As I reflect on my performance as a leader overtime, I will say that it came somewhat naturally. Let me caveat that by saying that I naturally began to lead at an early age, but a lot of my decisions I made were from a learned behavior or advice. My first experience as a leader came by the way of sports. I was naturally athletic and easily one of the better players on the sporting teams I played on. As a result, I was often selected captain, and would have to ensure people were in the right position or making the right plays in ordering for our team to win. This often entailed me taken on the much of the responsibilities if not all of them to ensure victory. I quickly learned my teammates physical and mental capabilities. My goal was to utilize their physical strengths, while remaining cognizant of who processed information well and how each person performed under pressure. My leadership style early on may have been more along the lines as a directive style.
My approach to leadership has changed from my earlier days of leading. During my previous periods as a leader, I was on concerned and focus with success. However, the more time I spent as a leader, the more I learned that leading comprised of growth and development of those who I was leading. Using the right (best) personnel to complete the task was no longer my sole focus. Having more well-rounded people became something I learned more vital than just have the best person complete the task. Helping others over come their weakness placed those I led later in life in optimum positions to excel. I learned that this help with the workload situation tremendously. No longer was 80 to 90npercent of the workload on the shoulders few, it was now equally distributed. As a result, people did not get burned out or mentally drained as quickly and work efficiency increased. This also added an element of inclusiveness which in return motivated others to want to achieve the same goals. My leadership style also changed because I learned to listen to others more and understood that insight and knowledge from others enhance my decision-making and made me a better leader while also giving them a sense of empowerment.
As I look forward to the future, an aspect of my leadership that I would target for additional development is the incentive-based approach. Sometimes I find it difficult to use incentives without it coming off as if I am attempting to buy the individuals motivations or desire to achieve the same goals. I think the more I focus on the principles while incorporating an incentive-based approach the more success I will have utilized it correctly.
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