When I think about leadership, I never realized how important it is to critically analyze and reflect on how true or authentic you are as a leader. When I think of myself in a leadership position, at that moment I do not critically analyze how I am performing as a leader. I am caught up in my own world worrying about how people portray me as, are they willing to follow my lead? Am I appropriately dressed for the occasion? or just simply do they like me? I think these are the worries and insecurities that get in the way of me analyzing my true leadership skills.
There are also several insecurities that get in the way of me engaging in true, authentic self reflection. One of my major fear/roadblock is trying to be a person I am not; in other words not being true to myself. Trying to live up to an expectation, whether around family or friends, there is a certain pressure or a legacy you are trying to keep that gets in the way of truly reflecting. It doesn’t matter if you have failed or not, it’s that constant reminder or you are trying to convince yourself that you can be that person your family or friends want you to be.
I think personal reflection is crucial for leaders. I believe that in order to increase a leader’s competence, leaders have to continuously grow, learn, and reflect. In order to do that, you have to be true to yourself.
In high school, I used to teach young children at a Hindi school every Sunday. Being in that environment and seeing how much of a positive impact I have on these young kids inspired me to lead in other aspects in my life. Having the opportunity to shape and mold these children into great role models, really gave me an insight on how important it is to have a role model/leader to look up to. That experience really sparked my interest in becoming a leader. I think being able to directly impact someone’s life for their betterment is empowering. Overall, I think all leaders are committed to make their group, organization, company, etc. a better place.
As I begin to speculate what makes me who I am that gets in the way of me exercising my leadership skills effectively, a few things come to mind. The first thing, again, it is my fear of turning or becoming into someone I am not without me realizing. I know in order to be a good leader you need to be a good follower.
I fear while following, I follow a person who leads me to be a person that I am unhappy with. I think with that issue also comes a problem with trust. I should trust the person I am following and when I don’t understand, question to understand why things are done a certain way. Like the cadet said,” Some of the most prevalent barriers I notice in myself are: fear, desire for acceptance, desire to make everyone happy, not willing to take risks and previous ideas of what leaders should do and how they should act” are the same barriers that I face being a leader. Along with those, I have a fear of being left out. It is crucial to identify these barriers and be aware of them so you can slowly try to overcome them and not let them get in the way of you being an effective leader.
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