Being an effective leader is a challenging yet engaging task – I had an opportunity to learn it by experience. In my previous job, I served as a leader for a team of instructors who provided students of each grade with military and police lessons.
I managed five staff members and 900 students and closely interacted with the school administration and the principle. I was responsible for the assessment, attendance, grades, and organisation. Taking into account that my team and I managed to fulfil our duties and our work resulted in the students’ knowledge and skills enhancement, I can state that I was an effective leader. In this paper, I will describe the leadership styles I used, skills, and leaders’ traits.
For me, the most remarkable achievement was that I managed to use many leadership styles and switch from one style to another promptly. At first, I was a visionary leader: in the school setting, I wanted my team members to understand what our task was, experiment, and suggest their own decisions rather than follow my instructions blindly. However, the affiliative style was predominant. Since it emphasizes the significance of teamwork and connections among people, I found it the most suitable for my team (Goleman & Boyatzis 2013).
Apart from contacts within our small group of instructors, we dealt with the principal, students, and teachers. Cooperation with them also required the implementation of teamwork principles. I was lucky to work with ambitious and industrious people: in this context, coaching was sometimes the best choice. My team members sought advice, for example, how one should involve students in group work.
Finally, I should admit there were difficulties concerning the organisation. Sometimes, we had to make decisions individually because of the absence of staff members. Thus, I skipped to the democratic style. We openly discussed various options, for instance, how to grade students’ achievements, and arrived at the consensus. Overall, the given styles were effective for the situation, but other conditions would have required another model.
To be a proper leader, I was trying to make use of my skills. I suppose the ability to communicate with people and develop an individual approach particularly helped me. I managed to convey my ideas to various people using different strategies, such as giving real-life examples and references to theories. Another important skill was the ability to motivate.
Again, different people were attracted by different things: some of them liked being praised while others appreciated the opportunity to educate students or the chance to lead them. I displayed my organisational skills because I dealt with the timetable, paperwork, and so on. Analytical and problem-solving skills were advantageous since I had to cope with new conditions, search for solutions, and help my team handle problems.
A leader should exhibit several traits. As situations often change, adaptability and quick thinking are vital. Dealing with people requires respect for them, honesty, and openness. Further, charisma, persistence, and awareness are needed. I dare say that I have these traits. However, I still need to cultivate my abilities.
To sum it up, working as a team leader became a valuable experience for me. Personal traits, different styles usage, and advanced skills are fundamental for any leader. I believe I managed to be an effective leader for my team. The results of our efforts were positive: both students and team members not only gained knowledge but also enjoyed the process of work. In future, I should develop the ability to motivate because it is individual and will always demand creative thinking.
Goleman, D & Boyatzis, RE 2013 Primal leadership: unleashing the power of emotional intelligence, Harvard Business Review Press, New York.