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Many people want to see themselves in positions of authority. They like to imagine a future where they are “the boss” of whatever field they are interested in. I am not one of those people. I have no desire to ever be in a managerial position. I don’t even think of myself as a leader. I believe that I have qualities of a leader, but I never viewed myself as someone that others should follow.
According to my leadership assessment my five strengths are input, connectedness, intellection, developer, and context. These fall under the relationship building and the strategic thinking domains. According to Rath, those who fall under the relationship building domain can hold a group together, and those who fall under the strategic thinking domain focus on possibilities.
The first, Input, states that I like to gather new information, particularly about wars and past conflicts. The assessment stated that people in this category are often looked to for guidance and can offer a new perspective on the issue. I see this in myself. I have always valued learning and knowledge. I know that I can never know everything, but I want to do my best to try to understand as much as possible. I enjoy history and learning about past wars and conflicts.
The second, connectedness, suggests that I can build bonds between different people, that I can bring people together. It states that I speak out on my beliefs and values and respect every human. It states that I discover areas of commonality and express those common bonds. Rath states that I may become frustrated when other do not see the connection that I have made. According to the Gallup StrengthsFinder, people who have the Connectedness talent can see the links between things and sees the world as one interconnected tapestry. I agree with this to a certain extent. I do see everything as connected. I believe that all lives and events impact one another, and I respect all humans and I even become upset when others do not show the same respect. In spite of this, I am not sure that I can bring people together and help them see their own connects. I am not sure that I have ever tried to do this. I will try to help people understand connects exist, but I do not think I have ever tried to build the bonds in a group like that.
The third, Intellection, suggests, again, that I enjoy gathering information and thinking on a deep level. It states that I most likely spend time reading and am quiet during conversations. I believe this one to be accurate as well. I love to read, and I always have, although my preference of topic may change. I enjoy learning and gathering information, including during conversations and in public. I prefer to listen and observe, rather than speak.
The fourth, Developer, states that I can see and assist potential in others. Those with the developer characteristic can offer support and help embolden others. Those with the developer trait may be a good mentor or guide. I agree, I feel that I can recognize when someone has a talent or strength in a particular area. I try to offer support to others who feel anxious, burned out or tired. I often find myself listening to others while they vent about issues and help them find positives or simply help them find the next step. The last, context, again states that I more than likely enjoy history and like to look at the past to learn about the present and the future. It states that I wish to understand how past events shape our lives. Those with the developer trait like to ask questions, of others and research historic events. I agree with this but only to a point. I do enjoy history, and I do enjoy researching historic events to figure out how and why things are the way they are. I like timelines of events, but I do not always ask these questions when I first meet someone. It is not that I do not wish to know the answers, but I am stopped from asking these questions by social anxiety.
All of these together suggest that I am a person who gathers information and uses that information to bring people together and help them achieve their potential. I believe that given what I know about myself that I can do all of those things. I also believe that I have many things holding me back from doing those things.
I am not sure if I have ever used these strengths in a leadership role as I don’t often step into roles that would put me in a leadership position. I use these strengths at work, where I have to connect with the youth and the families on a daily basis. I am in a position of authority with the families I work with and I try to help the youth get to a better place where they are not involved in the court system. I do not think of this job categorized as a leadership position, but I guess it could be.
My predominant leadership style would be participative. I like to get input from others in the group before making a decision. I prefer to not be the one to make the decision at all, but I will if necessary. Before I make even minor decisions that do not affect anyone else, I like to get input from other people. I believe that the benefits of using this leadership style is that it is a way to get many perspectives and everyone feels including in the decision-making process. I believe that this leadership style can decrease complaints within a group as everyone feels as though they have contributed to the decision. I use this style often at work, I ask the family and the youth what they think is needed and what they want to see happen. I also ask my supervisor and coworkers for advice on cases.
The setbacks with the participative leadership style is that it does not do well in an emergency situation. Sometimes decisions need to be made quickly and there is no time for lots of input. I also feel that it may lead to a situation where the decision is put off or pushed to the side in a search for more and more perspectives.
There are many limitations that I see in myself. I am sometimes too quiet, I do not always speak up when I need to. I am not decisive. I hate making decisions and have a fear of making the wrong decisions. I am not patient, I find myself becoming frustrated easily with those who do not see the world the same way I do. I also suffer from social anxiety, which prevents me from speaking to others both in one on one settings and in groups. I believe that this limitation can have their uses. I hear more than I speak and can determine things about other people from listening, which may help me connect with them. I am constantly working on overcoming these things. Sometimes, I simply have to get over them and do what needs to be done, but the limitations are there. I have tried counseling in the past to deal with these things but am not currently. I know that these limitations may always be there, but I hope to recognize in myself when they are stopping me from helping others and preventing progress so that I can work around them.
Emotional intelligence is important when leading others. Some aspects of emotional intelligence that I believe I possess is, Self-awareness, self-regulation, and empathy. I have spent many years looking at who I am as a person and finding my weaknesses and my strengths. I have also sought the help of others to find out more about myself. I am also able to seek information and stop my emotions and personal biases from impeding progress. I also pride myself in the ability to understand others and put myself in their shoes.
I may strive to possess other leadership qualities. There are many attributes that I wish I had, but I do not think that is it within me to seek leadership roles. I may fall into those positions, but I am content assisting others in the shadows.
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