How it all started 1
The storm 2
My feelings 3
I believe that a leadership can be influenced by his traits or attributes such as his ethics, beliefs, values, as well as, character. While skills and knowledge directly contribute to the leadership process, the leader’s personal attributes contribute to certain traits that make such a leader unique. This paper, therefore, will tell of awful leadership experience in a bid to show what excellent and incompetent leaders are made of, or their characteristics. I have a few awful leadership experiences the worst being when I was appointed a leader of a certain team in a class project.
I was working with my classmates on a project that was supposed to survey and identify the alumni of our institution and how they were progressing after completion of their education. We were required to identify these individuals and have them fill out some forms that intended to find out whether they had found a job, or they were self-employed, how the institution had helped them with their current jobs and whether they intended to pursue further education. The survey was called ‘Know your Community’. My job required that I oversee the activities of my group members and manage them accordingly so as to come up with these results. My team was composed of about ten members, and each member had a designated duty. The job of the team was to carry out surveys in terms of interviews on how a specific population felt about certain trends in the government. We were to collect data and compile it together to come up with reports. My job was to make sure that these surveys were carried out well and compiled together into reports. As it follows, my team members looked up to me for directions. The employers had held several training meetings whereby we were supposed to receive directions on how we were to go about with the duties, and the required procedures each group had to follow.
I missed a few of these meetings, and I did not pay much attention to what the trainers and facilitators were talking about in the meetings I attended. I figured that much of the things we were being trained on were things that I already knew. The problem was that the trainers were educating us on some essential skills and knowledge we needed in the jobs we were assigned; I missed on this essential information. When we went to the field, I was supposed to give directions to my team members on what we were required to do. When it came to this, I found out that I did not know quite well what it was that the team was to achieve. I did not have the correct procedures or the right methodologies, the right survey and interview questions that would facilitate the appropriate collection of data. The project was supposed to be completed in three days. It was crucial that we be ready before the project begun because the timeline was so short for anyone to waste time doing other things. With my issues, we had to delay the project. My team members seemed angry that I was wasting their time. They seemed to think that I would put more pressure on them at the last minute because with the delay everything would be crammed to last minute. I first sought the help of the coordinator of the projects but my requests were turned down as it was not his responsibility to lead the group. I had to work on my own and by the time I had acquired the required skills, I had wasted a whole day of the project. I had to rearrange the plans of the team so that we could finish the project in time.
At this point it was obvious to everyone involved in the project that I had no idea what was going on and what we were supposed to be doing. I felt embarrassed because I could not display the traits of an effective leader. I was feeling so disappointed in myself because I had not adequately prepared for my assignment. This survey was extremely important as it was to be used by the whole institution, and when I remembered this fact my embarrassment increased. I was feeling pressured by my low opinion of myself, at this point, to accomplish my task successfully at whatever cost. I felt that if I could correct my mistakes then I would be an effective manager again. Numerous thought were running through my head. For example, I was thinking to myself that I had sabotaged my chance to shine as an efficient manager, this only added to my disappointment and frustration. I was thinking that I will never get a chance to prove myself again after this disastrous moment. Another thought soon crossed my mind; I had to correct this no matter what. The pressure for me to correct my mistakes increased and it is at this point when I decided to find the training material and reevaluate my position.
It was obvious to my team members that I was not knowledgeable of what we were doing. It seemed like some of them started seeing me with a different light. Some even stopped listening to me. We wasted a lot of time trying to figure out how we were supposed to do the job. I finally decided that I had to ask for the right procedures from my boss. This was extremely embarrassing, and I am sure my boss thought of me in a different way; a bad leader. After I had obtained the right material, information and knowledge, I was then able to direct my team members on what it was that we were going to do. This experience was humiliating and embarrassing for me as a leader. It also taught me several lessons. One lesson was that a leader needs certain skills to lead a team the other was that knowledge is a highly essential part of leadership, and that it is impossible for one to become an effective leader without knowledge and skills. It was also clear from my experience that training and new knowledge are two extremely essential components and processes of attaining skills and knowledge required to become an effective leader.
Generally, I learned that for one to become an effective and efficient leader, I had to possess a number of qualities. For example, one has to know themselves and constantly seek to improve themselves. When one seeks to know and understand themselves, they find that there is the need to improve their skills and knowledge constantly. Seeking to improve oneself constantly means that one continuously seeks to strengthen their strengths and attributes. This is usually accomplished through formal classes, self- study, interacting with others and self- reflection .
These are things that I could have done had I attended and paid attention at the training meetings. Another thing I learned from this experience is that an effective and efficient leader has to be technically proficient. This is because a leader who is successful must know their job excellently and have a firm familiarity with the tasks given to them by their employers. I failed to do this, and the results were disastrous. I had to go back and learn about my task so as to perform my duties as required something that wasted my time that of my team members and that of my employer. Taking and seeking responsibility of one’s actions was another thing I learned that each successful leader must possess. One must always look for ways that can take their organizations to better and higher heights and success. If things do not go as planned, then an excellent leader always has to take responsibility, analyze the situation and find ways to turn it into a successful situation. I took responsibility of my shortcomings and found ways to turn around the situation. I went back for the training materials and informed myself accordingly, something that brought about success . From these experiences I learned that a successful leader must possess a number of skills and knowledge that are helpful in achieving personal and organizational goals. A leader who is effective and efficient, therefore, must always seek for ways in which they can improve themselves. They can do this by attending formal training, self- reflection and analysis, and interacting with other leaders.
Bass, Bernard. ‘From transactional to transformational leadership: learning to share the vision.’ Organizational Dynamics 18, no. 3 (1990): 19-31.
Jago, A. G. ‘Leadership: Perspectives in theory and research.’ Management Science 28, no. 3 (1982): 315-336.
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