Leadership Assignment: Reflexive Report on Leadership Journey
Task: Your task in this leadership assignment is to reflect on you own leadership journey up until now, your current role or position, how you influence others, how you lead, contribute to or react to organisational and cultural changes and your current level of self-awareness and self-confidence to lead others in your organisation and/or community.
Leadership is known to be both a practical area and skill which is related with the ability of an individual to lead, influence, motivate, guide and empower either the organization or other individuals (Smylie, Murphy & Louis, 2020). Dynamic leadership on the other hand is the kind of leadership which does not require the title leader, but the individuals due to their strong personality show strong skills of leadership and help organization, community, and other individuals to achieve their goals (Stouten & Liden, 2020). This reflexive report is drafted for the following learning outcomes:
• Reflection on self -development as a leader and build self- awareness
• Developing a personal leadership strategy through critical analysis of some of the leadership theories. • Analysis of self -capability to influence and lead others. Journey so Far
My ambition in life is to become business analyst at Amazon, and help the business lower down its operational costs by brining efficiency into its existing business process. During my early days of graduation I was working for a digital marketing agency as an account manager. I worked there for almost two years which helped me become aware on my strength and weakness, it was then that I realized that I was a people’s person. So, my job responsibility to ensure that the client servicing team is adhering to the deadlines of their individual accounts, getting the creative made and posted on social media platform on time and ensure they meet their respective client once every month. Besides this, I was also managing a key account in real estate industry.
It was a small 20 Membered team, which allowed all of us to do more than what was mentioned in our Job Description. My CEO, who was a designer and marketer himself asked me to find the pain point of other employees and why every month there was a flux of people joining and exiting the organization, and my CEO was totally clueless, because he was more focused on getting the revenue for the organization. However, I took upon this task and started building a personal rapport will all the employees, I only had professional relationship with them earlier. It was then, after a month of getting to know them personally, I figured out why employees were leaving so soon, and to be honest, I was really surprised. 80% of the workforce told me that they are not happy, because the CEO and the senior manager do not take the advice of the designers, social media executive or even client servicing while negotiating a deal with the clients. They were unhappy that they are not being involved in business decision (Remember it was just a small team of 20 People), which is the major reason why they don’t feel like sticking with the organization for too long.
Hearing this, I realized that it is not only monetary incentives which motivated teams or individuals within a business organization, it is also how the employees feel working for an employer empowered. I went directly to my CEO, briefed him on my finding and he was more than happy to include other teams in the decision making process as well. Thus, an important learning, as well as development of my personal skill set, wherein I could let my team members open up to me, and ensure that I solved the problem or the challenge my organization was facing for quite some time.
Key Aspects of the Leadership Journey
I would say that, I was sub consciously being a leader without even knowing about it consciously. It all starts from early school days, when I was a monitor, I used to take control of the entire 50-60 members class in Standard IV, V & VI, the teachers used to appreciate me for my ability to make sure that the decorum of the class is maintained when the they were late and absent. In all my Parent Teacher Meeting, the feedback given to my teachers was that the Kid is really good at making friendships and kids do listen to him. Then I started doing some community work in my area, where we were feeding the poor stray and disabled dogs. I was part of an early age NGO, and my role was to collect funds from the community members. I did exceptionally well and I was, if I am not wrong the 2nd most fund collector from my community. By this time, I had realized that I was really good at making connections with people, and if I further develop on this skill, I can do wonders with my life in the future.
Then, came an influencer in my life, I would say the biggest influencer in my life (Although in my head their still a tussle, between the first and second spot for the biggest influencer) who not only changed my outlook and perspective towards leadership, but also towards life, community and the world. Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon not only leveraged the Internet to unimagined heights, he also ensured that with the development of his organization, the development of the community was also essential, both should go hand in hand (Ciulla, 2020). The vision of Jeff Bezos for Amazon, which can be simply put by saying, we want to build a platform, where customers can browse and buy anything that can be bought online. Such a simple vision, and unlike most of the leaders of his ties, Jeff Bezos is customer focused, whilst others are competition focused. Another reason why Jeff Bezos Influenced and moved me a lot and made me wonder about his leadership skill was the resilience, perseverance and the envisioned vision the man saw in the early day for Amazon. The company which just started as an online book seller, is now selling almost everything online (Not guns). Amazon at present is one of the few companies to hit a valuation of Trillion Dollars, and making Jeff Bezos the richest man in the world with a wealth of over US $ 143 Billion (Johannessen, 2020). So, it was after researching on the success story of Amazon and Jeff Bezos I began to work towards my own leadership development, as I truly wanted to be as inspirational and transformation leader like Jeff Bezos and contribute not only towards the people directly employed for me, but also enable other businesses by innovation and technological advancement (Solinger, Jansen &Cornelissen, 2020).
Analysis of Clifton Leadership Test
I really had a great time giving the test, and I would say I wasn’t really much surprised with the finding or the result of my leadership strength test. My result on the test were those of Learner, Input, Communication, Arranger & Strategic. I always knew I was a learner, also it must be evident from the section wrote above about my curiosity to learn about the leadership style of Jeff Bezos, Amazon and be wanting to become a business analyst. I see myself as a quick learner, a person who can learn something quickly and adapt the same in my personality or in my professional work.
I am the kind of person who has this inherent need of being empowered, it is one of the job satisfaction factors for me. I always tend to give inputs wherever I feel that it is required, and my inputs can bring some aide to the organization or any other place. Communication is again one of my strongest personality suite, as such evident from how easily I make connections with people, professionally and personally. I also enjoy communicating on business topics such as economic impact on the countries during COVID-19 is one of my favorite, and I keep on boring my friends and couple of my colleagues from my past endeavors on a Zoom Video call. SO, rightly analyzed, communication is most definitely one of my leadership strength, and also one of those strength which I believe is inevitable for the success of any leader. I am not too sure on the arranger as a strength, however, I did some work in my college and community working days, but I still have to explore more of this strength. Lastly, Strategy, I would say that I always try to plan my future, or try as much I can to assess what my future would be like, after clear assessment of the industry in which I want to work, the future of the industry and the company and also its sustainability. This is one of the core strength of my leadership skill.
Feedback and Analysis of my Leadership Style
Besides engaging myself in tests such as MBTI, Gallup Strength finders and other self-awareness assessment, I also do ask my peers, my human resources and my bosses to give me feedback on my working style, how I deal with people, clients and in general. I do this exercise, as I am of the opinion that your peers always know you better than some tests. Below are some of the points I have been told, and what I am doing about them:
• I have been told that I am quite an emotional person and sometimes I care more for the employees than the organization, which sometimes does not work in my favor. I agree with this, and looking at this feedback I come to realize that this is a classic example of Servant-Leader Leadership theory, where the leader keeps the interest of the employees first and makes them the priority. Henceforth, I decided to devote more of time to fulfillment of the organizational and my own personal goals, rather than that of other employees in the organization (Bolden, Gulati & Edwards, 2020).
• One of my bosses gave me a feedback after witnessing how effectively i gave a business presentation on one of the projects I was working for. He explicitly told me, you have a good vision, you have a knack of understanding things and somewhere I also see you having a business acumen. He told me to keep pursuing my vision in life, and I will be soon where I want to be in the future. This instantly reminded me of the Transformational Theory of Leadership, which also happens to be the style of my biggest influencer Jeff Bezos. In transformational style of leadership, the leader transforms the entire organization by his vision, his words, his actions and the changes he brings forward in the organization. I decided to study in depth this style of leadership and I have ever since, been practicing the skills of this leadership in my daily life. For example, I make SMART goals for myself, I develop a milestone chart, I engage in more self -awareness exercises, I participate in seminars, debates and discussion and put forward my thinking and vision for the same. So yes, I have been sub-consciously and consciously trying to master this leadership or at least develop a better understanding of the same. • Another feedback to me was given by one of my colleagues who used to work with me on the project. He once came and told me, Thanks for standing up for him and resolving the conflict which he was facing with one of his project manager, of which I was the team lead. This made me realize that as an leader, the respect in the eyes of your team member increases if you are able to resolve the conflict within the teams effectively. This has made me focus and learn more on the different conflict resolution strategies such as those of Accommodating, Compromising, Win-Win and others. SO yes, I am also working on that part to develop my comprehensive leadership style.
I would say that I am the kind of person who does not lead the title leader in my Designation, but I am the type of individual who will rise up to the occasion when needed the most. I display good strength in terms of business acumen, vision, strategy, communication and motivating others through my words. I feel myself closely associated with transformation style of Leadership, however I am working day in and out to bolster my leadership skills by increasing self-awareness, talking to as many people I can and also be giving different types of online assessment available on the web. Leadership for Me in my own words is “A true Leader is an individual who does not feed other, but enables and empowers them to do the same for others” Stay Home. Stay Safe.
Bolden, R., Gulati, A., & Edwards, G. (2020). Mobilizing change in public services: Insights from a systems leadership development intervention. International Journal of Public Administration, 43(1), 26-36.
Ciulla, J. B. (2020). The importance of leadership in shaping business values. In The Search for Ethics in Leadership, Business, and Beyond (pp. 153-163). Springer, Cham.
Johannessen, J. A. (2020). Political Leadership and Value Creation Processes in the Innovation Economy. Leadership assignment In Knowledge Management for Leadership and Communication. Emerald Publishing Limited.
Smylie, M. A., Murphy, J. F., & Louis, K. S. (2020). Caring School Leadership. Corwin.
Solinger, O. N., Jansen, P. G., & Cornelissen, J. (2020). The emergence of moral leadership. Academy of Management Review, (ja).
Stouten, J., & Liden, R. C. (2020). Social Loafing in Organizational Work Groups: The Mitigating Effect of Servant Leadership. In Individual Motivation within Groups (pp. 55-80). Academic Press.