The text that we use in class is called Leadership: Theory and Practice by Peter G. Northouse (2013) (pictured above). It’s very interesting, and is the basis for what I have spoke about mostly in the blog so far. It’s very interesting so far-currently I’m in the middle of completing my reading assignment for tomorrow but I saw a quote from it and I just needed to stop and think about it for a minute.
Northouse states, “If people are capable of learning from their experiences, they can acquire leadership.”
What an insightful statement! It comes in the middle of a chapter explaining the trait theory of leadership (which I’ll explain in a future post). But this statement literally jumped off the page at me. It made me think about my experiences so far, and wonder if that is what has made me a leader. And it also made me think about people who are not capable of learning from their experiences, or perhaps they do not want to. Perhaps they’ve seen people in leadership positions before them fail, and do not heed the warnings. They end up failing as well. It’s interesting to think about.
The skills approach states that there are a few different qualities that people need in order to be effective leaders. I think what Northouse is saying here is that by observing those around us in leadership positions, we can see how they handle things and interact with people and what their strengths are. We then can model after them, and put our own spin on it. That’s what I’m currently doing with my supervisor. She’s been a hall director at various places for a few years now and has more of a different style than anyone I’ve worked with yet. She’s very direct and can get to the root of the problem right away. She also thinks of every angle in any situations and brings to light anything that I may have missed, which allows me to learn from my mistakes. I like and appreciate that about her. She has helped me grow a lot this year. And that is the essence of that statement. I’m realizing there are different styles and different ways to handle things. Through my different experiences, I can now look back on what works best and apply it to any situation I may come across. My supervisees can then see me doing the same thing and apply it to situations they go through. It’s a cycle! Andi f someone believes there is only one right way of doing something…that’s not leadership. That’s dictatorship. It doesn’t allow for anyone to grow and to learn and expand their knowledge. Here in student affairs, it’s all about development. Good leaders allow people to grow and develop in this field…and I think we can and should apply this in the world as well.