Philosophy is indeed a conflicting topic to grasp. It can be very vague, or deeply engrained in an individual, and it is influenced by many factors and components of ones self. Philosophy is founded on the specific principles of values, assumptions, and beliefs (2). As with many other things, leadership is rooted in philosophy, and that is what will be explored in this paper. Developing leadership qualities can serve many purposes and change throughout an individual’s development. Here, I will try to articulate my current personal philosophy of leadership, my perspectives on this philosophy in my teenage years, my current thoughts on my leadership journey, as well as areas that I need to work on in order to propel forward as a leader.
Before now, I have never considered what is at the core of my leadership philosophy. After putting much thought into what makes me a leader, I have discovered that what fuels leadership is sometimes best unknown. I wouldn’t say I am a leader, but I am aware that I have a certain influence on people through my actions, passion, drive and ambition. I do not consider myself a leader, but rather a member of a strong team, with members that have different strengths and weaknesses. Each member of the team brings something different to the table, and gains strength and knowledge from one another by being understanding, accepting, and building trust. Integrity, and responsibility are at the core values of this leadership philosophy. These allow members of a team assume their roles, help each other and work for a common goal. Currently, the goal is to collectively do well in school and learn to our fullest capacity to one day becomes the best we can be in our profession. Ultimately, the transformational leadership style best fits the model I describe, however it must be accepted that styles change based on situations, circumstances and goals (1).
In the past, my leadership style, values and attitudes were undoubtedly different from my current views. They have evolved over the years based on age, changes in values and attitudes and life experiences. The values that we adopt are heavily shaped by the internal and external factors we are subject to in daily life (2). Here it becomes important to recognize that everyone has different experiences and to gain trust and respect we need to be understanding and be open to others (2). I like to believe that I have always lead and continue to lead by demonstrating a positive attitude in every situation, being humble, empathetic and inspirational. By identifying and respecting the boundaries of others. I am a strong believer that hard work pays off, therefore my leadership stems from my own motivation and hard work.
Even now, with a strong idea of the leadership I display, I am aware that there is always room for growth, improvement and modification. Growing as an individual and a leader is never complete, and this is where it is important to self assess every so often and try to better yourself. For this, I found the paper The five Intelligences of Leadership by Clint Sidle to be very enlightening (3). He speaks of the 5 domains of the self that have indigenous origin, very much like a medicine wheel (3). The 5 domains are Action, Intellectual, Emotional, Intuitive, and Spiritual (3). These 5 principles all pertain to self-discovery and development, and this can be shadowed and inhibited if certain domains are not fully grasped or incorporated as a whole (3). Area that I have identified to be weak in my personal growth as a leader is the uncomfort I feel when things are out of my control. I must learn to accept that external factors are out of my control, and work on being prepared to deal with them as they come (2). This is where I require a team, who are able to show me there are different ways to approach situations and peers around to help along the way.
In conclusion, this reflection and exercise has been very informative and has enlightened me on my personal leadership styles, values, and attitudes. I have explored the growth of my leadership throughout my journey, the leadership I provide others with and areas that require some constructive focus in order to reach full potential.