Before coming to this class I was expecting to learn about leadership skills. I was thinking that this paper will be focus on planning, decision making and leading. There are many things I want to know to become a successful leader and I was expecting that this paper will help me develop those skills. After reading the outline of the paper I find out that we will be learning about successful leaders in the past and their leadership styles. I also realized that this paper is not just about great leaders in but about the unsuccessful leaders too. In this paper we will be required to write a blog for every lecture we attend for this paper.
Now, I am really eager to find out about all the leaders and their skills. And also learn about the mistakes made by the leaders who failed to lead. Now, I expect to develop a set of skills that I can imply when I finish this paper.
I have been inspired by many leaders in my life. But I admire Steve Jobs the most. I am amazed by his leadership skills and his vision. He has achieved so many things throughout his career. He always has been a great inspiration to me. He was fired from apple because, his first model was unsuccessful and the company lost all the investment. But, Steve Jobs continued his work and designed a new platform and establish a new company. His new company was big hit and finally apple bought his company and made him CEO of Apple. In his interview, He said "Getting fired from apple was the best thing ever happen to me" the heaviness of being successful replaced by the lightness of being beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most periods of my life. He was the creator of iPhone, Mac book, iPod and iPad. He had a vision when he started his career and he successfully achieved it. He was optimistic leader who never quit in his life and become an icon in digital industry. He believed that "Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations."
In today's class, the lecturer briefly introduced the eight different theories of leadership. However, the aim of today's class was to watch a movie in a group called 'Whale Rider' and analyze two important theories called the trait theory and process theory. One of the main themes illustrated was leadership.
Firstly, the trait theory defines that a person inherits certain qualities and traits that make them better leaders. Whale Rider movie illustrates that Paikea was born to be the leader. Being in her childhood age, she had the ability, commitment and determination to take on leadership. Also, she was an intelligent girl and always seeks opportunity for knowledge. In comparison, the process theory illustrates that a person can become a leader through observation. The whale rider movie demonstrated Paikea being a leader through observing. There is a scene where Paikea wants to learn Taiaha at the wananga but Koro sends her away. Yet, she contributes in the community and the ways she relates with honest to the other adults. We see it in the incredible speech she gave at her school which demonstrated her as a leader. Another process theory shown was when Paikea observed the Maori chant by listening. Whale Rider is the first New Zealand movie I have seen in my life. From watching the movie, I have learnt the Maori culture and the way of life of typical New Zealand natives. The film illustrates the unique culture, gender favoritism, traditional harmony, legends and a good balance of family living. This movie can be linked to my culture. I come from a small Island called Fiji, where the land and sea is part of our Fijian culture. Whale Rider movie also depicts that culture is an asset and representation of Maori peoples pride.
My personal goals for this course are to learn how to become a successful leader. In this course as I am learning about different leaders and their leadership styles. I want to get all the important key ideas that how they became successful. I also realized that in order to become great leader I should also learn from the leaders who have failed as a leader. So, I can learn from their mistakes and won't repeat in my career. I also want to be a leader not a boss. I want to develop my confidence so I can lead and share my vision to others. I also want to enhance my knowledge and the skills such as - decision making, public speaking, motivate others and guide them or put them into the right path. My main objective is to become a successful businessman in finance industry. I want to win the crowd where ever I go and whatever I do. I believe the help I will get from this course and with my optimism I will be able to conquer that.
There are many leaders who achieved that in really short time. They became very successful and popular with their skills. For example Don Braid who is the managing director of Mainfreight group. He joined the Shipping Corporation at very young age and walks his way through the top and became director of Mainfreight. He said that he wasn't qualified enough to go to university or college. But he always enjoyed business he joined the shipping company. He's great decision maker and always lead with an example. HE says that his success is due to the team work in his company. All the employees follow him and believe in his vision. He always talks about long - term goals and he is very optimistic person and believes in what he does. He banned private parking at his company even for him that illustrate that he is a leader not a boss.
I hope to develop these abilities or skills so; I can set an example for others. My personal goals are aligned with this course. I understand that some of the skills you just cannot learn but experience in real life. But after I complete this course I will have the power of the knowledge and it will be easier for me to learn those skills. In order to achieve my personal goals I am prepared to put all the effort required to meet my objectives. I also decided that every week I will be learning about a new leader and try to implement their knowledge and skills in my real life.
The leaders we have looked at today are Barack Obama and Saddam Hussein. After looking at their skills and history I found out that why Obama is so successful and Saddam was failed as a leader. They both are politicians and are suppose to do the same job for their followers.
Obama has shown a set of skills that requires for becoming a great leader. After reading about his life career I found out that he is much focused and goal oriented person. Who believes "it's never too late to start again". He is a visionary and confident leader. He just doesn't talks about the plans or policies but also implement them. He has gain so much respect from his followers since he supported the re-initiation of diplomatic action with Iran. That he respect all organization, regardless of their history. He cares about his people and committed to create universal health care system for all the Americans that show that he cares about every individual in his country. He also cut down the tax cut for small business and middle class families that's another example of fairness one of his greatest strength. He is a good decision maker too. He surrounds himself with the people that don't agree with his views. So that he can make sure that every time he make any decision right instead of people who always agree with his desiccations.
On the other hand Saddam had lost the ideal way of leading people. He was trying to force everyone to get their loyalty and respect. But he didn't realized that respect can only be earn can't be taken by force. He didn't believe in fairness he started a campaign against Kurdish people and many others. His army was responsible for 200,000 civilian deaths. As compare to Obama he has no set of goals for his country or his followers. He had no intention of doing well for his country. Instead of focusing on the real problem he was putting his power and energy into making thousands of portraits, statues and photos and put them i9n his country. He wasn't a good decision maker he completely destroyed a relationship between Egypt and Iraq. I think that he didn't want to be a leader as much as he wanted to be a ruler.
If I compare myself with those leaders I think I think I have qualities like caring for others and fairness. But I also realized that some of the qualities I have like my decision making skills are not perfect. I also think that sometimes I don't consider everyone else and only focus on me. But I understand now the difference between these lines.
In the conclusion, I think there is a very thin line between becoming a successful or a failure. I believe that if Saddam tried to help others and got rid of the hate he had for other religions. And instead of ruling his people if he tried to serve them with integrity he would have been successful.
Today I did a presentation on communication skills in the class. It was a great experience overall. I have learnt so many things when I was in front of my whole class. I also find out some difficulties that I have never experienced before. Before I did my presentation I did my research on the given topic. I put together the facts and the important information in my presentation. I also add some visuals to make it more appealing for my audience.
There are quiet few challenges I have faced while I was doing my presentation. When I was doing the presentation I was so into it that I forgot some of the information I intend to deliver. I also have to look at the screen to remember what I am going to say next. I found one of the slides had too much information in it. It wasn't easy to get attention from the audience but I changed my voice pace and also use gestures to get the attention and I was successful. There are many leadership skills required to deliver a great presentation. Such as - Confidence, Knowledge, Enthusiasm, gestures etc.
I have heard many public speeches from different speakers but I was really inspired by Barack Obama's speech after he won the elections in 2008. His speech title was 'Yes we can'. I couldn't believe that with using only those three words he delivered most powerful speech I have heard so far. He was so confident and got all the attention from the crowd. His gestures were so accurate with his speech. The one thing I like about his speech the most was his technique of asking questions from the crowd that was a great method to involve the crowd into his speech. He was fully prepared for his speech he was maintain eye contact with the crowd. He also shared his personal experience and used some stories to get the crowd excited about the message he was trying to deliver to the crowd.
If I try to compare his skills with my speech I think I was confident. I was maintaining eye contact with my audience. I would say that I wasn't prepared for the speech like he was. I didn't use any personal experience or stories to back my facts. But now after listening to Obama's speech I can do better in my next presentation. 'Yes I Can'.
Setting goals and objectives are really important to be successful in any field. Because if you starting a journey without any plans or goals. You will never know where you going and you can't track your progress. Before starting this course I set two different types of goals such as - long term and short term.
In my short term goals I want to ace this course and get all the knowledge I need. I also want to develop a set of skills to become a successful businessman. My goal is to implement all the skills I am learning from this class in my real life. After finishing my course I want to start my career in finance industry. I also want to focus on developing my writing skill because I understand that it is the most important skill to become a good communicator. I also want to embrace my presentation and speaking skills. The most important thing I would like to learn from this course is time management. Because, that is my weakness, I often spend most of my time to do things aren't important rather than focusing my time on the things important. I also want to build my confidence and get better with relationship skills with other students.
These skills and goals are really important to me because I have learnt that if you want to achieve something in your life you have to want it as bad as you want to breathe. And I know that I am not giving everything I got to achieve that. I also realized that I lose focus real quick which can't be good for my career.
If I compare myself right now and I can see I do have some of the skills that I need. But I need to sharpen my skills to become a great leader. Lincoln said "If I have four hours to cut the tree, I would spend three and half hours to sharpen my tools".
For a long time people debated whether leaders are born or made. The debate still goes on. Most People say that leaders are made but there are few people believes that leaders are born. The answer to the debate was that Leaders are kind of born and they're always made. There are many perspectives on this topic from different people throughout time.
I personally believe that leaders are made not born. I did some research about different leaders and their early life before they become leaders. I found out about the struggle and the hard work they put into their life to get on the top. If they were born to be a leader it would have been much easier for them. For example - Abraham Lincoln belongs to a poor family and when he was born his family was struggling and moving around to find the safe place. He took that challenge the life threw at him and he worked so hard and build his confidence and get all the knowledge. I think the reason he started his career in politics because the things he and his family went through and he was sick of those things and decided that he needs to make a change and that's what he did. Martin Luther King was a leader who struggled his way up. He was too born and raised in slavery and decided that this should end and hence he started leading people to get freedom.
I can see there are many things I need to change about me but I'm also happy about some of the qualities I have learnt over the time. Such as - experience the breakdown in a life and starting everything again. Every experience I have learnt so far is helping me get better at all the things I did wrong in my past. There are many leaders who weren't popular or successful in their career but they believed in themselves and kept trying. For Example - Bill Gates once said that when he went to the college there were many students who were doing so well in the exam and I failed all my papers but now I own Microsoft and they are engineer in my company. He believed in his vision and he knew that he is going to make it and he did. He was optimistic and skilled person who believed that "it's not your fault that you were born in poor family but it's your fault if you die in one".
Over the weekend I watched two movies to extract the qualities of the leaders in the movies. I watched Harry Potter and order of phoenix and 3 idiots. After watching both movies I picked the leaders I like the most in both movies and also the leaders I dislike. In both movies I was able to see the qualities both leaders had.
I think harry did a great job in the movie. He expressed many qualities of leadership. In the movie he was having night mares about Voldemort but nobody believed him. So, he builds his own team and encourages his friends to participate in his action, which shows his leading qualities. He was really confident and brave and was ready to take chances. At the end of the movie he was losing his focus because he was compelled by Voldemort but he was able to fight out of it and defeat him. On the other hand Voldemort was fighting for his own benefit but harry was fighting for his school and his friends. That shows that he is caring leader who put others need first.
The other movie was about a student who believed in new innovations and wants everyone to go for excellence and try to learn and enjoy the study instead of just passing the exams. He helped many students with his own ideologies and techniques. His principal didn't agree to him who just wants everyone to do really well in the exam. He believed that life is a race and if you are not fast enough someone else will overtake you. Both leaders in the movie inspired me and show me the different aspects of the leadership.
After watching the movies I have learnt that self sacrifice is really important. A leader can only be successful if he cares about his people. I remember someone told me that if a Sheppard miss one sheep from his herd he will go and look for the sheep and bring it back. He won't think that he has plenty of other sheep.
Earlier in my blogs I wrote my strengths and weakness in oral presentation I did in week 5. After doing presentation this week I was able to evaluate my performance and also compare it with my previous presentation. My weakness was that I wasn't fully prepared for my presentation and I have to look at the presentation to remember what I am going to say next. But this time I did overcome my issue. I am also working on my power point presentation and making it short and attractive to my audience.
When I was doing the presentation I was able to get attention from the audience and maintain eye contact that was my biggest strengths. I was fully prepared for the presentation and that gave me more confidence. I used appropriate body language and eye contact with my audience and everyone was paying full attention to what I was trying to say. I also involved some short stories and personal experience. In my previous blog I talked about Obama's speech and I mentioned some of his qualities too. I can say that I was able to sound confident and I was prepared like he was in his speech. I was able to get the attention. If I get a chance to re-present again I would add another section in my presentation when I ask some questions from the crowd. So, I can get more participation from the audience.
Overall I would say that my presentation was 7.5 out of 10. Which is clearly an improvement but I'm not satisfied with it and I know that I can do better than this. But I am sure that next time I will improve more and will be more prepared. I'm trying to practice on my oral presentation every week at home. So, I can enhance my skills in future.
Today we looked at similarities/ differences between different leaders and their leadership styles. After reading about those leaders I found some similarities in all the leaders are the education and their experience in that industry.
In small business I came across an owner of the restaurant in New Plymouth. He started his own restaurant after he finished his bachelor's in hospitality. He is really successful in New Plymouth. He worked so hard to get to this point. He increased the sale by 40% and he was able to survive through all the comtetion and now he runs a stable business and well respected in the city. I also read about Simon Brown, Managing director of 2degrees solutions. He is another inspiration to me. He started his company and everyone thought that he won't be able to compete with big companies such as Vodafone and Telecom but he had a vision and he put his hard work and his leadership skills. In his first year of business he was able to get 1 million customers that was the record in telecommunication industry.
Leaders of profit and non-profit organization have different styles of leadership. As I mentioned before that they all have a lot of experience and the power of knowledge. For the profit organization the name come to mind is Chief Executive Chris Quinn who runs the Telecom retail section. Since he started he made a remarkable growth in telecom retail section. He is a great team leader and fully committed towards his personal and companies goals and objective. However, the leaders in non-profit organization have different leadership styles. John ware who is the general manger for Red Cross. Red Cross president said that he was the ideal candidate. He has degree in Law and Comerce. He also has broad knowledge about Red Cross. And one of his biggest strength is his strong humanitarian values. That makes him perfect for the job.
After reading about those leaders I have learnt that education and knowledge is really important to be successful. They all shows that you have to focus on the thing syou want and off the things you don't.