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Leadership 101: What I've Learned This Semester

J. Brown -LDR 2010

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Before We Start...

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So, you want to learn about leadership, huh? Well, you've come to the right place. Welcome to Jordan's Leadership 101 class, where we use all sorts of tools to teach the vital skill that is leadership. Before we get started, let me take a few sentences to introduce myself and my leadership philosophy.

I practice a leadership philosophy that allows members of a team to work autonomously for the common goal. I usually take charge at the beginning of a project in order to create a solid framework, but I employ a laissez faire attitude once that framework has been established. This philosophy, however, only works when the team that I am working with is capable of completing the task. This was the case for the Complex Organization Audit project, and the presentation went well because of it. If the team needs guidance, I take a more hands-on approach while still creating an environment where members can experiment and be creative.

Core Values

Personal Growth

I believe that an individual should constantly be improving himself/herself. This can be done by individual research and/or learning from experiences, both personal and of others. Constant personal growth allows an individual to rise to new heights. I am regularly listening to podcasts, reading books, and doing general research on topics that interest me in order to gain new tools. This coincides with my learner and input strengths because I am constantly searching for new information that I can store away in case I need it. I practice this in order to be prepared for what the world throws at me. I believe that leaders need to be improving themselves regularly in order to be prepared and set an example for those who follow them.

Open-Mindedness

This value goes hand-in-hand with personal growth because an individual must be open to new ideas in order to accept change. Being open-minded allows an individual to stay adaptable, which is a useful skill in leadership. I often employ an adaptive leadership style when in a challenging environment, stopping to change course if necessary. I am also regularly changing what I want to do with my life because I am receptive to new ideas and paths. My open-mindedness is strategic, as I use it to get me to where I want to go in life.

Individuality

One of my core strengths is individuation, meaning that I look for what makes others unique. I use this to find subtle traits and skills that others may overlook. This practice allows me to put team members in the roles that best suit their skills and personalities, creating the best team for the task. Individuality also shows up when I meet new people, as I am interested in the one-of-a-kind stories, motivations, and experiences that the other person has. I also like separating myself from the pack, which goes in tandem with my personal growth value.

Leaders Do Not Need Charisma

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A myth of leadership discussed in Chapter 2 was that leaders need charisma in order to be effective. However, not all leaders are charismatic. There are some leaders, such as the people behind the scenes of a massive project, that do not have strong desire for power or charming personalities. There are also many silent leaders who do not have big personalities but are still effective.

My Strengths

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After taking the StrengthsFinder assessment, these were my top five strengths...

# Learner

# Context

# Individuation

# Input

# Intellection

According to the last chapter of the book, four of my strengths (learner, context, input, and intellection) fall under the Strategic Thinking category. I am constantly using strategic thinking to maneuver through life, so this makes sense. Individuation falls under Relationship Building, and this also fits my lifestyle because I enjoy getting to know new people. One thing that stood out to me was the section in Chapter 4 regarding managing non-strengths. I believe that it is imperative to either manage the weaknesses to allow the strengths to overtake them or to work on the weaknesses so they become strengths.

Relational Leadership Model

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I was unaware of the Relational Leadership Model before this semester. Chapter 3 of our textbook goes into great detail about the aspects of the RLM. The five components are as follows...

# Purpose: commitment to a goal; the why

# Ethical: leadership is driven by values and is good in nature

# Empowering: ability to bring the best out of others

# Inclusive: allowing others of different circumstances to participate

# Process: how leadership is executed

Purpose is at the center of the model, surrounded by Ethical, Empowering, and Inclusive. The Process holds the model together.

*Cord also stated that if we took away anything from this course it should be the RLM.

PERMA Model of Well-Being

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P-Positive Emotion: express positive emotions that bring out self-esteem

E-Engagement: be curious and seek out learning

R-Relationships: caring about others and vice versa

M-Meaning and Purpose: seeing value in life

A-Achievement: accomplishing something meaningful

This model is based on strengths-based leadership, and is designed to help both individuals and groups flourish. I personally believe in creating balance, but this model is a great tool to create more positivity for a person surrounded by negativity.

4 Lessons That Develop Self-Knowledge

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# You are your own best teacher.

# Accept responsibility. Blame no one.

# You can learn anything you want to learn.

# True understanding comes from reflection on your experience.

No one can teach you about yourself except you. This is where my values of personal growth and individuality come in, pushing me to become the best version of myself. "Leadership means self-discovery, getting a better yield out of your attributes."

Conclusion

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I have learned a lot about myself in this class. I really enjoyed learning about my strengths and how they match up with my values as well as my leadership philosophy and style. I will take the tools to develop self-knowledge forward with me as well, using them in daily situations. I expect myself to be better able to relate to others while also achieving a goal, and I will employ aspects of the Relational Leadership Model to do so.

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