Leaders are often expected to be well-rounded individuals and have few weaknesses. In reality, most leaders only have expertise in specific areas. Experience and college education, do not guarantee that one will success in all sectors. I noticed when I attempt to become an expert in all aspects of my life; I place myself at risk by spreading myself too thin, which leads to becoming ineffective. I believe it is important to recognize my strengths and weaknesses. After reading Learning Leadership: The five fundamentals of becoming an exceptional leader, I learned that an excellent leader must master many skills to be n effective leader.
One of the most important skills is the ability to learn. Learning Leadership has taught me that leaders are often challenged to do meaningful work necessary to becoming an effective leader. By having a leadership mindset, I will be better equipped to make remarkable things happen within an organization’s and the lives of others. Reading the first 90 days by Michael Watkins has also provided some tools on how to be an exemplary leader. When starting a new profession in an organization people are very vulnerable in their first few months.
When I began working in my profession as a swim nstructor, I lacked the knowledge of many different challenges that I faced with different types of learning styles and personalities. I had no idea of what it would take to succeed in teaching swim lessons. After reading, The First 90 Days, it taught me strategies to use within my job. Also, I learned how to evaluate my strengths and weaknesses and how to establish priorities that will help me succeed. Leaders who lead properly are effective role models. Communicating the importance of standards and holding my team accountable to criteria.
I can relate to this topic because I urrently hold two leadership positions. I am currently a full time caregiver for my 91-year-old grandmother who suffers from dementia; I organize the schedule for everyone in my family, take her to doctor’s appointments, and keep the house in order. Also, I am a supervisor at Upper Darby High school where I watch over lifeguards and patrons, but also overlook swim lessons making sure the instructors are doing their job. I am aware of my strengths and weaknesses regarding my leadership. One of my strengths in leadership is holding my team to a higher standard.
I tend to keep everyone involved to a igh standard both professionally and personally. I understand to achieve higher standards. I must have high values for my team to follow that will hold everyone accountable for their actions. Learning leadership states “Similarly, the personal best leadership cases we collected are, at their core, stories of individuals who remained true to deeply held values (Kouzes, Posner pg67). ” I realize that the best leaders show both values and the principles within actions. Great leaders can focus their attention on the problem without being distracted.
Being engaged with my team is also one of my strengths. When I am extremely busy, I make sure that I’m still involved and engaged. Leaders can get all members of their teams engaged. They do this by offering them challenges. As a leader, it is my job to educate the entire team in identifying the path ahead. Kouzes and Posner state, “It certainly make sense that how leaders behave explains how involved their direct reports are in the workplace, but what you might not expect is that the leaders’ behavior also explains how they feel about the workplace. One of my strengths is making sure that everyone on the team is engaged and confident about the directions of he swim lesson or schedule that I planned. “Using the same measurements that we used with direct reports, we asked leaders to indicate their levels of workplace engagement. Those more frequently demonstrating exemplary leader behaviors felt significantly more engaged and positive about their workplace than those leaders who reported demonstrating leadership less frequently (Kouzes &Posner pg18). ” I tend to stay engaged within my job.
When the leader is engaged, the team is committed. As a leader, I understand the values of building long-lasting relationships with people. Building a network of valuable people is critical for my success. Learning leadership states, “You are expected to build relationships, foster collaboration, strengthen others, and forge trust (Kouzes&Posner pg83). ” | recognize the importance of building strong relationships. I spend time focusing my efforts on areas that will help make connections with the people I lead.
Listening to people is a strength that I have acquired. By listening and allowing other people to talk has helped me to build strong relationships. Learning Leadership says, “In learning to become an excellent leader, you need to get connected. You need those connections to be robust and close. You need them to be personal, not just transactions. Connections open doors and give you an opportunity to observe exemplary leadership up close and in action. Often you are going to have to take the initiative to create and sustain these relationships. ( Kouzes &Posner part5)
Exposing myself to active people and other leaders have connected me with some great people and have open many positive doors. One of my strengths is also my weakness. The success of my individual team members is important to me. I make attempts to empower my team. I always show that I care through my words and actions. I consistently make sure everyone me has what they need and understand the objectives of the swim lessons. AS much as this is a strength of mine, it is at the same time a weakness.
I am often worried about the success of the kids and if parents are pleased with the results. As a swim instructor it is very important to stay confident, especially because parents trust me to be responsible with their children lives while they are at lessons, also, be trained to know what to do in case of emergency. If I do not believe in myself, no one will. Confidence has to do with inner thoughts of fulfilling a particular role. Building trust has pushed me to new experiences. Confidence is one of the foundations of leadership.
Some examples of fundamental leadership that I can learn are effective problem solving, better communication, being a mentor, and to be able to hold team members accountable. Without believing in myself, true leadership will not be accomplished. If a person is put into a leadership role, but lacks confidence, they will struggle to lead others. If my swim lessons see I am not confident in teaching, parents will not want to eturn and the kids will not be engaged and excited to come back. People enjoy working with leaders who are confident.
There is a natural tendency to trust people more when they seem confident. For most of us, dealing with a confident person helps us know that the person is also competent. There could always be the argument that someone can be trusted, but not confident, or confident, and not trusted. This could be the case sometimes, but it is not typical. Learning Leadership states, “If failures and mistakes are made, the mistakes are looked upon as learning opportunities instead of patterns of incompetence Kouzes&Posner pg104).
When I make a mistake, I see it as a learning opportunity to grow and better myself as an individual and leader. I have experience with public speaking, but the delivering my speech is one of my weaknesses. I have both strengths and weaknesses when it comes to presenting in front of people. My strengths include the order of the presentation. My presentations are structured so that I can thoroughly explain my thoughts through introduction, body, and conclusion. I always try to have some excitement in my voice to make the topic more interesting to keep my audience engaged.
I pay attention to speakers that are confident and try to learn from them. My weaknesses are standing still and keeping eye contact with the group. I tend to fidget and make myself more anxious while presenting. Also, I am terrible at making eye contact. I prefer to look at my notes so I do not lose my train of thought. The reason for my poor eye contact is my lack of confidence and memory. I have a good memory, but when it comes to presentations, my mind tends to go blank because of my nerves. I have trouble remembering what to say and whatI practiced.
I need to learn how to calm my nerves. I do not think there’s a way to get rid of my nerves suddenly, but with practice and time, I think I will be able to get over them. Another weakness is caring too much about what people think of me. I try to get everyone to like me. Leaders are people first, and it is natural that I want to be liked and form relationships with my team members. A common mistake that I have is trying to make decisions that are popular, which are often not the best decisions for the reputation of the program.
For example, at swim lessons every once in a while a child throws up in the pool, hich means lessons are paused and I have to make the decision if the lessons will resume or just cancel the rest because there is too much throw up. Most employees get excited and ask to just end lessons and let them go home early. I have to learn how to make decisions for the organization, not just the employees. If I make an unpopular decision and do not take the time to explain it, the team will jump to the conclusion, but in reality, I am thinking of the pools reputation from a member point of view.
I would not be happy if I showed up when my child’s lesson was cancelled. Instead of trying to be well liked by people I need to learn how to communicate frequently and openly with my team and always keep everyone in the loop about the reason behind any decisions I have made. I am the supervisor closest to the employees’ age, compared to the other supervisors. Most of us want to be known as friendly and approachable to people in our team. However, sometimes | have to make tough decisions regarding people in on my team, and some people will be tempted to take advantage of our relationship since I am closer to their age.
This does not mean that I cannot socialize with them. However, I need to get the balance right between being a friend and being the boss. Becoming a role model is important when trying to be influential, but I need to work on a few things to make that happen. I need to work on being a positive role model at all times even when things do not go my way. As a leader, my actions set the tone for what is appropriate behavior. It will help establish rules of conduct to support my actions and how I want things to be done. The best way to encourage these specific actions is to correctly demonstrate these behaviors myself.
I need to practice effective communication. I am learning to keep eye contact when people are speaking to me. I struggle to quickly address problems and misunderstandings. I try so hard to make everyone like me, which makes it hard for me to make unpopular decisions. Learning Leadership concludes with, “Being an exemplary leader requires a lifelong, daily commitment to learning. No matter how many summits you have ascended, you have to take a step every day to improve one reaction at a time, one question at a time, and one lesson at a time.
You have to commit to the habit of learning something new every day and the habit of assessing your progress every day (Kouzes &Posner pg169). ” As a leader, it is important to take the opportunity to being open to learning something new. It is essential to recognize my strengths and weaknesses if I am willing to grow as an individual and leader. Kouzes and Posner state, “Knowing your strengths and building upon them is important, but so is realizing that you are weak in some areas and addressing them (Kouzes &Posner pg169). ” Working on my weakness