The beautiful thing about leadership is that no theory on the different ways to lead is wrong. People lead in their own personal ways and while some resemble others, nobody’s is exactly the same. I think that the famous leadership theories that we read about online and from famous leaders such as Abraham Lincoln, Ellen DeGeneres, and Michelle Obama are the basis of what we create our own philosophies from. We take these main ideas and create our own specific ideas from that on how we lead and what our philosophy is based on our experiences. My leadership philosophy is that everyone can be a leader because leaders shine in specific areas in which they are in their element. I also believe that leaders succeed when they create a strong relationship with their followers.
My philosophy is based off of a mixture of both the Contingency Leadership Theory and the Transformational Leadership Theory from Leadership: Theory and Practice (7th edition) by Peter Northouse. The contingency leadership theory says that all people are leaders but in different places. People excel in some areas and have a minimal performance in others. When we were told as children that “you can’t be the best at everything” I think that this applies to more than just on the soccer field. You will be a leader no matter where you go however sometimes you must step back and realize that other people may shine even brighter in this area and let them have their chance to lead.
Everyone can be a leader if we give them the chance to do so. I think that this goes hand in hand with the Transformational Leadership Theory. This theory explains that leaders are effective because they create strong relationships with their followers. There is a relationship between the leaders and their followers that creates trust and motivation for the followers. The leader in the situation inspires others to shine. Instead of creating a leader-follower relationship, they create a relationship where everyone is equal and has equal ability to do amazing things. This is where I believe that leaders can step back in areas that they see others can shine in and inspire them to do so. Leaders see that others have an amazing ability and let them flourish. This does not take away from you as a leader it actually adds to your skills. Being able to step back and realize that maybe someone else could do better in this aspect and inspiring them to step up and take the plate makes you a leader. There are times when you should be the head honcho and times when you should inspire others to be that leader. I believe that leaders create leaders and building positive relationships with others creates an atmosphere in which all can excel. I can say that I was a leader created from a leader. Actually I think I was built by many influential leaders in my life. The most memorable person that I would say shaped my leadership is my volleyball coach. I was a leader long before I began playing for her, but the leader I am today has been altered in large part due to her. She taught me so many things about how to be the person and leader that you want to be just by leading by example. Coach King always emphasized relationships and positivity. I think the key to any leader is positivity. With an open mind, leaders can accomplish so much more and create positive relationships with others which leads to success.
I have come up with my philosophy based off of experiences I have had as a leader, follower, and just in daily life. In my senior year of high school I was a captain of the varsity volleyball team. Our volleyball team made it to the state semifinals and in the last few points of the game I realized that I was not being successful in my position. As hard as it was to pull myself from the last four points of my last volleyball game for a freshman because I knew that she would excel greater than I was was a very hard thing to do. I think this is where I practiced my own philosophy of being able to let others lead and have a good enough relationship with your followers so that they know this is okay. Faith, the freshman who went in, at first was hesitant because she knew this would be a hard moment but as a leader I had built good relationships with my teammates so they knew that I would encourage them in their time to shine. This is something that I try to reinforce in my daily life as a citizen, student, and leader.
While this is my own philosophy and I know that others have views based on their own experiences, I truly believe this to be the key to a good leader. There is no point of a leader if they are not making a difference so why not make a difference by inspiring others to find out what makes them great and be able to do the same.
Northouse, Peter Guy. Leadership: Theory and Practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE, 2016. Print.