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The transition of power is about to take place. The old leader, looking worn and weary speaks of all the year has meant; thanks the many who have helped. There is measured applause and the old leader shakes the hand of the new leader. As practiced words are spoken outlining the vision for the following year, neither leader's attention is on the words. The departing leader feels renewed, relieved and saddened at the same time.
The new leader has moments of self congratulation, self doubt and terror. Both have sought the mantle of leadership and on this day in some way, both have reached the defining moment. Leadership is a learned behavior. Rarely is one born with the ability to lead. Even charisma is learned.
Though many may dream of a leadership role, it is often dismissed as "impossible. " We often think of leaders as a single personality type, "born to lead. " But in reality all that leaders have in common is the initiative and the desire. There is no one leadership personality. Leaders are forged from all types. Leadership is the ability to get people to follow.
Leadership is more than getting people to do what is asked. A good leader motivates people to want to do what is asked. A leader must provide a clear vision, a direction. They must know where they are going and why. They must communicate that vision clearly and with a passion.
The passion and logic of the vision must motivate the followers to make the vision their own. Developing Leadership Skills Self analysis: There are many tools (such as the Personal Profile System from Carlson Learning Company) that will help to define strengths and weaknesses. You may be asked to take them as part of a business or leadership course. There is no right type for leadership, but a person must recognize their type and then work to strengthen their own weaknesses, as well as use their basic strengths in the area of self growth. Get involved: In order to be a leader, it is important to join and participate in a variety of organizations, particularly the professional organizations. One should first look at the mission of each group and the internal workings of each group.
Looking at the current leaders reflects the society's values. Are these individuals heavily involved in research, clinical practice, teaching, do they all represent a specific type of institution? Research: In addition to acquiring knowledge about the organization, it is important to acquire knowledge about the field itself. One cannot be a leader in a professional organization unless you thoroughly know your field. Do not neglect your home base (your day job). A good leader must have the support of their institution and family.
Volunteer: Volunteer for both things you know how to do, as well as things that will give you an opportunity grow. Each organization has a method for volunteering. Many times that method is open (call for participation in committees) and sometimes it is behind the scenes (recommendation of current leaders). If there is an open call, volunteer. Too many good contributors are timid about volunteering. Any organization that provides an open call for committee membership is generally seriously looking for new members.
Let your mentor and others who have more influence in the organization know that you " re interested in doing the work. Doing committee work takes time and money. There is rarely, if ever, compensation for this. Expect to have to travel on your own money to meet with others and other organizations. Expect to give your time freely to projects, perhaps without recognition, but by all means show your commitment by producing. If you volunteer and promise to do something, follow through.
This is perhaps the most crucial factor in future leadership. Above all, do not make excuses or cause extra problems, particularly with the national office or structure of the organization. Evaluation: After an assignment you should self-evaluate your role. What could you have done better? What mistakes did you make? How did the organization perceive what you did?
All feedback is crucial. If there were negative comments made about your performance, take them to heart and grow from them. Expand your knowledge of the field and the organization in which you wish to take a leadership role. Each organization has its own culture, its own mission and values. Do you fit in? You should begin to select that organization in which you can most effectively grow as a leader.
This does not mean that you eliminate participation in other organizations, as many organizations overlap in their constituency. Networking: "Eighty percent of life is showing up" - Woody Allen. Get to know people. Attend the opening and closing receptions whenever possible. During that time, meet people, remember their names and reintroduce yourself when any opportunity is given to you. Keep all comments positive. "Every time we open our mouths, men look into our minds - Anonymous." Seek out mentor-ship and guidance.
Although it is possible to get from point A to point B without a guide, it is often easier with one. "Seek leadership opportunities. Every leader is responsible for his own professional development" - Army Leadership Manual. Once in a position of leadership, lead well. Though you may feel you have a constituency to represent, the job of leadership is to represent the entire organization. Pet projects must be in line with the mission of the organization.
Working with the Board of Directors and the National Office are essential. "Leadership has a harder job then just choosing sides, it must bring the sides together" - Jessie Jackson. Be flexible: Learn there are many ways to accomplish things and every task has the right time to be done. "There is a spirit and a need and a man at the beginning of every great human advance. Every one of these must be right for that particular moment of history, or nothing happens" - Coretta Scott King. Prepare for the transition: "The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men the conviction and the will to carry on. The genius of a good leader is to leave behind him a situation which common sense, without the grace of genius, can deal with successfully" - Walter Lippmann on the passing of Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Enjoy your time in leadership, but remember that your time to leave office or leadership post will come. A leader must develop new leaders, must mentor and inspire. A leader must be thankful and gracious, no one gets to the top without the help of many others whose tasks have been to propel the leader. The leader must always be gracious and thankful to those who supported them and made it possible for them to attain a position of leadership. Why Would Anyone Want to be a Leader? It is an interesting human trait that so many of us vie for leadership positions.
For some it is an acknowledgment of their peers, for others it is the fleeting fame, for others it is the chance to contribute. The primary task of leadership is to create a lasting change in the organization for the better. The satisfaction of knowing a program or process will outlast your term of office is the driving force for a leader. The primary benefit, however, is the lasting friendships that develop. Being a leader casts open your net of friendships and support. It is the friendships that I have valued the most.
Leadership also allows you to propel the reputation of your department. Although some envy the endless travel of the leaders, most will tell you that travel is not a benefit, but a necessary evil. Travel takes away from precious family and home base time and soon all hotels and cities begin to look alike.
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Research essay sample on Good Leader Home Base