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Leadership: we should all create our own mission statement

Creating a leadership philosophy can help a person to identify their strengths and weaknesses when working with others; it sets a tone and holds the leader accountable for their actions.

Key Leadership Belief #1: Accept the groups’ opinions to be as valuable as your own.

Democratic leadership can be defined as “an open approach to leading, where decision-making is shared and the views of a team or group are valued and contribute to the visions, goals, and decisions that are made” (Democratic Leadership Style, 2013). The bottom middle of four children, sharing a vision and listening to the whole group in order to make decisions, is engrained in who I am as a person, not only in a leadership position. To accept the fact that “people other than the leader may well have ideas about a better way forward”, is at the heart of my philosophy. We best represent the majority through hearing others’ perspectives. Allowing us to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, empathy, and an open mind are incredibly valuable characteristics of an effective leader.

Key Leadership Belief #2: A defined leader exists to make the ultimate decisions

Joseph A. Raelin’s article for Northeastern University reiterates the importance of group participation where “the mode of communication is a dialogue or deliberation that involves the responsible parties to decision making without privileging particular stakeholders because of their status or authority” (Raelin, 2012). This is democratic leadership at its finest, but can also be seen as one of its shortcomings. Rather than just the idea of listening to one another, there is a defined leader who ultimately has the final say. This should result in actions or policies that reflect the consensus of the group because the “leader shares the decision-making and problem-solving responsibilities with his or her leadership team” (Jakhar, 2017). I feel strongly that final decisions should be in the hands of people with the knowledge, experience, know-how, and ability to follow-through with the wants/needs of the group. This can be attributed to my Political Science degree and study of governments around the world.

Key Leadership Characteristic #3: Focus is placed on completion of clearly defined tasks

To-do lists, written journals, an old school handwritten planner are some of my favorite things. By identifying each task and checking them off my list I am able to remain motivated. I feel it is the role of the leader to act as a role model; this is something outlined in my duties at work and a philosophy that carries over into my personal life. By emphasizing tasks this “helps focus one’s attention…[and] long range goals are emphasized which leads to increasing the survivability of the system” (Transformational Leadership Theories, 2016). Jim Kouzes stated that creating a shared vision allows people people to paint themselves in the picture; when they understand their roles, they can better place themselves in the picture. Since I feel a sense of accomplishment after each completed task, it it only natural that I expect that among my peers.

Key Leadership Characteristics #4: Create valuable and positive change within followers

To inspire is to lead and to lead is to inspire, I believe the only way to achieve this is through creating positive impacts among my peers. The health of the group is at the heart of success and as a person still learning and growing, developing my educational career and experiences, I thrive on the ability to inspire and be inspired. This kind of leadership “enhances the motivation, morale, and performance of its followers…[including] connecting the follower’s sense of identity and self to the mission and the collective identity of the organization” (Transformational Leadership, n.d.). This was another element of an effective leader referenced by Kouzes, the implications of one’s own personal identity and how it relates to the group.


Anonymous. N.d. Transformational Leadership. Retrieved 02 January 2018 from

Democratic Leadership Style. 2013. Defining Leadership. Retrieved 02 January 2018 from

Jakhar, Surendra. 3 March 2017. Why and How Democratic Leadership Style is One of The

Most Effective Management Styles. LinkedIn. Retrieved on 2 January 2018 from

Joseph A. Raelin, (2012) "Dialogue and deliberation as expressions of democratic leadership in

participatory organizational change", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 25 Issue: 1, pp.7-23, Retrieved 02 January 2018 from

Transformational Leadership Theories. 2016. Retrieved 02 January 2018 from


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