My Vision of Leadership

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Source:newinti.edu.my (2016)

The 21st century is characterized by rapid changes in technology, rising global population and scarce resources (Barton 2016). All these external influences have developed new opportunities, but also developed new challenges for aspirational leaders (Wharton 2016). The leaders of tomorrow need to develop both short-term and long-term strategic plans, build a network of managerial support for improved decision making and apply a leadership which is “fit for purpose” (Barton 2015).

My Inspiration: The Late Steve Jobs

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Figure 2: The Late Steve Jobs (Gallo 2015)

In the past, I was lucky to work with a few great leaders from whom, I like to think that I’ve picked up, precisely what makes their leadership style effective. A successful leader, in my opinion, always starts with a clear vision. Steve Jobs is one of the leaders I admire, and I believe that I have plenty to learn from his leadership style. By watching his biographic movie “Steve Jobs” (2015), I’ve learned that Jobs was a visionary leader, always obsessed with excellence, making everything perfect, and not settling for less. Throughout his career at Apple, he has inspired me (and many others) to “dream bigger” and “change the world!” (Gallo 2015). Alike Steve Jobs, I’ve always been an idealist and a dreamer, working extremely hard and passionately in my job, while also visualizing to change the world into a better one.

My Vision of Leadership

If I were a leader today, I would choose to apply a combination of situational and inspirational leadership styles, as I consider that there is no single leadership style that fits all circumstances and effective leaders need to adapt their style to a given situation (Mullins 2010). The diagram below summarises the situational leadership behavior model by McKinsey & Company (McKinsey 2014).

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Figure 3: McKinsey Situational Leadership Behaviour Model (McKinsey 2014)

McKinsey (2014) discovered that the importance of applying different leadership styles will vary according to a different level of organizational health. The Baseline (Figure 3) is a generic starting point, where leaders should evaluate the current situation of an organization by encouraging teamwork (McKinsey 2014). In the second stage, a leader should focus on fact-based decisions, such as effective problem solving and recovery from failures (McKinsey 2014). Organizations which are “moving on up” need leaders who are able to keep teams on task and direct them towards well-defined goals, while companies in the top quartiles are most effectively lead by inspirational leaders who employ motivational behaviours (McKinsey 2014). Although it seems simple to apply, there are many managers who cannot identify correctly the stage of the organization, and therefore, fail in implementing the situational model.

What Have I Learnt so Far?

Throughout this course I have improved my knowledge in various areas of leadership which can be applied in my future leadership role. Firstly, I’ve learned that in a work environment it’s important to adopt an ethical approach based on the coexistence of deontological and consequentialist ethics. Additionally, I’ve studied Tuckman’s team formation model which can minimize conflicts and discrimination in teams. Next, to become an effective leader I will account for continuous changes and use communication skills to manage employees’ resistance to change. Finally, I’ve learned that leadership and management are different concepts and the efficiency of leadership styles varies based on the context.

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Figure 4: DISC Personality Test

Fig. 4 DISC Personality Test shows that my personality is high on dominance (44%) and influence (25%) and low in steadiness (18%) and compliance (13%). This test indicates that I thrive in competitive situations and enjoy preforming challenging tasks. I find this description accurate, as I have always enjoyed challenging duties which require stepping outside of my comfort zone, allowing me to exercise my critical thinking skills. Another benefit of my personality is that I have a strong inner motivation to influence people and circumstance.

What Skills Should I Improve?

To become an aspirational leader, I should learn how to apply different sets of skills and actions in different situations. Although I have developed some leadership skills, in my previous job as a business development executive, such as managing a diverse team, there are still some areas that I would like to improve. By applying the Johari Window and receiving feedback from my MBA classmates throughout this course, I’ve learnt that my colleagues perceive me as a perfectionist, with a dominant personality but that I tend to forget about time management. To develop these skills, I’ve worked out a 6-months personal development plan which aims to track my performance against my skills development goals.

Conclusion

Ultimately, I consider that leadership is taught, not inherited, and only by continuous development, thirst for knowledge and persistence, one can become a successful leader. As Thomas Friedman, a New York Times columnist, said “the age or average is over” and thus, being able to lead in the 21st century, an aspiring leader requires added “creativity, imagination and persistence” Gallo (2015).


REFERENCES:

Barton, D. (2016) Dominic Barton [online] available from <http://www.mckinsey.com/our-people/dominic-barton&gt; [12 November 2016]

Gallo, C. (2015) How Steve Jobs Inspired People To ‘Dream Bigger’ [online]available from <https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/251476&gt; [12 November 2016]

McKinsey&Co. (2014) Leadership In Context [online] available from <http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/leadership-in-context&gt; [12 November 2016]

Wharton (2015) Mckinsey’s Dominic Barton On Leadership [online] available from <http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/mckinseys-dominic-barton-on-leadership-and-his-three-tries-to-make-partner/&gt; [12 November 2016].

 

 

Published by Alle Ceambur

Digital marketing expert and copywriter. I have over 6 years of experience in business consulting. Passionate to help startups grow online.

12 thoughts on “My Vision of Leadership

  1. Well written and I enjoyed reading your blog which you provide great and concise information about the leadership style, Situational Leadership that you choose to adhere. The further explanations allow me to understand more about this leadership style because it is also my preferable style in leading. You have a good vision and I can see a leader inside you, keep dreaming the unexpected and I am sure one day, you will be a successful leader you want to be. Good luck!

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    1. Glad to know you see yourself as a situational leader as well. I think the more you interact with people in a team, the more you understand that people’s learning styles differ and one style does not fit all. I appreciate your advice and your feedback very much. Is there anything you think I should improve?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes I agree with you ‘leaders are made not born’ and its good to know that you have learned much from this subject. More importantly, I hope what you have learned may also be applied beneficially towards your future undertakings.From reading all blogs, it is safe to say you are ready to LEAD in our changing world. Best of luck !!

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  3. Conclusive and well written blog on your vision of leadership. From your writing, I would say that you have mastered the leadership topic and I am certain that you will apply what you have learnt all this while towards your future undertakings. I am sure you would one day become an ambitious future leader who would induce changes for a better tomorrow. Dream big and best of luck in your future endeavors!

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    1. Thank you for your kind comment! I will definitely try to apply what I’ve learned about leadership in my future. On another note, learning is a lifelong process, and we can only get better and more knowledgeable! Thank you again, and I wish the best of luck to you too.

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  4. It would very much encourage me to see you rise up as a prominent leader in any given occasion. What makes it better is a lady like yourself leading and striving to change the world! Looking forward to further encounter with your in the real world. As for now, the blog was well written and concise. You have clear goals and achievement plans. All the best!

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  5. Well done,I believe you will be an outstanding leader, lucky for you to work with a few great leaders. To date, over the course of my career, I haven’t met a real “leader”, so I don’t really know what’s the meaning of a great leader even after studying so many leadership theories and management models.

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    1. It’s been very fortunate, although most of them were the autocratic type of leaders and very few were democratic. I’ve always considered that you need to learn from those who are successful and surround yourself with bright and inspiring people which will help you grow. I hope you will find such role models. To me a great leader is a leader who can inspire people to their own best and become the best version of themselves.

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  6. I could not agree more with your conclusion that leadership is not something which one inherits but rather something which is gained/acquired. I also like how you equated leadership as thought. I am happy to see that your writing is very much refined. Very Well Written. Keep up the Good Work.
    Wishing you the very best.

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    1. Thank you for your encouraging words. I consider that although some people may naturally be better at leading than others, leadership styles are shaped by people’s learning, life experiences, the work environment they are exposed to and the cultural environment. I am happy that you have seen progress in my learning since I’ve move on from Urbanisma Consulting Group. Thanks!

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