Leadership is not merely getting a title. It is more than just the President, CEO or Chairman attached before and after your name. However, it does something for people’s perception regarding the amount of influence and importance you have. You are the top man. But, not all of the great leaders that have etched their name in history have those titles attached to their names. As cited in Clawson’s “The Leadership Point of View”, great leaders like Jesus, Mother Theresa, and Gandhi did not have those titles yet they have multitiudes of men as followers and have their teachings and wisom still valued greatly today.
What then you may ask is their common factor? Social influence is what determines a good and effective leader.
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Leadership definitions are abound in all different sources. But they would all boil down to the same thought, that is, leadership is a social influence that is exerted by the leader to encourage the contribution of a group of people in the accomplishment of a certain task. Leadership, therefore, is one of the most relevant aspects in an organization. All of us have, in one time or another, been followers and it is unavoidable to be critical of the kind of leadership we may have experienced.
I have relevant experience in teaching. I have worked for 6 years in an elementary school and 12 years with the high school. In all my years of teaching, the best leader that I considered is our current principal. One word that I could describe him is “awesome”. He is really something. Based on the readings, Northouse gives five qualities of leadership. He says that Leadership is a trait, an ability, a skill, a behavior and a relationship. I would say that this person I considered as a good leader can somehow meet the standards set by the book.
He can qualify for all the set criteria that makes up a good leader. His traits, abilities, skills, and behavior are honed by his experience in the education industry and he uses this in his relationship with his staff. Based on the qualities and his dealings with us, I can conclude that he would never have gotten his place now if leadership was not inherent in him. For one, he makes himself visible in the classroom and the halls. This gives the impression that he is everywhere and is clearly observing what is going on inside the campus.
This instills in us, the teachers as well as te students the feeling of being aware and be in our best conducts at all times. Clawson emphasizes that a leader “sees what has to be done” by not assigning anyone to do his job for him. This is clearly exhibited by our principal. He is also very supportive of ideas that come from us teachers. He encourages us to contribute for the betterment of projects and plans. This makes us feel important and that our ideas our relevant. This is very healthy and constructive because his open door policy creates a venue of discussion and intellectual exchange from all of us.
By doing this, he knows how to get the best from everybody and the most effective and efficient solution is achieved. When making decisions, he is very fair. He carefully listens and carefully analyzes everything before he gives out a judgement. He is very objective in his approach and everything undergoes due process. “Credibility is the foundation of leadership’’, according to Kouzes and Posner and our principal is very competent as well confident in tackling up issues. This makes us believe in everything he says and his standards met.
Furthermore, he makes decisions that are in the best interest of the school, students, and faculty. This for me seals the deal for him because when a leader decides to take on the task, he gives himself up to serving what would benefit the ones that are under the canopy of his jurisdiction and who depend on him. I think that being a leader is a mammoth task and not all leaders are cut out to be one. I think that a leader should assess himself on how he is perceived by the people that he handles. He should be aware and be constantly finding ways and means to improve his relationship with the people under him.
He is also rated according to how he effectively he can accomplish tasks and reach goals. When he is doing poorly, that is a red light that he is doing something wrong. As a suggestion, I think that leaders should have continuous education in how to handle people and how to perfrom effectively and efficiently. Attending trainings and seminars would be a good way to improve leadership skills. The leader should also be open to evaluation by his staff so that he can be motivated and localize the areas where he needs improvement.