Leadership is about personal growth, increasing responsibility, and building influence through achievement, gaining trust, and caring. In my own personal leadership development, I have done things that have lost the trust of my team. I have failed to take responsibility and I have said things that I immediately regretted. I have led my team down the wrong path. I have made many mistakes, but I learn from them. Compared to last year, I am a much better leader this year. Compared to several years ago, there is no comparison. The Authentic Happiness test through University of Pennsylvania identified my top strengths as my curiosity and interest in the world, my love of learning, and perseverance (University of Pennsylvania, n.d.). It labeled my lower strengths as being optimism and creativity. I agree with all of these and believe that my eagerness to investigate and learn is as valuable to my success as a leader as my perseverance and “never quit” personality. My weaknesses that I need to work on are self-control and caution. I often say things before thinking through the impact of my words, and I have horrible self-control.
My biggest strengths, my curiosity, my love of learning, and my perseverance have driven me and helped me become the leader that I am today. Since I am constantly learning, taking certifications, researching, and reading, learning has become a way of life for me. That lust for learning comes from genuine curiosity as well as drive to improve myself and my world. I am in a continuous improvement cycle for myself and my life, trying to do what I can to improve my knowledge, my skills, and my position. Perseverance and determination, making up for talent with energy, are my fail safe. When I do not know the solution, I will make up for it by expending a ton of energy. Energy drinks and coffee, long nights and weekends, time away from family, and working too much have become a way of life for me. My team sees me working hard and I have their respect as I lead my team.
My weaknesses truly are my weaknesses. I often talk without thinking, regretting it later. I have little self-control over things like exercise and eating. I act from a lack of self-discipline too often. Too often, I am boisterous and loud when I should listen. Too often, I lack discretion and caution and just say what is on my mind, then regret it later. I need to be more cautious with my decisions in general, being more thorough in evaluating what I say and do. I have a need to be less spontaneous in my leadership before I make mistakes that cause me to lose respect and trust.
During this course, I am going to work on changing my thinking to be more careful and cautious, more discreet and wiser in my decision making. I am going to plan and develop my thoughts before I speak or act, being very aware of when I miss the mark and fail. I will pay special attention to learning units and readings that discuss planning, as planning is the opposite of randomly spewing thoughts. I will pay special attention on any readings and teachings on self-discipline and self-control to develop my own discipline.
During the class, I plan to be helpful to my peers in their leadership development journey, being sensitive to their strengths and weaknesses, giving honest feedback to their posts and their papers, offering ideas I have learned from experience as well as ideas that I have learned from the coursework. I realize that we are all in this journey together and we are all working hard, but we have different personalities as well as different values and goals. I will attempt to determine my peers’ values and goals, supporting them, while offering them suggestions and feedback that is in line with their wants and needs. I will plan my responses and be careful about what I say rather than just posting my split-second thoughts.
In conclusion, I totally agree with my assessment results. I have a leadership personality that is based upon hard work and constantly learning, with some wild lack of caution and self-control thrown in for flavor. I have a lot to improve, but that is normal. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Everyone has things that need improvement. As I work with my peers, I will help them to develop theirs as well.