Personally, in my opinion, one of the hardest things in life is to reflect of what I have done objectively. People tend to overestimate themselves and often too blind or scared to see the reality. Dunning in Deangelis (2003) did some research regarding this self-overestimation issues and his finding describes two major roots of it, ignorance and performance estimates. And he says the only antidote to this issue is high-quality feedback. It does happen to me in figuring out what kind of a leader I am and I gathered some feedback from my colleague to find as accurate answer as possible.
At first I thought that I am a good democratic leader because I tend to put others interest above mine and I always think that I am motivated to influence others. However, after digging deeper through people’s opinion and of course trying really hard to be as honest as possible to myself, I found out that I am actually incompetent and nothing compare to others. I started to realize that I am quite indecisive, impatience towards inspiring others and even sometimes my self-interest is still over others. Leading people is not as simple as I thought it was. It is way more than just managing people; it is about your personal characteristics, value, integrity and vision (CIPD, 2009).
Hence, I feel that solely being a democratic is not enough because again it depends on the situation. The psychologist Dunning and Kruger define, the more you know the less you know and the more you know, the less you like it. Fortunately, it does not happen to me and surprisingly those feedbacks inspire me to be more honest to myself.
Afterwards, I started to dig deeper about my leadership style and someday Nelson Mandela and Bill Gates came across my research and since that day I realized that I want to be like them. Though, there is no best answer to which leadership style is the most efficient one but I completely acknowledge that every good leader should possess a Transformational leadership style.
Nelson Mandela inspired me through his dispositional authenticity, rare visionary and humbleness. As Jenlink (2014) says, moral authenticity is a powerful characteristic that defines your value and they way you behaves. Mandela acknowledged his imperfections of his wicked youth life but in fact, by doing that he became even greater because his integrity turned out to be clearer (Williams, 2013). During adversity, he still could see way beyond the struggle and convinced people that one day the best is yet to come. No matter what happen, he sticks to his vision. And above all, he never eager to claim his achievements and that what genuine leadership is.
Similarly, in business environment Bill Gates as an autocratic and transformational leader has inspired me that there is nothing wrong in becoming very decisive at some point as long as at the same time you always push people to become better. Through him I realized that autocratic leader is not just simply about ignoring people’s input but it is about reducing negativity and make the best out of everything. He always encourages people to innovate by requesting a new idea on regular basis but he also controls all activities within the company (Gilliard, 2014).
Throughout my research regarding leadership style, I started to appreciate the importance of vision, value and consistency. Leading people is not just simply about putting others interest first like what I thought before. It is also about a true understanding of yourself in order to find out the underlying reason of your vision and be consistent.
According to Kirkpatrick (2011), the formulation of visionary leadership is somewhat an art form that based on leader’s guts and insight of follower’s values. So now I recognize the basic of my own vision, not the exact vision as it depends on the circumstances; and it is about influencing others to make a difference by always putting others first and recognizing the importance of having a lifelong learning mentality. The leadership style that I want to pursue is the mix of transformational, autocratic and democratic. As I discussed before in my previous blog that none of any leadership style known as the most effective one as it depends on the situation.
Ultimately, at least now I know that I do not want to simply leading for the sake of certain projects as I know that life is way more precious than that. I want to be consistent in my life in regards to my integrity and vision, which later on those characteristics are going to decide my behavior. However, I realize my weaknesses in honest-self evaluation and becoming more decisive. Therefore, I keen to gather as many high-quality feedback as possible and build up my experiences and not to be fear of failure as Murphy in Rezvani (2014) states, your gut comes from the experience that you have built.
“Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living; the other helps you make a life” – Sandra Carey
- CIPD (2009), Leadership qualities/actions, [Online] available at <https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=CWglvWTsswE > [5 April 2015]
- Deangelis, T (2003), Why we overestimate our competence, [Online] available at <http://www.apa.org/monitor/feb03/overestimate.aspx > [5 April 2015]
- Gilliard, M (2014), Bill Gates Leadership style, [Online] available at <http://leadership-and-development.com/bill-gates-leadership-style/ > [5 April 2015]
- Jenlink, P (2014), Educational Leadership and Moral Literacy, [Online] available at <https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=6OUjAwAAQBAJ&pg=PA205&lpg=PA205&dq=dispositional+authenticity+definition&source=bl&ots=cDahd8F9_B&sig=Z_68k6ocsRtAeCa0w4hgGmioneQ&hl=en&sa=X&ei=WZAhVdmVGJLxatO_gJgD&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=dispositional%20authenticity%20definition&f=false > [5 April 2015]
- Kirkpatrick, S, A (2011), Visionary Leadership Theory, [Online] available at <http://www.sagepub.com/northouseintro2e/study/chapter/encyclopedia/encyclopedia6.1.pdf > [5 April 2015]
- Rezvani, S (2014), Six ways to stop overanalyzing and become more decisive, [Online] available at <http://www.forbes.com/sites/work-in-progress/2014/06/28/six-ways-to-stop-overanalyzing-become-more-decisive/ > [5 April 2015]
- Williams, R (2013), Why Nelson Mandela Was A Great Leader, [Online] available at <https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/wired-success/201312/why-nelson-mandela-was-great-leader > [5 April 2015]