Leadership – Challenge Questions

Here are my answers to the questions on the leadership challenges discussed today in class:

Challenge 1; Tension:

How do you deal best with tension in a stressful situation?

For me, dealing with tension and stress involves assuring myself that ‘this will not kill me’. I have to realize that I am not the only one working on this project, and other people will get their jobs done too, and I don’t need to worry about the entire project, that’s the top leader’s job. Even so, if everyone does their role, then no one should have any extra stress, and I must be sure to trust my fellow committee members and that they will complete their assigned duties/tasks. I am not in charge of/responsible for the entire project, and “breath”, you will get through this.

Challenge 2; Frustration:

What should you do when you find yourself following a leader who is ineffective? How do you continue to add value?

Attack the problem head on, and don’t shy away from finding a solution. When you find yourself following an ineffective leader, it is important to work up to talking to that person face-to-face. This may mean developing a relationship, or beginning, more casually, at making suggestions or giving ideas on how the leader could improve the team’s success. You must also be sure to find the strengths and benefits of your leader and not only look to the shady side of the tree. Bring a positive attitude in the process of improving and affirming your leader, to help them trim those leaves in the way of the sun, you don’t want more leaves and bushes to grow, blocking even more sun; covering what might have even already been there.

Challenge 3; Multi-hat:

How can you determine what “hat” you need to wear in a given situation?

To determine what hat you must wear,  you can refer to your given position and any other roles given by your top leader. Be aware of what is going on around you in any situation so you can change or adapt to do your ‘role’ properly. You may also want to consider the positions of those around you and what role or hat they have in order to see where you may fit into the picture.

Challenge 4; Ego:

Do you tend to focus more energy on production or promotion?

I like to think that I have never been one to want to be the star of the show. That’s not saying that I’m not trying my hardest and putting forth my best effort, which may or may not lead me to be the best; “You’re always striving for excellence, striving for perfection” – Teresa Gabriele. But I was never one to hog the ball. I always tried to be selfless as a basketball player, and as an individual. I still do. I’m concious of my impact and effect on others and aware of how they may feel about my actions. I believe in giving your best effort in everything you do, results will come with effort, and effort comes from the inside; you shouldn’t be focused on the physical reward at the end of the road, but rather the sights along the way.

Challenge 5; Fulfillment:

List some of the advantages and disadvantages of being out front.

There are many advantages and disadvantages of being ‘out front’ or being the top leader. Some of the advantages include greater credit from the public or outsiders who are looking at your organization, and possibly, in situations, more control of a project or action. However, though the top may seem like a sugary position, there are certainly negatives to it as well. When one is the leader, they are also, as mentioned in the myths questions, most responsible for their entire organization. Their actions can have a greater impact on the organization as a whole, and they are also more prominently seen by the public. This means more exposure and more weight on their shoulders. It is important that a top leader be ready for their position and be confident and prided in their work.

Challenge 6; Vision:

How do you relate to and align yourself with your committee’s vision?

For me to understand and connect with the collective team’s goal, I need to gain sufficient information about what we are trying to achieve and understand the reasoning behind the team’s choices. As I understand the logic and values behind the goal, I will feel more inclined and ready to connect to the vision and support it. If I do not have enough information, then I may jump to conclusions about what we are trying to achieve or think of other possible routes that I agree with more. However through learning about the vision, and seeking first to understand, the knowledge will allow me to ‘relate to and align’ myself to the team’s vision and believe in it myself.

Challenge 7; Influence:

How do you consistently let the people on your team know that you care about them?

From a more ‘professional’ standpoint, it is important to show that you care about your colleagues by taking time to gain their insight and perspective on things. As a leader, I am sure to ask for other opinions and ideas for projects, initiatives, etc. before getting too far along. This very important to me, not only because I am showing care by taking some time to hear other voices, but also because this can be a very valuable resource for problem solving and finding what is best for all. It is also important to develop more personal relationships with those under you so they see that you are not solely someone who is a ‘technical’ figure and stands above you in the office, but rather that you are also a friend who you can talk to, and genuinely care about what is best for each individual.

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