Leadership is individuals’ ability to take charge of a situation as well as guide others through situations to get them to success. Leaders trust their instincts to make thoughtful decisions. Moreover, leaders learn how to lead through the experiences they encounter both in the personal and professional lives. The success of an organization relies on its leader’s ability to instruct their followers on the path to take. When leaders fail to make the right decision, it is the organization as well as their followers who suffer. People become leaders through training and learning. Pursuing training in organizational leadership will shape individuals perspective about leadership and especially on how to influence others to be successful. While there are individuals born with the ability to lead, effective leaders continuously learn from their experiences. Leadership is only achieved through learning and experiences because when individuals go through life changing moments they gather information on how to deal with problems and other issues they might face.
The “crucibles of leadership” is an article that talks about the development of leaders. A crucible according to the article is a life-changing experience where individuals extract their “gold” (Bennis & Thomas, 2002). The “gold” as indicated in the article is the achievement of leadership traits. Every individual goes through a crucible and the decision they make while in and out of the crucible determines whether they attain leadership skills or they fail. However, the article also claims that as much as experience is necessary for the development of leadership skills, learning is needed to make one an effective leader (Bennis & Thomas, 2002). It is possible for two individuals to go through the same experience but come out with different perceptions about the experience and life. Leaders, therefore, do not solely rely on experiences but they also have to learn from these experiences.
Organizations are capable of developing and sustaining leaders through training and learning. There are several theories that claim that leaders are born such as trait and great man theory. However, there are also other theories which indicate that leaders can be made through learning and empowering such as transformational leadership theory. Transformational leadership theory holds the idea that reinforcing positive attributes in people as well as allowing them to take charge of some projects encourages people to take up leadership positions (Gill, 2008). The article states that organizations are in a better position to create leaders by ensuring that they provide them with training. While it is difficult for organizations to discern when their employees will have crucible moments, organization can ensure that their employees are equipped to deal with their experiences and come out of them stronger (Bennis & Thomas, 2002). Organizations need to step away from dictatorial leadership to engaging leadership to help their employees develop leadership skills.
Leadership requires practice more than talent. The article indicates that while many people believe that leaders are born with leadership traits, successful leaders are those that get involved in projects which will help them become better leaders. Many leaders lack enough time to train and engage in activities which will sharpen their leadership skills but committed and successful leaders make time to learn and participate in events that will increase their skills (Bennis & Thomas, 2002). It is important to engage in different circumstances so as to be prepared for any eventualities. Practice helps leaders to be mentally prepared for several situations so that they can guide their followers. Talent, therefore, is important but it is practice which differentiates between a leader and an effective leader.
Reflective analysis. Leaders are made and not born. Prior to taking this course I was a believer in the trait man theory. Trait man theory claims that leaders are born with certain traits which make it easier for them to be leaders. Great leaders according to the theory inherit genes from their parents which make them great leaders. It is the belief that a king can share traits with his son which enables his son to be a leader. The theory also indicates that it is difficult for individuals not born with these traits to be effective leaders (Sethuraman & Suresh, 2014). However, the article has shown that leaders can be made. Learning and training are important in leadership development because they allow individuals to be exposed to materials and experiences which can shape their leadership skills (In Marques & In Dhiman, 2017). Every individual can be an effective leader if they took time to learn and implement what they have learnt.
The second goal is to learn from crucible moments and not get stuck. The article indicates that the difference between successful leaders and ordinary people is what one takes away from a crucible moment. Leaders experience many crucible moments, some of which might be painful to go through but it is their decisions to make the best out of the situations which makes them successful. Leadership skills are not only gained at the work place but also at home in other relationships. Taking charge of a situation whether at home, school, or at work will enhance one’s leadership skills (Zaccaro & Klimoski, 2001). One should, therefore, focus on the elements which will help them come out of every crucible moment successful rather than focusing on the negatives.
The third goal is to develop a personal learning strategy which allows me to sharpen my leadership skills. I was surprised to learn that continuous learning and planning can help one attain leadership skills because I believed that leaders are born. I have learned that one has to be particular about what they want to achieve in life and that includes acquiring skills which make you a successful leader. I will set aside time to read, learn and practice leadership skills so that I can be equipped to become a successful leader.
Bennis, W. G., & Thomas, R. J. (2002). Crucibles of leadership. Harvard business review, 80.
Sethuraman, K., & Suresh, J. (2014). Effective leadership styles. International Business Research, 7(9), 165. <https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/d2a2/528ddffc694b43fd5bcf3c68826de4da2eb3.pdf>.
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Gill, R. (2008). Theory and practice of leadership. Sage Publications Los Angeles. <https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=JMx3eqeVPQsC&printsec=frontcover&dq=great+man+leadership+theory&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj9qavtvL3pAhWkAmMBHQZeDxYQ6AEIYzAH#v=onepage&q=great%20man%20theory&f=false>.Top of Form
Zaccaro, S. J., & Klimoski, R. J. (2001). The nature of organizational leadership: Understanding the performance imperatives confronting today’s leaders. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. <https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=wUGDLOX4jW4C&printsec=frontcover&dq=organizational+leadership&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj43dTmvb3pAhUSahQKHVPwCKQQ6AEILjAB#v=onepage&q=organizational%20leadership&f=false>.Top of Form
In Marques, J., & In Dhiman, S. (2017). Leadership today: Practices for personal and professional performance. <https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=2LnmDAAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=organizational+leadership+and+practices&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwix3cnIvr3pAhVQDGMBHVGVDdIQ6AEIRjAE#v=onepage&q=organizational%20leadership%20and%20practices&f=false>.