Self-Assessment Essay: Entrepreneurial Leadership
I believe that this course has enabled me to look inside myself and make a critical analysis of my personality characteristics. Especially I would like to mention that I was able to assess my leadership capabilities and capacity. I was astonished to know that there are many qualities of my personality that I was personally not aware of. For example I didn’t know that I have used critical thinking techniques in different conflict situations in my life. But now I know that it was not just an accident that I was able to solve my problems. There was a mechanism involved that was constituted of my nature and nurture that enabled me to think out of box and address my problems. I believe that it’s not just me who can think critically. Most of us can do it. Many of us might be able to lead. But what is effective leadership is taught to me by this course. I think that to be a good entrepreneurial leader it is necessary to understand your strengths, weaknesses, obstacles and opportunities (Jackson, Joshi and Erhardt, 2003). I would say that just knowing them is also not enough, knowing to dealt with them in a manner that can shape a successful entrepreneurial future is also necessary. In the following discussion I would like to reflect on different parts of the course material and make an assessment of myself in relation to it.
The discussion about leaders being born or made (Lussier, and Achua 9) provided me with an opportunity to think about who is and can be a good leader. I have a mixed opinion about this issue if I look at my-self. I do not know if I am a born leader or not. In fact no one of needs to know it. I believe that I have the capacity to become a good leader provide the right opportunities to learn to lead. This fact diminishes the importance of leadership qualities being transferred to me from my genetic makeup. I mean why not I work on myself instead of sitting doing nothing and whine about nature not gifting me with leadership qualities? There would be definitely an enormous number of people who might have had leading property in their genes but they were not able to polish those traits or they did not have the opportunity to expose their leadership qualities. So I am learning to learn to lead and I believe that the scientific literature as there to assist me in this regard.
In the course I also came across the ethical leadership issues (Lussier, and Achua 53). Especially how people including me always find excuses to justify their unethical behavior (Lussier, and Achua 57). I was able to know the biasness that I have been incorporating when I have had to make decisions when I have had conflicting interests. I think that to be a good leader, I must be able to act on ethical standards while making decisions. I mean there are things that are legal, but there is always a question that a leader should ask from himself, is it ethical? For example I am leading an organization in the future and I am leally authorized to fire people. So what do I do? Do I fire any person who makes a minor mistake or do I look for providing the necessary training that could help the person do the job without errors?
The part of the course material dealing with power, politics and the importance of negotiating (Lussier, and Achua 147) had influenced me greatly. I have come to realize that it’s not a simple task to lead. An organization has many factors that needs to be addresses. Especially in times of conflicts, power struggle and organizational politics can take over the organization. This is a test of an effective leader. If the leader is successful to manage the power and politics, he/she can influence the organization in a positive manner (Pfeffer, 1992). I believe that honesty and truthfulness would be necessary for me to manage the organizational conflicts that I might have to deal with. I was able to learn the steps that are necessary to address a conflict while negotiating (Lussier, and Achua 174). I would use these steps in my future negotiation to create a win-win situation.
The part of the course relating to leadership communication (Lussier, and Achua 190) was of special consideration for me. Leadership communication is a tool to influence followers to believe in the goals and make them strive to achieve these goals. I personally would not call myself a good communicator. But at the same I believe that I need guidance and training. I need to open up and deal with situations by properly communication with others. Though I think of myself as a good listeners which is undoubtedly an important leadership trait, transmitting message to other is also necessary for which expressing my views a useful manner is important. I would be studying literature related to leadership communication and finding ways to get over my weaknesses related communication. I believe that working with teams that believe in collaborating with one another could help me open up and be a bit more expressive. But who knows what future has in store for us?
Evaluating followers and getting and providing feedback is an important tool to assess the capabilities of the followers and offer opportunities for improvement (Lussier, and Achua 266). I believe that it would be crucial for me to be able to use tools that would help me evaluate different properties and traits of my followers. I have not been able to do this sort of exercise in my life before. I believe that feedback should not be one way traffic. I mean the leader should not be the only one who makes evaluations and provided feedback. The leader should ask his followers to provide feedback about him and he can assess his own capabilities and short comings honestly. There is always room for improvement. I would remember this point and whenever I am in a leading position, I would ask my followers to tell me about myself. This could be in the form of anonymous feedback to make the process more transparent. Believing in self-improvement is a top leadership quality and I want to possess this quality as I do not think anyone is perfect including me.
Decision making in a team is an important task. So will be making decisions in the team/teams I lead? A wishful thinking makes us believe that we should be the ones making all the decisions because being a leader means to be the decision maker but this is not the case in effective organizations. Teams make decisions in close collaboration with each member to reach a consensus (Lussier, and Achua 293), in an ideal situation. Collaborative decision making is the way forward in the 21st century (Trede, Higgs, Higgs, Jones, Loftus, and Christensen, 2008). I believe that collaboration will provide an opportunity to me and all others to think critical than being simplistic about the tasks in hand. I think that this form of decision making has to be used in personal life as well. When most of the loved ones have their input to a decision, even if the decision does not yield positive results, there would be less room for blame game and all the loved ones can stay closer and find way to look for further solutions.
The course content relating to charismatic leadership made me thing about myself from a critical point of view. I asked myself some questions like am I a charismatic person? Can I be a charismatic leader? What it takes to be ca charismatic leader? The answers to all these questions were present in the topic of acquiring charismatic qualities (Lussier, and Achua 328). I believe that charisma is mostly dependent on being real. I have had life situations where I tried to be manipulative and presented myself what I was not. These quick fixes did work in some cases but the effects were not long lasting. People eventually find out that you are manipulating and not being truthful. I now believe that being who you are is the most effective way to create a charisma. There are definitely some habits that and are a part of who we are, but then they are just habits. We should not let these habits define us and get rid of these habits for good. So who we are can be more of a person with positive influences and less negative traits of personality. So if more of us is positive, people would definitely ignore the less of you that is negative.
As a leader I believe that I need to believe in the principals of diversity and introducing a culture that has an opportunity for each of the member of the organization that I lead to flourish professionally. I have come to realize, as a result of this course that cultural, gender, religious and ethnical diversity adds quality to an organization (Lussier, and Achua 377). This enables the organization to have people from different background and with different realities to have their input to organizational processes. These inputs can be innovative and help in productivity. As a leader I would be willing to promote an organizational culture which is free of discrimination.
Environmentally sustainable businesses are the need of the present age. I believe that we have damaged the environment enough and that should be the end of it. I would like to be leader with strategic thinking who can come up with strategies that are not focused on profit. Profit is definitely a part of the game but this should not be the ultimate goal. I have started thinking green. As a leader I would influence my followers to think green and be environmental friendly.
I would like to conclude my discussion by stressing that this course has provide me with a different perspective on thinking and acting as a leader. I do not say that I have suddenly become a great leader, but I can definitely say that I have started my journey to become a leader with charisma and loyal followers. Leading has emerged to me as an art that can be mastered by those who believe in themselves and the capabilities of their followers. I would love to become a leader who can lead by an example, who has high ethical standards, who encourages diversity and a culture of knowledge and who has the capacity listen to criticism. Self-improvement is vital in the life of a leader and I would work on myself in the light of the scientific knowledge related to leadership and the feedback of my followers to bring improvements to my personality and knowledge base.