The ‘Leader’ in me..

20180123223558-GettyImages-518177730
Source: entrepreneur.com

I am a people’s person. Well, that is how I look at myself when I introspect the kind of leader I would like to be or am actually. People can either make or break the team or company and it is really important to bind them all together while managing an organization, event or whatever it may be. You might be the CEO, manager or head of department but unless you mutually work with your subordinates or teams, progress won’t take place.

Good leaders are said to be trailblazers who forge a path that others can follow and then help them diverge to reach higher, dream better & achieve superior than they could earlier (Forbes, 2014). I truly believe if you motivate the team you are in and inspire them to reach for the stars, they might just snatch the moon and hand it to you. It is never about the leader, it is always about everyone else.

Who am I?

Out of all the various kinds of leadership theories studied, I feel I impart servant leadership. This theory was proposed in 1970 by Robert Greenleaf. This type is based on the empowerment of people as the servant leader gives attention to people’s personal development and needs (Mullins, 2016:329). It reflects my brand value during team work as I listen to my group mates, understand and empathize with them and truly believe in commitment to personal, professional and spiritual growth of the people around me.

servant-model
Source: http://www.sju.edu

As Yukl mentions, servant leadership is all about serving people and cultivating a bond of trust and cooperation. Servant leadership is important as a trait possessed by the leaders of today because the world is getting smaller and thoughts are controlled by selfish instincts like greed so as to climb up the ladder and knock everyone down around us. During such moments, leaders fail to realize that one cannot survive alone.

 In the early stages of my career, working as a part of a team which consisted of members from more than six nationalities with English being our medium of connection, some members were not fluent with the language due to which they weren’t able to perform as well as others. But being a people’s person I always tried to listen to their problems and help them grow as strong and confident individuals. I was more concerned with their development and learning rather than my own.

When relating the above form of leadership to the fashion industry, my prospect to become a fashion buyer requires skills like having strong opinions and articulating them via my position. I feel through pursuing MBA and especially this leadership module, I have learnt the importance of voicing my own view point along with respecting others. This will be extremely helpful in my future endeavors.

Leading in class

While attending various leadership lessons, the entire class was divided into four teams. My team had individuals from China and India. Every week we were introduced to various workshops where our leadership skills were tested and at the end of the lesson, a leader was assigned who was responsible of making sure the team reads the module study and answers the questions via presentations. It was a difficult situation for me when the designation of being a leader was appointed to me as many members in my group were lazy and didn’t like doing much work. Using my skills, firstly I made a whatsApp group, took advantage and got to know the personalities of my team members and the divided task accordingly. Feedback was also given after every class and they all felt my leadership was effective and not partial as I gave them chances to speak, express their perspective and listened to their suggestions. I did not throw my beliefs at them, instead took their observations and molded them with mine through which everyone felt content.

The various games helped us become better at team work and we got to know each other on a personal level. But at the same time my weakness lied in not setting extreme deadlines and due to which some of our projects got delayed. After analyzing the whole situation, I made sure everyone worked together and our assignments were completed on time.

Feedback

Three major feedback that I received during this module were:

Team Member 1– said Harleen was very confident about her own perceptions in class and had read the knowledge cast well and could discuss it on a good level.

Team Member 2– said that I was punctual and came well before time to attend all the classes and would like to learn the importance of time management from me.

Team Member 3– explained that I made decisions too fast and a bit impulsively and I should slow down and take a bit more time. For example on getting a case study, I completed it well before time and answered all the questions very quickly and not in depth. Due to this the quality of work suffered.

PDP- Professional Development plan

It helps to document a route of internal analysis, personal reflection and truthful evaluation of  own strengths and weaknesses (Beausaert, S., Segers, M., Fouarge, D. and Gijselaers, W., 2013)

 

What do I want to learn? What will I do to achieve this? What resources or support do I need? What will my success criteria be? Target dates for review and completion?
Completiton of MBA Int. Fashion Mgmt with distinction Organize the submissions according to their completion dates and  review each report before submitting.

Network well with tutors  in the uni and students in the class

Attend all classes

Laptop

Wifi

Access to library and resources

Finances

Getting positive feedback

Improvising the negative feedback

 

 

By April 30th 2018
To obtain an internship in Fashion Merchandising & buying in London Complete my CV

Network with as many professionals and companies

Make sure Linkedin is updated and review all jobs

Obtain interviews in as many places as possible

Laptop

Wifi

Access to agencies of recruitment.

Follow up of all job ads

Social Media

Profile of the top employees

Match my skills with the job requirements

By May 14thb2018
To obtain a job in a company in New Delhi which uses the best of my skill set Complete my CV

Network with as many professionals and companies in India

Make sure Linkedin is updated and review all jobs in Delhi

Obtain interviews in as many places as possible

Use earlier references  from Delhi to arrange interviews

Laptop

Wifi

Access to agencies of recruitment.

Follow up of all job ads

Social Media

Perfect and updated CV

Having 5-6 Interviews lined up once back to Delhi

Requiring the companies of my choice

By 1st Sept 2018

 

Analyzing the PDP plan, I learnt the fact that writing down goals actually work and help in the internal progress. The experience in London and current module has taught me more about myself as a person and how I can improve which will benefit me in my personal life and professional career.

                  References

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33 Comments Add yours

  1. Gautam Kapoor says:

    Not everyone can introspect so much which seems really positive in this blog and I really liked that you have all the positive and negative messages from your team members and you wish to work on it which mostly are ignored by people.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank You for appreciating my work Gautam! 🙂

      Like

  2. Pardeepkapøor says:

    Your approach to help all n take them along plus to make negative to positive is highly appreciable.your strength is your positive outlook ,finding solutions in adverse situation.keep it up
    God bless

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank You so much!! I will try to make sure I apply this in my daily life and future career!

      Like

  3. jessikadawar says:

    It’s rare to find academic essays articulated with such simplicity. Also, it strongly brings out your personal as well as professional skills, which, are worth appreciating. Overall, the essay is well-written. Good luck.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks coming from a vivid writer like you. I hope my strengths and weaknesses are both highlighted!

      Like

  4. Raunaq Chandak says:

    A very well articulated article laying down the various aspects of being a leader. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Raunaq! I hope you enjoyed my view on leadership and will keep following my blog!

      Like

  5. Gurmeen Johar says:

    I found your write-up very honest. It brought out your positive attitude towards accepting your shortcomings, learning from them and taking corrective action. This will take you a long way in whatever you choose to do in life. All the best !!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am glad you enjoyed my write up. Thanks for the wishes! Hope you enjoy reading the rest of the blog!

      Like

  6. Swastika Bist says:

    Team management it’s the most difficult part of the work culture…difficult than the work itself.And dealing with different personalities all together put in one room is tough ,Your study is on point regarding the issues we face. Good work

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with you completely and I hope we can apply this to our daily and work life. It’s important to make sure people are being managed well as they are the core of any organisation. Without them, the company is zero. I hope the issues can be resolved. I will keep posting more… hope you enjoy reading them! Thanks much 🙂

      Like

  7. Abhinav Sharma says:

    The idea of ‘servant leadership ‘ propounded here is the most compatible way to deal with the participants in a team. ‘Servant leadership ‘ as a phenomenon subtly helps the leader to project the majority will without being tagged as a dictator. He is seen as one of the workers of a team rather than as some ruler.
    The author’s decision to vouch on participants with weak knowledge of the English language is what a leader should do. The article projects the leader as the ‘first among equals’.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think you have summed the blog very well and I truly believe in helping and empowering people around me no matter what. If life is a race, why not win it altogether? In the end we all will learn from each other. Thanks for the kind words, much appreciated Abhinav 🙂

      Like

  8. Shreya Kapoor says:

    This is a very honest and a thought provoking write up dealing with the positives and negatives in every day situations. The leader need not always be a declared one , but sometime following the ‘Servant leadership’ methodology you become one ! Keep up the good writing and bringing us more insights into your life.! It made an interesting read ! All the best !

    Like

    1. Thanks Shreya! I am glad that you enjoyed reading this blog and giving inputs regarding the subject. I am sure I will keep posting interesting blogs from now. Thanks much 🙂

      Like

  9. Sukh says:

    Working in a team brings out so many facets of ones personality. This blog provides for a great insight into how a leader has to follow different approaches to bring out the best in self as well as others.
    Great work Harleen 🙂
    Rise and shine!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I truly believe that team work helps in bringing out the best in oneself! There are many different ways a leader can handle teams and this is just one of them. I am glad you enjoyed the blog and hope to keep creating great content. Thanks much 🙂

      Like

  10. Vansh Kohli says:

    It is very rare that the servant leadership structure is effectively explained and implemented in today’s world. Though it is the best leadership structure yet many people at senior management tend to forget the same. Great insight on how you implemented and as to how the feedback was taken.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Honestly speaking I’d never heard about it nor had read these theories but studying this module really helped me understand that people management is extremely important in today’s world and I related myself to the closest possible. I am sure many people at senior management do tend to forget how imperative it is to give their subordinates flexibility and empowerment. I am glad you enjoyed the blog. Thanks much 🙂

      Like

  11. Vijay Raghav says:

    Completely agree with you on your views about servant leadership. I think leadership style also develops with the kind of situation you are exposed to. It’s important not to impose your ideas on other members of the group and let them come up with their own, that is how a team becomes successful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, many difficult and tricky situations arise when exposed and hence one must be calm and not impose ideas like you said. Thanks Vijay 🙂

      Like

  12. Piyush says:

    Very well written and explained regarding servant leadership. I believe that people are the core and you have articulated it very well through personal experiences!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Khushi says:

    Soo beautifully written ❤
    Proud of you Harleen 🌸

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank You! Glad you enjoyed reading. Much Thanks 🙂

      Like

  14. Dr Ritu Rana says:

    Indeed, this article reflects how much you enjoy your leadership module!
    Please have a look at -MBTI® personality assessment instrument http://www.myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-personality-type/take-the-mbti-instrument.
    I think when you are assigned a leadership role, you are expected to be dynamic. Being a leader, it is important to know the personality of each team member and lead accordingly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am delighted that you also understood and reflected the importance of determining personality during leadership. It’s valuable to know how each imdividual is as we all are difference and hence it can help in distribution of correct work in the long run. Thanks for the tool, I will surely go through it 🙂

      Like

  15. Harsh lata says:

    Author’s idea of servant leadership is a rare quality. However, all the great leaders have shown servant leadership as their major strength ; be it Nelson Mandela,Mahatma Gandhi or Martin Luther King. Author’s strength lies in understanding her colleagues . She rightly picked her friend’s strengths and helped them overcome their weaknesses. Indeed, she presented herself to be a true servant leader.. Congratulations!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am happy that you liked my presentation. The examples you have mentioned are appropriate and relevant to learn from. Thanks much 🙂

      Like

  16. Bhanu says:

    I really liked the way you dug deeper and explored your leadership style. you’re striking all right chords — seeking feedback, and matching feedback with your own assessment of yourselves.

    If I may, I would recommend that you explore diverse cultures and situations when you are interning, or moving into a different full-time role. Some may bring the best out of you , and some may bother you and test your limits. Discovering your boundaries will form a crucial form of identifying and shaping your leadership style. Finding a culture and value fit will be extremely crucial for your work, as you want to be true to yourselves, and your style of being a servant leader.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I will surely explore diversity in depth and try to apply my learnings in my career. Glad you liked my blog!

    Like

  18. In the process of working on my own venture, this article particularly has given me a great starting point into looking at different kinds of leadership models, and be able to find the one I can relate myself with. I did a two year Masters from Central Saint Martins, London in ‘Spatial Design’, in the first year of which we mostly working on group projects changing with different projects. This gave me an opportunity to be in different roles, working with people coming from different design backgrounds, and realising that each person in the team could lead the project at various stages depending on the required skill and experience. In the second year of the course, I did my Major project, where I naturally became the leader to a level where I had to formulate the team myself and find relevant collaborators which was really crucial to drive the project in the desirable direction. It was a great learning experience, as I was not a natural leader and found it really difficult to work in a hierarchical structure. As a reflection for the future and having read this article, I would like to implement ‘co-working and collaborative’ strategies efficiently, and give an opportunity to each person in my team to feel confident to lead the project depending on which stage the project is. Lastly, I really appreciate your clarity of thought analysing your current situation working with your group mates, as well as formulating a ‘Personal Development Plan’ which is a great learning I take away as one useful tool for planning next steps of my venture. A great read for the day, and wishing you all the luck in the future!

    Like

    1. I am glad that you could empathize with my situation and it gave you the opportunity to reflect on your experiences working as a leader and a group mate. PDP is a wonderful tool and would love to discuss it with you on a personal level and help guide you further towards your success.

      Like

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