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Leadership Paper - Analysis and Wisdom

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Leadership paper - Analysis and Wisdom


October 31, 2015

Leadership paper - Analysis and Wisdom

My job title at work is Chief Strategist; it is a role I embraced since becoming a full time entrepreneur over five years ago. The title partly summarizes what defines my leadership style which is one of extraversion, my ability to fit comfortably in any social and business setting, while enjoying the interaction with people of diverse backgrounds. However, I am competitive by nature and have the tendency to sometimes dominate interpersonal relationships. I possess extreme discipline and conscientiousness that allow me to focus and execute detailed plans and achieve many goals. A high self-will and strong social presence lends itself to me emerging as a leader in group activities. I thoroughly enjoy making others better and as a result improving the group as a whole through utilizing the specific skills and empowering each individual.

I am reminded of speaker I heard almost 30 years ago, Dr. Myles Monroe who stated “The richest place on earth is the graveyard” he believed that each of us are created with unique gifts to share with humanity, once discovered and utilized, allow us to lead a more fulfilling life embracing this gifts (skills) to enrich our lives and the lives of those around us. I said that to say, I believe through my life’s journey as a leader I have discovered that I have a unique ability to lead others and help them tap into their true potential and gifts in life. I have found this true both in personal r and business relationships alike. The ability to see what others do not, to encourage in a subtle yet strong manner and to challenge the status quo while exhibiting a desire for uncompromising excellence and achievement I believe is pretty accurate description of my leadership style.

Fiedler stated that stress is a key determinant of leader effectiveness (Fiedler and Garcia 1987; Fiedler et al. 1994), and a distinction is made between stress related to the leader’s superior, and stress related to subordinates or the situation itself. In stressful situations, leaders dwell on the stressful relations with others and cannot focus their intellectual abilities on the job. Thus, intelligence is more effective and used more often in stress-free situations. Fiedler concludes that experience impairs performance in low-stress conditions but contributes to performance under high-stress conditions. As with other situational factors, for stressful situations Fiedler recommends altering or engineering the leadership situation to capitalize on the leader’s strengths.                 

        After reflection upon Fielder’s contingency model, I see that it is applicable in my life and has been for some time. On many occasions I had to lead an organization with strict formal rules i.e. in a governmental setting due to collective bargaining and having unionized employees. In other settings such as small business, I had to encourage performance and innovation through creative interaction such as; appealing to one’s need for achievement and affiliation.

        Through recognizing my distal traits such as my need to collaborate i.e. socialized power, and applying my proximal traits, i.e., excellent social and problem solving skills but more importantly reflecting upon the task requirement and the team members themselves. I would assess the situation and lead accordingly to achieve the desired outcome. My ability to recognize the need for applying situational leadership to achieve performance outcomes has been something I have performed particularly well. It is quite awakening at how you do not necessarily recognize this unless you take the time to do a self-analysis or reflect upon your life’s journey in these areas.

        This past week during our class trip to San Francisco, I consciously applied some of my inherent distal traits such as; displaying a high level of extroversion, independence and self-control to lead the class in many instances while visiting various companies. At the culmination of the trip the class voted on a class President and I was selected, I think in part because the class believes I genuinely care and possess the ability to lead the group in discussions with school administrators regarding the betterment of the PBA program and all individuals involved. Essentially through the class and by many observations I have applied the essence of “GMA” coupled with proximal skills and experience to lead my individual group and the class at key moments.

        When challenged in a group, the task of coming up with a new solution to an identified problem. I am most comfortable and perform at the highest level in such a situation, in part because it highlights my distal traits and maximizes my proximal traits displayed through my ability to emerge as a thought leader, quickly analyzing the challenge, initiating structure, setting expectations, and creating change that drives the most value for the team.

        As with every leader, we have our areas that we try to avoid, and for me I have come to realize through my many years of experience as a leader I have a low threshold for the lack of individual effort, and ethics. When faced with team members who display a deficiency in these areas I try to first give them the “benefit of the doubt” before making any assumptions, not something I have done well in the past. This is definitely a work in progress, an example of this was while in San Francisco, Dr. Petherbridge instructed each person to prepare at least three questions for each company we were visiting. Well, during a small dinner a comment was made to me “we should not be compelled to come up with a set number of questions, and the questions should be generated organically based upon an individual’s interest.” I had to compose myself because this was one of the individuals who when called upon to introduce themselves while visiting a company flatly, stated I don’t know what your company is about and please tell me more about it. This was unbelievable since our assignment prior to visiting each company was to read a briefing each group had prepared on the companies we were visiting. I calmly reminded the individual of this requirement and went on to explain my thought for why this was requested of each of us, and a lengthy discussion ensued where the individual began to express they “got it” and understood it was about the process not the detailed requirement of preparing three questions.



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