Leadership Reflective Essay: How To Improve Your Management Skills
Task:Consider the roles and situations, and the leadership behaviours that might be required, in the table below. Choose two of these and write up to 750 words (per topic) on how leadership might be exercised and what are the contextual factors that are relevant.
As opined by Helyer (2015), the role of reflection has been a topic of interest amongst researchers and educators which highlights that it plays an important role in students' critical thinking process, self-reflection and development of values or skills. As suggested by Chen, Chavez, Ong & Gunderson (2017), the ultimate motive of self-reflection is to improve the student learning where the student is influenced by his/her past learning experiences and is able to connect between the knowledge gained and their own ideas. Through self-reflection, students are believed to achieve academic advantage and explore new ideas to better understand the learning. According to my thinking, reflection journal writing has helped me critically review on learning and behaviors thereby able to transform my learning strategies. During the classroom learning, I came across the topic of leadership and how effective leadership is one of the essential keys to success of an organization. As identified by Oviawe, Uwameiye & Uddin (2017), in today's business world, continual learning fosters development and inculcates various skills required for a successful career.
The Concept of Leadership
According to my understanding, reflecting on the learnings can be an empowering process as it helps to analyze the situation, take decisions, and set a course of action, and critique on the learnings. Today, the role of leaders is extremely essential first successful performance of an organization. However, as per Frankel & PGCMS (2019), one needs to have leadership skills to achieve both professional and personal success. Even when people have adequate leadership skills, it requires to develop the effective leadership style which must be inculcated while educating students to make them effective leaders for the future. As per the learnings there are different types of leadership styles which determines the quality of each and every leader and the way they manage people. In order to compete with the global workforce, I feel managers can learn in organizations itself. As suggested by Meola (2016), during on-the-job learning experiences, managers will be able to learn from their immediate work environment which will directly influence on their reflective capabilities. On the other hand, leaders are always up for sharing knowledge with others. In future, I would also like to become a leader in my workplace as I want to pave my road for betterment. With my knowledge and experience, I understood that learning and establishing a base for knowledge will be helpful for the organization decision making process and develop the overall scenario of the organization. Since the concept of leaders and leadership has no particular definition, leaders are the people who have potential to mend the situations with their skills and knowledge. As per Krasnoff (2015), leaders must possess good communication skills, negotiation skills, a flexible mentality, progressive thinking, decision making ability, interpersonal skills and confidence to take up new challenges. I believe leaders can either have inbuilt talent of managing or they can develop their skills by learning within the organization.
I have understood that a good leader helps in developing the skills of their coworkers motivating them and sharing knowledge to improve their capabilities. As per my opinion, even when leaders have good theoretical knowledge, the must possess practical experience in order to proceed with identifying solutions for the problems. Daskal (2016) has opined that leader not only inspires its coworkers and subordinates to develop their skills but also encourage them to perform better for the achievement of the organizational goal. During the session, I understood that even though learning is important, it is important to become a good learner first as will be able to act according to the situation and modify the strategies to achieve the goals. Stricker, et. al. (2018) have identified that learning and leadership are interconnected as well as an important factor for organizational success. If I'm able to reflect on what I have learnt, I will be able to apply them want to be a good leader. However, at times even I might be needing motivation to help others accomplish their work, and therefore the role of motivating me can be played by the organization. I came across some of the famous global leaders such as Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, Larry Page, the CEO of Google, and Warren Buffett who have changed the definition of leadership in order to create a new path of achievement. These people have been successful due to their constant process of learning and ability to make others learn from their experiences. They were able to critique and reflect on their skills and understanding in order to improve their skills for the achievement of the goals. Leaders are able to promote reflection in action by understanding their surroundings and the learnings.
Activities to reflect on Leadership
As suggested by Rubens, Schoenfeld, Schaffer & Leah (2018), effective management and leadership starts with self-awareness which means that leaders must be able to understand their strengths and weaknesses. I understand that developing a culture of respect for myself and for others working with me might require time as it has been opined that students are generally not taught about higher level of professionalism. There are several effective programs and courses along with skill building activities but these might be effective only when the effectively utilize it into practice. A leader must have integrity which will determine the value of his words and work. When I see myself as a leader in future, I would like to become more responsible and create a sense of trust among my coworkers and subordinates in order to leave them towards achieving the organizational goals.
During the course I was talking about how reflective approach can be beneficial for future leaders in order to understand their actions and modify according to the situations. For this, we experienced certain reflective activities which would help us in future to become good leaders and develop our communication and interpersonal skills. In one of the sessions, the facilitator provided us with open ended questions in order to understand our knowledge on leadership and its importance. I also came across an activity where everyone was requested to write their own definitions of leadership. A series of brainstorming sessions were also conducted. During the brainstorming sessions, I wrote about my probable ideas, opinions, and solutions on small Post-it stickers. Each of the students wear allowed to read the opinions of others and critique on it. This allowed everyone to understand the ideas and opinions of each other without any conflict for further exercises.
The exercise of role plays with groups allowed everyone to be creative and interesting. The role plays involved identifying a problem situation and assume that people are affected by the problem which will lead to identify potential solutions. For instance, the facilitator provided us with the situation where I had to identify a particular organization which faced leadership issues impacting its performance and how it can be rectified. In response to that, I identified Woolworths Australia had been facing the issue of managing its internal management due to the negligence of their leaders. I was engaged in identifying a relevant solution to the problem which help me to reflect my understanding on leadership in front of the class. As suggested by Wan (2017), roleplays act as the most effective activity as it helps to identify the strengths and weaknesses while handling any stressful situation and receive feedback from the facilitator to improve the skills and knowledge on leadership.
But as an introductory reflection tool, we came across pair and share activity where was required to share my opinions with my partner on a particular topic and vice versa. An exercise named Life stories was designed for the groups of 5 people each where we were given a chance to without interruption for 10 minutes and share any personal leadership experiences. I was extremely happy with this exercise as it provided me a chance to affirm my experiences as a leader. I shared my experience as the group leader of cultural activities in my previous institution where I was able to manage a team of 25 people by applying my leadership skills.
Apart from that, I also came across a simple field analysis exercise where we could select our own organization to visit for a day and understand the work culture of the senior employees and how they are able to manage any situation. This was effective in terms of gaining a practical knowledge on different strategies utilized by leaders to manage the workforce. We were also given to write reflective journals on our learning through the activities which would help us to become better leaders in the future.
As I have mentioned earlier, self-reflection is the key to effective leadership and in order to improve the leadership skills, it is important to be self-aware of the strengths and weaknesses, core values we possess, our beliefs, our influence on others and behavior with others. Therefore, self-awareness and reflecting upon our understanding on certain matters will help determine the kind of leader we want to become. Circumstances might change, there cannot be favorable conditions to take wise decisions, and therefore leaders must be ready with an action plan to manage any situation. A leader’s ability to reflect on their immediate work environment and specially themselves will lead to influence them towards positive directions which will benefit them and their organization. Therefore it can be concluded that, the act of reflection is important for students who are willing to become leaders for the future as it will bridge the gap between learning and experiences. Leadership Reflective Essay assignments are being prepared by our management experts from top universities which let us to provide you a reliable essay help online service.
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Daskal, L. (2016). How You Can Encourage Your Employees to Lead. Retrieved from https://www.inc.com/lolly-daskal/how-you-can-encourage-your-employees-to-lead.html
Frankel, A., & PGCMS, R. (2019). What leadership styles should senior nurses develop?. Mental health, 12, 50.
Helyer, R. (2015). Learning through reflection: the critical role of reflection in work-based learning (WBL). Journal of Work-Applied Management, 7(1), 15-27.
Krasnoff, B. (2015). Leadership qualities of effective principals. Education Northwest, 1-10.
Meola, C. C. (2016). Addressing the needs of the Millennial workforce through equine assisted learning. Journal of Management Development, 35(3), 294-303.
Oviawe, J. I., Uwameiye, R., & Uddin, P. S. (2017). Bridging skill gap to meet technical, vocational education and training school-workplace collaboration in the 21st century. International Journal of vocational education and training research, 3(1), 7-14.
Rubens, A., Schoenfeld, G. A., Schaffer, B. S., & Leah, J. S. (2018). Self-awareness and leadership: Developing an individual strategic professional development plan in an MBA leadership course. The International Journal of Management Education, 16(1), 1-13.
Stricker, A., Westhauer, T., Sheets, T., Hawkins-Scribner, T., Calongne, C., & Truman, B. (2018). Values-Based Network Leadership in an Interconnected World. The Journal of Values-Based Leadership, 11(1), 12.
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