When we think of leaders, there is usually the stereotypeof: someone who can efficiently take charge and order others around. There is anabundance of evidence that other forms of leadership are equally effective.This means it’s time to reevaluate the idea that a formal managerial experienceis needed in order be a leader. A lotof people need to realize leadership doesn’t look the same for everyone. Oneleader may be boisterous and energetic, while another is quiet, butsteadfast. No matter the style, the most effective and memorable leaders are genuine.
In order to become the leader youwish to be you need some a form of development, which the textbook reviews in alot of detail along with a few key insights on how.The first key insight I thought to bemeaningful was the Action–Observation–Reflection Model. The key to developingone’s leadership ability is making the most of an experience.
I do agree withthe concept of leadership development depending on the kinds of experiences onehas and how you use them to promote growth. Some people are adept at obtainingmaximum value from situations whereas others repeat the same mistakes. Whenpeople spend time to think and analyze their experiences, they can learn a lotmore from them. Because leadership development is improved when the experienceinvolves action, observation, and reflection, you won’t get the most out of theexperience without one of these processes. Acting and not reflecting on theconsequences of your actions will be a failure of learning from it.The second key insight I thought to bemeaningful was the key role of perception in the spiral of experience. Experience is not only the events thatoccur; it is dependent on your perception of those events. Perception is a veryimportant part of any leadership situation based on the fact that it affectsall three phases of the action–observation–reflection model.
Everyone perceivessituations differently which means they are able to form and build their ownexperiences. Observation and perception both deal with concentrating on whathappens around us. They both seem to take place unexpectedly and easily, whichmakes people consider them to be passive processes.
A third key insight was building technicalcompetence, which involves the knowledge and types of behaviors one can bringto endure to successfully complete a task. An important way someone can improvetheir technical competence is pursuingopportunities to broaden experiences. I am a firm believer in going out in theworld and going for what you want.
I believe seeking opportunities to broadenexperiences is the best thing you can do to improve on anything, includingtechnical competence. My favorite key insight was building your own leadershipself-image. Emerging leaders must acquire strong self-awareness. It’s importantto acknowledge the behaviors you dislike in the leaders you’ve encountered. It’salso important to be open-minded about leadership’s importance andpervasiveness. Going out there and taking a few risks with different leadershiproles can simply help you discover and appreciate new parts of yourself as wellas widen your leadership self-image. Effective leadership means somethingdifferent to everyone.
If you are going to articulate your abilities, you needto recognize and practice them. Figure out what you like and dislike in aleader. If you recognize some of those qualities or habits you don’t like inyourself, find an approach to change that. Discover your strengths and whereyou can make an impact.
The difference between great leaders and not-so-greatleaders can sometimes be their willingness to learn. The firstthree chapters explored various aspects of how leadership develops, and whatyou can do to be an effective leader. It made me realize to be an effectiveleader you have to be open to growth, handling ambiguity and understandingcomplexity. Leadership is mindset that entails a plan and dedication to comingup with a leadership style of your own. Therefore, I see the importance intaking the time to consider what the concept means and how you can build onnatural strengths to become the kind of leader that people want to follow.Then, put that into action and continue learning from what works and whatdoesn’t.