Cleft Palate Essay, Research Paper
Leadership is a process that requires many types of skills to help a leader become an affective leader. However, a good leader is a servant before becoming a leader. Robert Greenleaf defines this type of person as a servant-leader. Servant leadership is more effective because the servant-leader considers the needs of the followers, and the followers are able to benefit from this.
While a person is in a leadership position, they must be willing to take risks. However, to take these risks the leader must first have visions and set goals for the group. This is what makes a person a leader; they are able to envision and carry out tasks better than others. Greenleaf says, By clearly stating and restating the goal the leader gives certainty and purpose to others who may have difficulty in achieving it for themselves. The leader must set goals and make sure that the followers clearly understand and agree with the outcomes and consequences of the goals. Greenleaf explains that every achievement starts with a goal that is envisioned by someone who elicits trust. In order to have the goal carried out, the followers must trust the leader s values and judgments. Not much happens without a dream. And as Greenleaf states, Behind every great achievement is a dreamer of great dreams. However, it also takes more to make the dream a reality.
According to James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner, there are five types of leadership practices that develop an excellent leader. These include Challenging the Process, Inspiring a shared vision, Enabling Others to Act, Modeling the Way and Encouraging the Heart.
I believe that Inspiring the Shared Vision is what begins the entire leadership process. Kouzes and Posner say that Inspiring a Shared Vision involves envisioning an uplifting future and enlisting others in a common vision. They also say that leaders envision the future and set goals with a positive outlook. The leader then shares these visions with others, and people will follow if they believe something good will be achieved from it. The leader communicates with others and makes them feel they have the possibility to do what needs to be done. This gives people the self-confidence needed to accomplish the task with the greatest possible effort.
Both Greenleaf and Kouzes and Posner agree that setting goals and envisioning the future is a necessary aspect of the leadership process. Without goals there would not be anything to work toward or accomplish. They also agree that communication is the key to good leadership. The leader must communicate with his followers in order to receive suggestions to make the goal better. The followers must also be willing to take the same risks as the leader. Both of the sources show that the leader must have faith in the followers and help them see and work toward the end goal.
During my high school years, I was involved with and witnessed many leadership positions. By being a member of the student council, I was able to view how the leadership process works. In one particular instance I was able to witness the president of the council, Erin, using many of the traits discussed by Greenleaf and Kouzes and Posner. However, she began the process with a vision.
Each year the student council arranges a MORP dance, which is a costume dance with a theme. In order to begin planning the dance, Erin had to first choose a few themes. She then decided that she should share her inspired vision in order to make her goal better. She then went to the other members of the committee and discussed the themes she had thought of. The other members gave their suggestions and they eventually came to a conclusion that the dance would have a Hawaiian theme. The group was happy since Erin let them have a part in the decision. She listened to everything they had to say and made the decision based on that. In this case, communication was the key to planning the dance. Erin needed to make sure that her entire committee agreed on the theme. Without the support of the others, the dance could not have been a success. If the committee did not agree with Erin they would not have wanted to waste their time helping her. Needless to say, everyone agreed, and they all put forth their best effort with decorating and publicizing the dance. The entire student body was extremely pleased with the hard work done by Erin and her committee.
Greenleaf, Robert K. The Servant as Leader. Indianapolis: The
Robert K. Greenleaf Center, 1991.
Kouzes, James M. and Barry Z. Posner. Student Leadership
Practices Inventory. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers,