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Throughout this subject you have been exposed to various perspectives on leaders, leadership and the impact on organisations. You have also participated in numerous group activities in class, as well as undertaking questionnaires and psychometric assessments. Throughout the course, you have been encouraged to keep a reflective journal which you should now draw upon to write a reflective essay.
You are required to answer the following question:
What type of leader am I and what are the key areas that I need to improve to become more effective?
The purpose of the assessment is to write a reflective essay that includes discussion of what and how you have learnt, what you have done or experienced, and how this learning applies to the theories and concepts of leadership that you have been exposed to.
A reflective essay is an academic analysis of your own experience. It still follows academic conventions; for instance, it is structured with a beginning, middle, and end, and it should have a logical series of paragraphs. Think of it as similar to a case study, but rather than analysing an organisation, you are analysing yourself. You need to critically reflect on thoughts, feelings and actions, then integrate these reflections with the theoretical concepts. A reflective essay should be written in both the first and third person.
Gibb’s (1988) framework of reflective learning is a useful starting point:
Your reflective essay should include:
∙ A clear introduction defining scope.
∙ A brief discussion of what leadership is, including any appropriate theory.
∙ A discussion of the questionnaires completed, and what these mean for you as a leader. ∙ A discussion of the class activities you were part of, and what these mean for you as a leader.
∙ A clear articulation of what your own development areas are, why they require development and what you could undertake to improve them.
∙ A clear conclusion that summarises your leadership.
∙ A reference list.
∙ An appendix that shows any questionnaires and psychometric assessments you have done including your own results.
∙ An appendix that shows a 1-page example from your learning journal.
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Leadership is an essential part of every organisation and essential quality that is needed in every individual. Even a team member should have leadership skills, which will make a person stand out from the rest. As students, each of us study the essentials of leadership and absorb the various values, concepts and theories surrounding it. Based on this learning, I have assimilated particular leadership related ideals and have put them to use during class activities and respond to questionnaires.
The scope of this report is to write a reflective essay on leadership. This essay will be based on leadership theories learnt as part of the course, the questionnaires completed online on situational leadership, the activities have taken up during the class and my overall understanding of leadership and the kind of leader I am. A reflective journal was maintained as part of the course activity. Significant activities during the day that helped to shape my leadership skills were noted as part of this journal, and notes regarding what I learnt from each of those scenarios were also entered.
According to me, leadership is nothing but leading and directing a group of people towards a goal or an objective. One of the most exciting definitions of leadership from what I read was given by Hunt G. James. According to Hunt, leadership depends on various factors such as the current state of issues, future plans for the organisation, the perspective of shareholders and stakeholders, and an in-depth analysis of issues. So, based on all this, the manager or a leader assumes his role and hence leadership, or its definition, would actually depend on how the person conceives leadership within all these factors (Hunt, 2004).