organizational consulting firm." His speech was articulate, easy to follow, and well organized. In his speech, Ernsberger describes the qualities and skills he believes are essential to becoming an ...
What it leads to is as shared bond, a shared language of leadership, but most importantly, shared values. What are the benefits of an approach like this to leadership? Well, what you end up with is a team that is high in trust. Teamwork that has a clear focus, it is confident, and highly motivated. Who are these exceptional leaders? The ones I’m talking about are self-aware, adaptive, and agile. The kinds of people that hold their, organizations together in the face of unbelievable stress and strain. People who achieve objectives in the face of opposition and overwhelming odds. People who full fill their obligations to complete their missions and take care of their people. Those kinds of folks everybody is looking for.
In the army, we break it down into three areas. Things a leader must BE, KNOW, and DO. In the area of BE, the kind of person you are, well the kind of leaders who are self-aware tend to BE, folks who say, “no one is more professional than I”. Leadership emphasizes values and attributes. Self-aware leaders tend to be people who are honest competent, forward looking and inspiring.
In the KNOW category, I’m talking about interpersonal skills such as team building and coaching. Conceptual skills such as thinking creatively and be able to reason analytically, their technical and tactical skills. That is the ability to solve problems and get things done.
Finally in the DO category, these are the influencing skills, which are guiding others. Operating skills, this is to accomplish the mission and your objectives. Improving skills, this means to leave the organization better than you found it.
Leaders have to start as followers first. They execute decisions with energy and enthusiasm, even if they have prior disagreement with a decision. This is a very interesting point. It is not that you shouldn’t disagree, as a matter of fact; different points of view in the military are solicited and encouraged. The key points is that once a decision has been made; you agree to implement that decision as if it was your own. That means, when other people are looking at you, they would believe that this was 100% your idea from the beginning. You don’t bad mouth or make it appear as if it is a problem. You enthusiastically embrace that decision.
The policies of democracy in practice may not be all that they claim to be but they have done more good than any other organizational system that has been tried before. Democratic leadership certainly has more advantages than disadvantages. It is important to understand the term 'Democratic Leadership' before we can talk about its advantages and disadvantages. In simple terms democratic leadership ...
Training in the army is not without difficulty. The first person you have to deal with is yourself. What I’m talking about is character, which is comprised of values and attributes. I talked about attributes before, but I’ll go more in depth with each. Mental Attributes which include will, self discipline, initiative, judgment, self confidence, intelligence and cultural awareness. Physical Attributes which are stamina, vitality, energy, health, physical fitness, and personal bearing. Emotional Attributes which include self control, balance, stability ,emotional maturity , genuine emotion and passion when it is warranted, you’re not a machine, stable and level headed under pressure, calm in the face of danger. Display the emotion you want your followers to display. So under high stress good leadership is calm, cool, and collected.
In interpersonal skills, you can break them down into four parts. Communication skills, supervisory skills, mentoring and counseling skills, and creating the right environment. In communication, I’m talking about not only communicating the what but the why also. A leader communicates the leader’s and supervisory intent, so the followers not only understand your position but the higher’s as well. They keep people well informed, and they combine both up and down the chain of leadership. In the supervisory area, it’s an art not a science. Not too much, not too little. Leadership check tasks that are critical to the mission. For example if you were going out at night, and you are using batteries, leadership is not only going to see if you have them, leadership also ensures that batteries are fully charged. Leadership check what others tend to forget, and leadership check tasks that were are at the limit of prior performance of this particular individual or unit. So if this is a unit or individual that has not performed this task in a while, leadership checks it also to make sure it is done correctly. Self-aware leaders are always on the lookout for ways to developed subordinates. Another category under interpersonal skills is mentoring, counseling, and coaching. The key here is that it is for everyone, not just the selected few. The reasons are simple. Some are fast starters and some are slower. We don’t disregard anybody’s skills and abilities. So instead of ignoring the people that follow along a little later, we use coaching and mentoring skill for everyone. That allows them to achieve their highest level of individual achievement and ability.
Introduction "Leadership is about setting a new direction for a group; management is about directing and controlling according to established principles. However, someone can be a symbolic leader if they emerge as the spearhead of a direction the group sets for itself." The primary difference between leadership skills and management skills, are quite simple. A leader has the skill to remove ...
Finally a self-aware leader knows when to use other leaders. We all have our limitations. We’re good at some things, not so good at others. A smart leader knows when to bring in someone else, who can achieve the objective with skills that are beyond our own? It’s our job as a leader to create the environment. You can look around and ask yourself, do people in this organization cooperate? How is conflict handle? How is diversity in this organization? It should be embraced, honored and taking advantage of.
The military has done the best job at capturing the best ideas on leadership. In this reading, I covered a lot of material. Mostly from military books, some from civilian texts. What I did was summarize the important points made in each of these books and texts, so that at the end of this reading, not only I but anyone who read this paper, will have great and useful information and ideas that they or I can use in any situation, wherever I may be. Military units, blue or white collar jobs, or in government.