LEADERS AND LEADERSHIP

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LEADERS AND LEADERSHIP

Case Assignment

Once again, we will be considering an experience which has personal significance for you as a means of understanding the material from this module. For this Case Assignment, think about a situation involving leadership that made a strong impression on you. Please structure your essay in the following format, using the subtopics as headings. Your paper should be 4–6 pages, plus a title page and a references page.

Introduction: Discuss the topic of the paper and how you will approach it.  It is best to write this section after you have written the rest of the paper.

Concrete Experience:  Objectively describe the leadership experience.  It could be a situation where you were in a leadership position, or one in which you were working under someone else as leader. The situation could have been a good experience or a failure in leadership. The important consideration is that it is a situation which you would like to understand better. In this section, strive to be objective and stick to the factswho, what, where, when, and how.

Reflective Observation: Step back and consider the situation from different points of view.  How did you feelwhat were your thoughts at the time? It is also critical to consider the experience of others involved.  How do you think they were feeling? Did they see things the same way you did? The key to this section of your paper is to understand the experience not only from your own perspective, but also to develop the ability to be able to look at the situation through others’ eyes. Use these different perceptions to add depth and meaning to your objective description.

Abstract Conceptualization: There are many readings and other materials explaining various models of leadership in the background section of this module. Use at least three of them to help explain the behavior of the leader and the followers in this incident. How do the models of leadership and power presented in the background material help you understand your behavior as well as how others reacted (commitment, compliance, or resistance?) Use proper citations and referencing when referring to any material from the background pages or any additional outside research. (Outside research not required, but you may supplement the background material if you choose. It should not replace the background readings and videos, but acts as an additional source.)

(Remember: The abstract conceptualization section is the “heart” of your paper. Your ability to clearly and logically apply concepts of leadership to explain your own experience is essential to demonstrating critical thinking.)

Active Experimentation: What have you learned about effective leadership from this exercise? What have you learned about how the leadership style influences follower’s reactions and motivation? What actions would you take to revise or improve upon your own leadership style and practices to be more effective in the future?

Conclusion: Sum up the main points of your analysis and the key learning you are taking from it.

Reference List:  List all references that you have cited in the paper using APA formatting.  References include materials from the required background readings as well as any outside internet or library sources you used in researching and writing your paper. If you have APA questions, refer to the optional listings on the background page.

SAMPLE SOLUTION

Introduction

Leadership is a complex and multifaceted concept that plays a crucial role in various aspects of life. This case assignment delves into a personal leadership experience that left a profound impact. Specifically, it explores a situation during my college years when I served as the president of a student organization. Through the lens of various leadership models, this paper aims to provide a comprehensive analysis of the leadership dynamics, its effects on team members, and the lessons learned for future leadership practices.

Concrete Experience

In my sophomore year of college, I was elected as the president of a student organization dedicated to community service and volunteering. This organization had a rich history of impactful projects and a committed group of members. However, the leadership transition from the previous president to me presented a significant challenge. The experience that stands out involved a large-scale volunteer project aimed at renovating a local community center.

The project was ambitious, involving over 100 volunteers, fundraising, procurement of supplies, and a tight project timeline. As the leader, I found myself overwhelmed by the responsibilities. I struggled to maintain open communication with the team, allocate tasks effectively, and ensure everyone remained motivated and engaged. The project encountered delays, miscommunication, and frustration, ultimately revealing the ineffectiveness of my leadership.

Reflective Observation

During this experience, I was under immense pressure and felt anxiety as I grappled with the complexities of the project. I was afraid of letting down my team, which had a significant impact on my self-confidence. I believed that leading by example meant taking on more responsibilities, which ultimately led to burnout. Some team members were frustrated with my leadership style, feeling that I was micromanaging, while others seemed disengaged, indicating a lack of motivation.

In retrospect, it is clear that some team members had a different perspective on the situation. Some may have appreciated my dedication, while others might have found it overbearing. Miscommunication and delays stemmed from my failure to delegate clearly and offer guidance. It became evident that my leadership style had not considered the diverse needs and expectations of the team members.

Abstract Conceptualization

To better understand the leadership dynamics of this experience, I will apply three leadership models:

  1. Trait Model: The Trait Model of leadership posits that leaders possess specific innate qualities that make them effective. In my case, my election as the organization’s president indicated that some members saw leadership qualities in me. However, it became apparent that leadership traits alone were not sufficient for success. Traits like charisma and decisiveness are important, but they need to be complemented by adaptable leadership behaviors to be effective.
  2. Behavioral Models: Behavioral Models focus on the leader’s actions and behaviors, categorizing them as task-oriented or relationship-oriented. In my leadership experience, I initially adopted a task-oriented approach, prioritizing the project’s objectives. However, I neglected the importance of building relationships and maintaining team morale. A balanced approach that combines both task and relationship orientation would have been more effective.
  3. Contingency Models: Contingency Models, like Fiedler’s Contingency Theory, suggest that different leadership behaviors are effective in different situations. I failed to adapt my leadership style to the specific needs of the project and the team. Contingency Models underscore the importance of situational awareness and adaptability in leadership.

Active Experimentation

This experience has offered valuable lessons about effective leadership. To improve my leadership style and practices, I will:

  1. Adapt My Leadership Style: I will recognize the importance of adapting my leadership style to fit the situation and the needs of the team members, ensuring a more balanced approach.
  2. Focus on Motivation: I will prioritize inspiring and motivating the team, rather than micromanaging, emphasizing a transformational leadership approach.
  3. Improve Communication: I will work on enhancing my communication skills to build trust and ensure that everyone is on the same page.
  4. Delegation and Empowerment: I will delegate tasks more effectively, empowering team members to take ownership of their responsibilities.

By implementing these changes, I aim to be a more effective and inspiring leader in the future.

Conclusion

The leadership experience discussed in this paper has highlighted the complexity of leadership. It is not solely reliant on innate traits or a one-size-fits-all approach. Effective leadership necessitates adaptability, considering behavioral aspects, the needs of the team, and the situational context. Through this reflective analysis, I have gained valuable insights into improving my leadership style and practices for the future.

Useful Sources

Fiedler’s Contingency Theory (2016). Leadership-central. Retrieved from http://www.leadership-central.com/fiedler%27s-contingency-theory.html#axzz3OemkTtoM
Martin, R. (2012) “PathGoal Theory of Leadership.” Encyclopedia of Group Processes & Intergroup Relations. Ed. John M. Levine and Michael A. Hogg. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE, 2009. 636-37. SAGE Reference Online . Web. 30 Jan. 2012. Retrieved April 2017 from https://studysites.uk.sagepub.com/northouse6e/study/materials/reference/reference7.2.pdf
Vroom-Yetton-Jago Decision-making Model of Leadership (2013). Leadership-central. Retrieved from http://www.leadership-central.com/Vroom-Yetton-Jago-decision-making-model-of-leadership.html#axzz3OjpF9lI8