·         From the weekly readings and first e-Activity, predict two to three (2-3) challenges that a public leader may face when moving from management to leadership. Recommend two to three (2-3) actions that a public leader can take in order to address these challenges. Provide a rationale for your response.

·         From the weekly readings and second e-Activity, suggest two (2) applications for your strengths as a leader to situations that may arise within the sphere of public administration. Justify your response.

Weekly readings:

·         Personal Leadership

If You Are Not Leading Yourself, How Can You Lead Others?

Personal leadership can be somewhat elusive and is likely one of the more difficult aspects of leadership development. If you look up personal leadership models to get “the equation,” you will see some very complex models. Developing personal leadership doesn’t have to be complex, but it is always hard work.

A good start toward developing your personal leadership is to develop truthful, thoughtful answers to the following four questions:

Who are you?

Aristotle said, “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” Probably the biggest hurdle to knowing who you are is to be honest with yourself. Everyone is good at many things but not good at everything. We all work better and prefer to interact in different ways. It is important to understand your preferences and how other people experience you. There are many readily available tools to help. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) instrument is a great place to start building an understanding of who you are. The best practice is to go beyond the results and dig much deeper to understand the advantages and implications of your type.

Where are you going?

We all get out of life what our actions and decisions deliver. The difference is more related to horizon. If focused on the long term, your actions and decisions support your personal vision and direction in life. If not future-focused, your actions support the moment and not a goal. As my favorite philosopher, Yogi Berra, said, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you might wind up someplace else.” Developing a personal vision is difficult and is not likely to happen in one sitting.

Who are you leading?

Everyone has a surprisingly large group of constituents they can choose to lead. By not specifically defining who you are leading, you have made the default choice to not lead. Your constituent group should include people from all aspects of your life: career, family, community, friends, etc. On the flip side, it is also important to understand who is leading you. In some cases, as in a good interdependent relationship, it may be the same people you are leading. Knowing your mentors to being attuned to their guidance is important for your personal leadership development.

What do they want?

It is hard to lead people where they don’t want to go. That turns leadership into coercion. For effective personal leadership, we need to listen carefully and understand what our constituents want and where they want to go. That is not the same as caving in or compromising our goals. Leadership is a team sport.

A few final points:

·         Keep Learning – Everything from formal education to just listening and responding to those around you will help improve your personal leadership. Investing in ourselves improves our personal leadership and leadership effectiveness for others.

·         Care Deeply – Personal opinion, I don’t believe you can lead anyone you don’t care about. After all, leadership is not about the leader, but about those they lead.

·         Never Give Up – It should go without saying, long-term perseverance and focus are musts. Along the way, plans will change and require adjustment but will not change who you are or where you are going.

About the Author

Follow me

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}