Reflection on Leadership
Prior to this lesson, I thought of leadership and management as the same thing. I also thought that their responsibilities were the same, such as issuing tasks to employees, training, supervising and making decisions concerning crucial business matters. These responsibilities come from the authority bestowed upon a person by the position they hold in an organization. In addition, making such decisions required training, which I thought was necessary for both leaders and managers. Leadership and management, I have come to learn, are different. I did not know that leadership comes in the innate ability of a person to influence and direct others towards achieving goals and objectives. Finally, I did not know that one does not need to have a higher position in the organization to be a leader. He or she can be positioned at any level in the organization.
One of the most important parts of the slides for me was the definition of leadership. It states that leadership comes in the ability of one’s influence, motivating and enabling other people to achieve effectiveness and goals within an organization to which a leader belongs. This means that it does not come from one’s position in an organization. These abilities come from a person’s inner awareness and not from formal training like in management.
In addition, the slides indicated that leadership is concerned with establishing relationships with people. It can also be distributed within the organization instead of being assigned to a single person considering a leader can be positioned anywhere in the organization. This allows employee to be leaders within their own departments, influencing their team members towards changing the firm or achieving goals. However, such shared leadership requires a collaborative culture, delegation of power from top to bottom and employee ability to persuade and influence each other. The basis of this reflection is the definition and shared leadership presented in the slides.
From the slides, I realized that a leader does not have to be trained while the manager requires training to gain knowledge of making decisions from various points of view such as using financial statements. Leaders do not need such to guide and enable others to achieve their potential. They use power of persuasion that is inherently in their nature. Moreover, one can learn to become a leader. Current research indicates that different situations can call one to become a leader while they would not be in other circumstances.
Knowing that leadership and management are two different things enables me to realize how each can influence the organization. While management is necessary for making decisions concerning the business itself, leadership is crucial for ensuring that employees are dedicated, motivated and enabled to work towards achieving the organizational goals. It ensures that employees are happy to follow the vision of the organization as articulated by the leader through his or her abilities to persuade people. In addition, the fact that leadership can be shared across all levels shows that colleagues can influence and encourage each other.
I also learnt that self-reflection is a key to authentic leadership. For one to lead others, it is necessary to be aware of one’s abilities, considering they determine whether one can influence others or not. One can conduct a reflection on himself by looking at the experiences in life. By thinking back about past events, one can be in a position to find out who he or she really is. This is crucial in leadership. It allows one to know their weaknesses and strengths. Above all, it is important because it helps us know what we are capable of doing in order to influence others.