Leadership is a role that not all can partake but that many have excelled at. When asked who I admire as a leader I had to think quite a while. I had to decide what category of leader I could relate to the most. Would it be a political leader, a spiritual leader, a business leader or even a military leader? Ultimately I decided that I want someone who is multi-faceted in that they can lead in many situations and scenarios. Further it seems that leading in unfamiliar and new situations can allow a leader more freedom in his direction without being swayed by observations of others in similar situations. This led me to choose George Washington as my admirable leader since “George Washington can be used as an example of strong and ethical leadership in virtually any walk of life.” (Rees 2007, p. preface) Growing up we all learned of George Washington and his role as the first president of the United Sates. We hear of his honesty as told through the story of the cherry tree and so on.
His leadership is what gave him this large mark in our history books and it was not only displayed through his presidency. He was first a great military leader. In this role he displayed leader characteristics such as toughness, persistence, bravery and organization. These characteristics earned him the respect of his troops and the ongoing admiration of an entire country. His time as a political leader is what he is remembered most for. He was able to use his charismatic presence and moral strength to maneuver through a turbulent political environment. The leadership traits of foresight and strategic planning allowed him to hold at bay the continental army from a brittle and new civilian government. Through his, and with the help of other great leaders, efforts the path was paved for the United Sates to become the world’s leading super power.
Though other leaders have achieved similar feats throughout history this one stands out for me as I have directly benefited from George Washington’s leadership. Lastly a notable leadership trait that I admire of George Washington’s is his moral leadership. This helps distinguish him from other leaders of world powers before and after his time. It was not uncommon for leaders like Hitler, Stalin, and the Caesar’s or Persian Empire leaders who accomplished similar “world power” feats to rule by an iron fist and without morality to reach their goals. George Washington used his moral compass to create what may be a much longer lasting arena in which to lead, one that could be passed on to other worthy leaders. Many would like to think that they have the characteristics of a great leader.
The reality is that if I, or anyone else, had the perfect mesh of traits for a leader then we would in fact be leading. While I do manage staff, departments and facilities I see myself as a professional and only an aspiring leader. It is my hope that through this course and the others I with be involved in throughout my time at University of Phoenix I will come closer to actually leading. Currently I have some leadership characteristics. There are some that seemed to come naturally and others that have taken time, effort and education. I’ve always seemed to have a knack at argument, or for our scholarly purposes, excellent persuasion ability. I can think clearly during exchanges and use opposing thinkers own examples and analogies to further substantiate my position. I treat people with respect regardless of their status.
I strive to have a perfect balance on confidence and humility. I do not fear collaboration and tend to communicate well. If I were to list all the things I would need to do in order to become a better leader this paper would never end. In order to avoid this I will talk only about the traits I feel are the most important and in need of further understanding and practice from myself. Leveraging team strength’s needs some attention from me. I tend to look at people in their roles and corner them there. If I open my eyes a bit more as to their aptitude in other areas I could find that shining stars are sitting right in front of me. I need to be more fearless and take more risks. I have a tendency to play things safe seeking acceptable outcomes when I could take risks and seek excellent outcomes.
If I were to take on a little more compassion for things going on with the people around me I may be able to find ways to create more dedicated followers. Followers that know I believe in them and care for their own well-being as opposed to simply the desired outcome of my leadership. Ultimately I wish to lead by example. I want to lead follower’s development and act as a resource for their advice and assistance (Daft 2008). The greatest satisfaction I can achieve as a leader would be not only for my own desired success in life to be experienced but also to carve a path for those around me to thrive as well. Good leadership in my opinion will always result in an accumulative good, not and individual
Daft, R. (2008). The Leadership Experience. Mason: Thompson Learning, Inc. . James Rees, Stephen J. Spignesi (2007). George Washington’s Leadership Lessons. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.