I would like to start out by saying what leadership means to me personally. According to what I learned while I was in the marines being a leader means that you have to be strong and not just on a physical level but on a mental one as well. I have seen leaders make some very tough decisions and sometimes they do have to make the tough decisions even if it is not the most popular one. In the marines leadership also meant having the task to discipline others as well as being disciplined yourself. One had to be tough so that they can show others how to be the same and survive in difficult situations that life may bring your way.
I found an interesting approach to leadership in ebscohost under the article Leaders teaching Leaders written by authors Buck, Marty and Martin, Mary. This article talks about a leadership program at Medtronic Inc. that encourages leaders of the company to do a great amount of self-reflection. A direct quote from Lonny Stormo the Vice President of Medtronic Inc. states “I wanted an opportunity for my leadership team to spend time on their own development,” explains Lonny Stormo, vice president for Pre-Market Quality. “In our busy day-to-day work, we don’t give our leaders enough time to reflect and identify the areas of development they think are vital for their leadership development. By carving out time … you drive commitment to the process.” I believe this approach gives the leaders of that company the confidence to make intelligent decisions and the employees of the company confidence in the leaders of the company to make the right decisions. The self-identification competencies concept from the article was very intriguing to me as it mainly gives one a chance to look at the great skills they have and how the skills were learned. In my opinion this is a good concept to not only develop leadership abilities but to focus on how each individual can use their strengths to be the best leader that they can be.
I have learned from another article in ebscohost titled Coaching written by Elowitt, Andrew that leadership can encompass many different areas. For instance, this article talks about lawyers and what is expected of them regarding management of many different cases. Lawyers are expected to have knowledge and display competent leadership abilities in multiple areas include the latest laws when it comes to technology. Although most of the skills that they are expected to know about leadership are not taught in law school it is beneficial for the lawyer to improve on many skills to develop more knowledge and become the best lawyer that they can be. This approach gave me a new view on leadership by teaching me that I could be a good leader in any field as long as I kept an open mind and have a willingness to learn new things. Another important part of this concept is going beyond just knowing the subject but this article also suggest that developing good relationship skills is very crucial to be a good leader. In my personal years of experience I have found that the best teamwork comes when each team member has a good relationship with each other and the leader of that team.
There is a quote in Business News Daily that can be found at the link http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/2632-leadership-quotes.html that Bill Gates stated that says “As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who will empower others.” Another quote is “You cannot be a leader and ask others to follow you, unless you know how to follow too.” This was spoken by Sam Rayburn a former speaker of the house. These quotes mean a great deal to me when it comes to leadership. The first one by Bill Gates makes me think that in order to be a good leader that one must have a vision to see greatness and also be able to communicate that greatness to others so that they may become great as well. The second one by Sam Rayburn is one that I always lived by. It lets me know that I should lead by example and not to ask others to do what I am not willing to do myself. This method has made leaders credible and trustworthy or made them into false leaders that are basically company men.
The leader I have chosen to talk about is Steve Jobs the late Apple CEO. The reason I have chosen him is because he was an important leader in my field of study which is network administration and he was an awesome leader for Apple and in the technology industry. I have discovered in Wikipedia that Steve Jobs was not only the cofounder of Apple but also Pixar Animation Studios and was viewed as a guru regarding the advancement of consumer electronics.
In an article I read in ebscohost from Harvard Business Review there was a quote that was spoken about the leadership style of Steve Jobs by Gilberte Houbart director of Media Product Design that states “Steve Jobs was a role model of courage and discipline: courage to get through multiple failures and discipline to learn from them. He stayed focused and worked hard, even in the face of illness and death.” I would like to emulate his leadership abilities and this lets me know that I must have the courage to achieve even when obstacles stand in my way and that I can learn from failures. Also from what I read in ebscohost I learned that he was a very hard worker and focused individual and wanted the best from others.
It has been said all over the media that Steve Jobs was very persuasive and charismatic when it came to dealing with employees. However, some of his employees described him as being erratic and temperamental and also somewhat of a bully. According to Wikipedia Jobs was a demanding perfectionist that wanted his business and products to be in the forefront of the technology industry. Steve Jobs may have been a little rough around the edges and difficult for some people to work with but I as well as many others have to admire his vision and determination to be the very best in the industry and sometimes hurting a few feelings along the way may be unavoidable. Steve Jobs will always be legendary for all that he has achieved for as long as there is information available for us to read.
In conclusion I would like to restate what leadership means to me. According to all of my wonderful sources and personal experience I have learned that being a leader is a great deal more than just telling people what to do. Being a leader means to have a vision and being able to communicate it to other as well as developing a good relationship with them so that they will believe in your ability to lead. Steve Jobs may not have always been the most likeable person on the block but his persuasiveness and ability to project his vision was unparalleled. Being a good leader also means being a good follower. This is a concept that many leaders forget but is very fundamental in getting people to believe in one’s ability to be a good leader rather than the employee just viewing that person as someone telling them what to do. There are also many times when the decision that the leader makes is not always the most popular one but if the person that is in leadership learns to evaluate their selves as I mentioned that I learned from a project that is going on in Medtronic Inc. they will learn to be confident in their decisions and evaluate that the right course of action is being made. I now know that to be an effective leader I will have a vision and pursue knowledge in spite of any obstacles that may come into my path to success. I will persevere and learn from my failures and learn to be persuasive hopefully in a manner similar to Steve Jobs.
1) http://web.ebscohost.com.proxy.devry.edu/ehost/detail?vid=7&hid=24&sid=c63b6d51-8566-410d-aea4-880e5f5d35b6%40sessionmgr14&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=bth&AN=79810755 2) http://web.ebscohost.com.proxy.devry.edu/ehost/detail?vid=9&hid=19&sid=c63b6d51-8566-410d-aea4-880e5f5d35b6%40sessionmgr14&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=a9h&AN=79343538 3) http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/2730-leadership.html