This paper summarizes my reflection and conclusions from the book A Leader's Legacy by James M. Souses and Barry Z. Poster. The book has four main parts that covers leadership as it relates to significance, relationships, aspirations, and courage. This paper displays my thoughts on one main point, and gives examples of how this point addressed leadership areas in my own life.
Reflection on a Leader's Legacy In the area of leadership, one concept that can cause a leader to quickly lose followers should they neglect to include in their leadership style, is the ideal that read leaders not only lead, but also serve. Putting in the same amount of backbreaking work as ones followers is not usually the first thought that comes to mind when one thinks of leadership. To many, it does not seem like a necessity of the one in charge. Many of the greatest leaders in history were servant leaders, willing to work side by side with those they led, towards the common goal or vision.
Great leaders such as DRP. Martin Luther King Jar. Who risked his life to fight against civil injustice, and Mother Teresa, who set aside life's luxuries and devoted her life to Irving others through charitable acts, are the types of great servant leaders whom exhibit the idea of a leader who puts the needs of the people they lead ahead of their own needs, desires and ambition. According to authors Souses and Poster, "Constituents decide whether or not they'll be loyal.
Loyalty is earned when constituents decide that their needs are getting met, so leaders who want commitment had better see their Jobs as requiring responsiveness". (Poster, 2006) Further in the text Souses and Poster go on to discuss the tainted idea that leaders insider the needs of their customers and not those of their followers because they are getting something from the customer. Their return is usually of financial gain to themselves. A great deal of respect can be earned or lost based on how you treat those whom you lead.
In my own career and personal life, I have been exposed mostly to those leaders that can be described as servant leaders. The leaders I have served under, I have more so worked right beside. These leaders have been the ones who will assess the needs of the company or organization and not Just delegated asks to workers, but pull up their sleeves and work right beside you. I have had leaders who I have witnessed risk their own reputation, finances, and health to work towards the common goal. This has helped shape my own leadership style in so many ways.
It has made me strive to be the type of leader that not only has a vision but understands the importance that those I lead must see my own willingness to work and my enthusiasm to get us to fulfill the task. Having had positive experiences, I was not fully prepared for the type of leader I encountered in the spring of 2012, hen I Joined a community organization whose vision was in line with my own personal goals. This organization was focused on empowering young girls in middle school and high school inside and out, through the support of positive growth and change in their communities.
I was approached by a leader who was passionate tout something Tanat was clear to my near as a woman, Ana sakes to De on ten steering committee. This leader informed me that she needed people beside her who would be willing to assist her in making her vision come to life. She went on to say owe passionate she was and how she needed people willing to work as hard as she was to touch the lives of the children who needed to be touched by strong women who were leaders. This was not at all what I found out to be the true leadership style she possessed.
I was soon challenged to work in an organization where the leader would literally sit in meetings and state what work she would and would not do and it would be someone else's Job to complete the grunt work. With the bigger picture of changing the lives of the children before us, we as followers began to take on tasks as he took all the glory for our hard work. Out in the community and in the media, our passionate leader was singing the praises of the organization and how hard she was working, never once mentioning her committee.
After several occurrences of this behavior, I became very disheartened at the fact that the leader I was giving my time, abilities and emotional support was not seeing the value of what I was bringing the organization, nor was she the hard worker she portrayed. I began to lose respect for this leader because she was not willing to put in work towards the very ideals she pushed us to run around working for. After having read Souses and Poser's book, I think it further instilled in me the importance of being a leader who values what my followers put into the vision.
As in any relationship, rather its business or personal, a person does not feel they are valued; they have a lack of respect for their leader. A lack of respect will eventually turn into a lack of production, drive, and eventually, one will seek to become part of something where they are appreciated. Just this week as I had meetings within my Job where I am a leader, I have tried to make sure that I am putting in the same work as those whom I lead. I also made it a point this week to point out the skills that the others were bringing to the table and how they were helping us reach our goal.
As I continue to grow in the area of leadership, "A Leader's Legacy' and the concepts presented by the authors will be ones that I will reference. A leader who is willing to adapt their style when presented with a concept that has been proven to be successful, will be a leader who is always evolving, and that's the type of leader I wish to be.