Leadership leaders you have encountered within your lifetime, they

Leadership can be defined as an
individual who obtains a plethora of qualities that are needed to assist a
group towards a common goal. A leader must be able to inspire and motivate
their followers. If you think about all the leaders you have encountered within
your lifetime, they all have similar traits and behaviors that categorize them
as leaders. For example, the President of The United States must be able to
motive all citizens to work towards a goal that will beneficial for everyone.
Not any individual can be the president, it takes a someone who can persuade a
huge following of people to believe in them. Another example of a leader is
Martin Luther King Jr. He changed the lives of so many people by making a
difference in the world. He had a dream and could inspire a audience to trust
in his goal. A leader can make their followers believe in their goal as much as
they do. Every leader has different theories or approaches they lead by. Leaders
come in all shapes and sizes. There are not specific steps to follow to become
and leader. However, an individual can work on their traits to improve on
becoming a successful leader. This course has taught me that a leader is not
always born as such, and a leader can blossom within any individual that works
hard enough to obtain the given traits. As I think back to prior experiences,
there have been times I have showed different approaches to leadership without
knowing it. I hope to strengthen my leadership skills as I progress as an
individual.

Servant leadership can be described as a
type of leadership that puts serving others first. In high school, I put
servant leadership to the test when I began tutoring 5th graders.
This was my first-time tutoring, but I was determined to help these kids
succeed. I had always exceled in math and I wanted to use my abilities to help
others. With every student, I would explain the mathematical situation in terms
that they would understand. Since they were younger, a lot of time they needed
a relevant situation that they could connect back to math terms.  My main priority was making sure they got the
grade they expected! “The difference manifests itself in the care taken
by the servant-first to make sure that other people’s highest priority needs
are being served” (Greenleaf Center for Servant
Leadership). I would work with them for as long as it
took until they understood how to complete the problem. Looking back on the
situation, I exemplified servant leadership but was unaware. I felt a personal
responsibility for them to achieve good grades in their classes. My tutees’
interests were my first concern. Now knowing how servant leadership can be
used, I will continue to use this leadership theory throughout my lifetime. I
enjoy serving others first and making sure that they feel as if I am supporting
them every step of the way. I hope that my display servant leadership will
inspire others to lead in this manner.

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The
trait approach emerged as an effort to try to understand the process of
leadership. This approach focuses on the different traits that can be found
within a leader. Of all the leadership traits that a leader possesses, five
major ones are essential to success. The five major leadership traits are:
intelligence, self-confidence, determination, integrity and sociability (Trait
Approach, PowerPoint).  To be considered a successful leader, an
individual must obtain all five traits. Each trait is vital to a behavior that
can be found in a leader. For example, a leader must be intelligent to be able
to devise a plan to assist their followers in achieving their goal.
Determination is essential because leaders will face failure on the way to
their goal but they must be able to persevere. A leader must have
self-confidence to be social around the people they are speaking to. Integrity
is extremely important for a leader to uphold because they must be honest and
lead their followers in the right direction. A successful leader will obtain
these traits and much more. This approach strengthens the notion that leaders
are one in a million and are special individuals (Trait Approach, PowerPoint).  Looking back, I have displayed determination
and sociability while working on a group project with my peers. I am now aware
why I was not deemed the leader of the group, since I was unable to exemplify all
five traits. I lacked in self-confidence when portraying my ideas to the group.
I was not confident in my idea so I did not share that idea with the group.
Looking back, I realized where I could have had a stronger approach with these
traits to become a more successful leader. I plan to display these five traits
in my future leadership roles.

Skills
Approach to leadership focuses on the abilities and skills that can be learned.
This approach is unique because it focuses on how individuals can work on
certain skills to become a better leader. Other approaches focus on the traits
that a leader is born with, but this approach hones in on the ability to become
a leader. Katz created the three-skills approach model to state that an
effective leader depends on these skills (Skills Approach, PowerPoint).  The three skills are technical, human and
conceptual skills (Skills Approach, PowerPoint).  Conceptual skills deal with ideas, human sills
involve interactions of people, and technical skills involve working with
different things (Virkkus).  I believe if
an individual improves upon their technical, human and conceptual skills then
they could be considered a successful leader. The interaction between these skills
forms compatibility. Many leaders were not naturally born a leader. It is a
skill that individuals must work at constantly. I have seen this theory become more
and more relevant within my life. For example, when I began my first job I
lacked various technical skills.  I did
not know the relevant knowledge that was needed for my position. However, being
trained and taught the different aspects of the job helped me to understand the
technical aspect. This was a skill that was acquired on the job and learned. I
had no idea how to use Excel before I started working with that company. They
taught me what was needed to gain a certain skill. I felt so much more confident
once I succeeded at this task. It is extremely important for a theory to
emphasize that skills can be taught, you don’t have to be born perfect. Every
individual can become a leader if they work hard enough to learn the skills.

The
Path Goal Theory explains how leaders motivate followers to complete a certain
goal. In this approach, leaders will act in ways that are best for the
followers. Four different behaviors that are found within this theory are:
directive, supportive, participative and achievement-oriented (Path-Goal Theory, PowerPoint). These
behaviors are used in different scenarios depending on the individual. You
should use the leadership style that is most effective for you and your
followers. This theory has been useful this year without even knowing it. I am
a delegate for Dance Marathon and must work to assist my team members in
reaching their goal. I have assigned everyone of a minimum goal of $300. I then
conducted a meeting and explained the various ways that people can receive
donations. I clarified the path that we were going to take towards a goal and
the steps that would help us. It is common for many members to not be able to
raise a lot of money. Whatever the circumstance may be, I work with each
individual to remove the obstacle they are facing. This could include helping
them send emails, contacting companies or helping them express the reasons why
donating is so important. The last step is to provide support for all members.
I am always there for them no matter what the issue may be. The path-goal
theory is a straightforward approach that can help leaders and their followers
complete a task in a timely manner. It is important to visualize the goal at
hand than then have a plan of action to achieve that goal. Looking back on my
experience, I realized that I use a different leadership style depending on
different situations. My followers react better to certain styles than others. However,
I have noticed that my participative leadership style is currently the strongest.
It is very important for my followers to share their input on my actions before
I decide what I am going to do. I do not want to be the sole decision maker and
control my followers. My members come up with fundraising ideas, instead of me
telling them what they need to do to receive donations.

During high school, I was the president
of Key Club for all four years. This club was involved in various community
service and involvement within the community.  I was honored to have this position and to
assist my members in making a change. This is an example of how I displayed
transformational leadership in the past. “Transformational leadership is a process that changes and
transforms people” (Northouse 161). Many of the members in my club had
never done any community service before. After joining, they completed various
community service projects and had a personal impact on the changing the
community. I knew my high school could benefit from implementing this club and
it helped some of our members understand how fortunate we all are. None of the
members expected to be moved by the activities as much as they were. These were
private school kids who took the positives in their life for granted. At the
end of every year, all members were told to reflect on what they had learned
throughout the duration of the club. It was incredible to see the
transformation in my members. Looking forward in my life, I want to continue
being a transformational leader to those around me. This type of leadership is
so rewarding for myself and my followers.

The
Situational Approach focuses on the notion that different situations warrant
different kinds of leadership. The leader must match their leadership style to
help their followers (Situational
Approach, PowerPoint). This approach focuses on supportive and directive
behavior. A successful leader will be able to find a balance between the two
and figure out what is needed for the follower. Four leadership styles were
created for this approach and they are as followed: directing, coaching,
supporting and delegating (Situational
Approach, PowerPoint). Directing style focuses on giving their followers
instructions and how the goals are going to be achieved. Coaching style focuses
on achieving the goal and assisting the follower’s emotional needs. Supporting
style focuses on the goal but uses different behaviors that will help support
the follower meet their goal. Delegating style is when the leader is not
involved and the followers take the responsibility for completing the goal.
These different styles help a leader match the followers needs and wants (Situational Approach, PowerPoint). This
approach reminds leaders that every individual need to be treated differently.
A successful leader should be able to adapt their style to best fit their
follower. A situation may require the use of multiple styles and a leader needs
to be ready to do what is needed of them. Situational approach can be used in
almost any scenario.

After
understanding the Situational Approach, I am confident that I can utilize all
four techniques in my future endeavors. I would like to be known as a leader
that is approachable and able to change their leadership techniques to match
their followers. It is important that the followers feel comfortable and are
assured that I will assist them in meeting their goal. Due to the practicality
of this approach, it used in a plethora of different scenarios (Situational
Approach, PowerPoint). I can envision myself using this approach in a
future work environment or in daily conversation when assisting my friends with
decisions. I know I am not a perfect leader but I think I can improve my skills
if I put the knowledge I learned this semester to the test. I think my future
leadership style with progress with more the knowledge I obtain. I don’t think
I’m ready to be considered a leader at this point but I’m confident I have the
skills to get me there. As mentioned in this paper, all the approaches and
traits help an individual become a better leader. All leaders experience
failure but it’s how they bounce back that matters. I hope to one day be considered
a leader by my followers. At least now I know what I must do to work on my
leadership skills.