In developing my personal leadership philosophy, I first examined what leadership means to me most and as a leader. Leadership can be defined separate ways and varies from person to person. The definition of leadership I aim for centers around being who I am. My leadership philosophy is shaped by many professional and personal values, knowledge of self, respect, communication, hard work & dedication, servant leadership, growth & learning, and family & love.
These professional and personal values led me to generate my definition of leadership:
Before a person can be a leader, they must know who they are. Leadership is becoming the person you want to be and leading others to become who they want to be. I believe leadership is more than just having followers, it is inspiring followers to pursue their goals, their shared purpose; it's encouraging others to attain a vision.
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Knowledge of Self
My leadership philosophy is shaped by many personal values and the first is knowledge of self. I believe that until you know yourself first, you cannot meet your full potential as a leader. I also know that without followers, there would be no leader. The greatest thing I can do as a leader, is to identify who I am first. For me to do that, I need to define what my mission is in life. My mission is to be kind and true to myself. I will seek to look of the good in others and treat others with love, kindness, compassion, and respect.
I will create a sense of purpose and bring meaning to my everyday like regardless of how many times I fail. I promise to never give up on myself, my dreams and my goals. I want to influence others to pursue their dreams, their goals they envision for the future. I want to teach my children to love and laugh, to learn and grow beyond their current expectations. Finally, to go through life with a smile on my face every day and look at the sunny side of everything. To say thanks to God in some way, every day.
Earning respect of others can be hard to accomplish as a leader, yet it must be the foundation of any relationship (personal, group, or working). In respecting others, both the leader and follower must be able to give advice and accept feedback from each other and take these things into consideration before making decisions. While respect can be a hard task to achieve, as a leader, I must model a level of open-mindedness and understand the viewpoints of others.
One important aspect of being a successful leader, is having effective communication skills. To be a good leader, it also involves being a good listener. When others around me take the time to communicate their opinions to me or just talk with me in general, I must listen and give them my undivided attention.
Maintaining open communication with my coworkers or working in a group is a key to be a successful leader. I also feel that you cannot communicate well, other will have difficulty with understand what direction they should be going. It is also important that followers know that they can come to you at any time, when they need assistance, advice or to offer ideas that they would like to share.
Hard work ; Dedication
Being a leader is not an easy task. It's not something that is just given to you. Trying to understand followers, motivate them, providing support can be a very daunting task. However, leaders almost always run into challenges that they must face, that sometimes leads to failure. But as a leader, you must have dedication to not get discouraged or give up and show they you are willing to push yourself, reevaluate the situation and move forward as necessary.
According to Greenleaf, he states that, "the servant-leader is servant first. By that he meant that the desire to serve, the "servant's heart," is a fundamental characteristic of a servant-leader. It is not about being servile, it is about wanting to help others," (The Servant First, 2018). I believe that I am a servant leader as Greenleaf identifies. I am a leader wants to help others. I don't do things to benefit myself. I enjoy heling others finds resources or ways that might help them.
I encourage others to be the best they can be; pursue their dreams and just enjoy life. I believe that it is my duty to help others, my coworkers, the students, my friends, and family. Since working as an administrative assistant in the Deans office at Texas Wesleyan University (TWU), I found myself going above and beyond my daily duties in helping faculty, staff, and students. It is in my opinion my obligation to help others, not because it's my job or I'm getting paid, it's because I want to, and it makes me feel good to know that I am making a difference in someone's life. I am there to serve the faculty, staff, and students and help them with their needs.
Growth & Learning
However, a leader should be continuing pursuing opportunities for growth and learning. It means seeking out resources to help you continue to grow and learn within your career or life. It also entails being true to who you are and identifying your strengths. As a leader we all mistake, but we must accept responsibility, correct the mistakes and prevent those mistakes from recurring.
Family & Love
The last personal value that has helped shared my leadership philosophy is family and love. Along with my professional values, I believe you must have personal values that define you as a leader. It is important to have time your family and time with yourself. It is also essential to have a passion and love for your work, but you need to also have as much as love for your family and friends. I care for all the people at my company and I let them know that. I never go a single day without letting my kids and mom know how much I care and love them. I believe it is important to have laughter and fun in my life.
In conclusion, becoming a leader is a lifetime of work, it's not something we are born with or happens with a year. Being a great leader means promoting these professional and personal values and following through with a vision. As a leader, I want to impact the lives of others and help them to become who they strive to be. We have a reached a time where every day we are learning new skills and talents for leadership. in every decision we make, we learn when we realize it or not. Overall, I believe I have all the values in place that I will be able to achieve to help me become a successful leader.
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