My idea of leadership is being able to inspire others, motivate, set a vision, communicate, respect others, and of course, lead by example. A leader must have an honest understanding of who they are, what they know, and what they are capable of. To be a successful leader, you have to be able to convince your followers, not just yourself or your superiors, that you are worthy of being followed. In my opinion, this can build confidence in their followers to have faith in you, in order to be able to lead. I strongly believe that good leaders are made rather, and not born.
If you have the desire and willpower, you can become an effective leader. Good leaders are developed through a never ending process of self-study, education, training, and experience. I was asked what leadership means to me. Leadership to me, means the ability to attain four things: social intelligence, initiative, setting a good example, and inspiration. These do not come naturally, but are acquired through continual work and study. A truly great leader is continually working and studying to improve their leadership skills. I have come to find that being a leader, you will encounter different situations.
What you do in one situation will not always work in another. In different scenarios, I believe I was able to use good judgment in order to decide the best course of action needed for a situation. For instance, an NCO may need to counsel their soldier for disobeying a direct order, but if the counseling is too late or too early, too harsh or too weak, then the results may prove ineffective. I strongly believe, that a person can lead through two-way communication, which is expressive of or involving mutual action, relationship, or responsibility, which much of, is nonverbal.
For instance, when I “set the example”, it communicates to my soldier that I would not ask them to perform anything that I would not be willing or able to do. In order to be a leader, I believe that you need to have the ability to work with people. As a leader, I have had to deal with different, sometimes divergent, opinions and temperaments. The way in which I communicate either builds or can harm the relationship between my soldier and I. When an important moment of discussion arises, I am always prepared to appropriately andle the situation at hand. More than anything else, I believe as a leader it is always important to have great social skills in order to be communicative with clarity and objectiveness, and to have a good relationship with the ones I lead. As a leader, I understand the meaning of recognition and praise when one is doing a good job, which too is significantly important. A leader is not always the first to have an idea, but should be the one who is always seeking out new solutions.
One way of being a productive leader is discovering new ways to accomplish a set of tasks while maintaining a positive attitude. If a soldier is demonstrating a bad attitude because he feels that he can not accomplish a task then my job as a leader, would be to steadily encourage that soldier to work at being all that he can be. A leader to me, does not need to always know the answer, but believes it to be important to have the initiative to make an answer appear. One form of bad leadership would be an NCO performing or demonstrating a task that he knows nothing about in front of his soldiers.
In the result of the NCO not performing or demonstrating the task at hand correctly, the soldiers then become incapable of knowing the proper ways of that task. However, if that NCO had researched on that task prior to performing in front of his soldiers the end result would be that of success. In order to achieve a goal, a leader must take charge. Leadership of a group can also mean a way of having a better strategic plan when overcoming an obstacle. A person can build strong character within themselves in showing leadership to others.
As a leader, I am passionate about what I do and am not afraid of showing it for the ones I work with. I believe a leader should always meet their targets and scheduled tasks, be engaged in their duties, be accurate in planning activities for their team, and be well prepared to deal with difficult situations. For example, if I happen to be leading PT one day, my goal would be to perform at my very best. By putting forth my best effort I will have shown to the soldiers around me how to be an effective leader. Effective leaders naturally motivate people from their actions, which include howing respect, listening, reflecting, and negotiating through conflict. Leaders encourage and empower people to achieve success rather than place blame. Leaders have solid vision and unshakeable persistence in achieving a goal. A leader’s efforts are empowered by their ability to manage and organize. I believe it to be essential, as a leader, to inspire soldiers in order to motivate them to be great in all that they do, and to strive to want more for themselves. I truly believe that setting a good example and being a great leader is about inspiring others to be a leader as well.