How to Be a Good Leader Essay

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I work in a Kuwait finance house bank in the anti-money laundering department. The department is under the oversight of the risk management department. My job is to assist in making sure that the finance house is in compliance with all anti-money laundering regulations. It is a very important job because failure to abide by the rules can lead to severe penalties for the institution. The bank must also work with larger regulatory bodies so as to prevent money used by terrorists from being laundered through the bank. This job requires a lot of thinking and monitoring and it is important to pay attention to the details. As a leader in my department, I have to be in communication with various people and stakeholders because of the nature of the work. I am always in contact with different people and looking at data and making important decisions that will impact the business.

In my job, I see many opportunities to implement the course concepts. For example, leadership is defined as “the ability to influence an individual or group toward the achievement of a vision or set of goals” (What is Leadership, Team and Organizational Behavior, 2017, p. 2). I find this definition to be useful in my work. I routinely have to influence others in my department because we have teams with different tasks. I am tasked with leading teams and setting out the vision for the team. As a manager it can become difficult to remember that there is more to managing than just delegating tasks and identifying goals. One also has to be a leader so that individuals are motivated. I am often in the position where I need to motivate people in my team to help them become better workers. If the team is not motivated to be attentive to the details and to know what the regulations are, it can cause problems for the bank and that would lead to me being censored.

I recognize that I am a figurehead in my bank. I also recognize that I have to combine management skills, human skills and technical skills in my job, as the course has pointed out (What is Leadership, Team and Organizational Behavior, 2017, p. 4). To have good human skills, I need to look at my own strengths and weaknesses in the workplace. My strengths are my ability to envision goals and motivate others. I can be creative and I can take the opportunity when it is presented. I am always looking for opportunities that might help the bank to be better and I view a missed opportunity with great regret.

For me to have good human skills is one of the leadership issues I think most about. As the course has shown, the trait leadership theory is that leaders “like being around people” (Leadership, 2017). I want to be a good leader in the bank and that means I have to be mindful of my own shortcomings. I think an important weakness for me to address is my soft-spoken nature and lack of continued communication at times. I have learned that this weakness is perceived by others as not being fully engaged, active or not taking initiative. What becomes more concerning is that I do believe I am being fully engaged and paying attention but to others I am not. I believe, at times, I am too focused with trying to listen and appease others in an effort to build relationships and make others feel comfortable that I do not speak up enough with my views and thoughts. I become too agreeable and too shy to speak my mind when, in fact, it is something others wish to see out of me. I over-concern myself with saying the right things and, as a result, I sometimes abstain from commenting at all out of fear of saying the incorrect thing. I need to work on building my self-confidence so that I feel comfortable to speak my mind and not internally overanalyze everything I want to say. These situations tend to present themselves most in larger groups when my timidity to speak becomes more heightened.

It is also important to consider human skills that are my strong suits. I am good at brainstorming and generating multiple options and solutions to a problem that may arise. I can look at and understand information easily and pick up on different issues that may arise. My motivation is to be the best possible version of myself that I can be. I am motivated to help my bank and to help my employees to succeed because I realize from this course that is what leaders must do.

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Opportunities to engage in the development of leadership skills are all around.
First, they are present whenever there is a chance to engage with others in the workplace. In my workplace, I have the chance to speak with workers daily and weekly, in informal settings and formal settings. Taking advantage of these opportunities is one way to develop as a leader. How take advantage of them is the question. As a leader, my goal is to be a better communicator, and that means I have to be open to what others have to say and must be sensitive to the challenges they are facing. Therefore, the need to develop basic core competencies that will facilitate communication is required first. These basic core competencies include: social and emotional intelligence (SI and EI), cultural understanding, the ability to serve others, and the ability to develop and express a vision so as to inspire and motivate others.

One of the keys to becoming an effective communicator is to develop social and emotional intelligence skills. Social and emotional intelligence is about being able to observe human beings, human nature, the way people act and react, the way they respond or use body language to convey information, and to see what is being said between the lines. It is…

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…a moral and ethical workplace culture where altruism can flourish. It fosters charity, kindness, appreciation and respect for others. It is effective because it is grounded in the concept of paying it forward. The leader leads by example and shows that when you love one’s neighbor good things happen for all. It is a style of leadership that helps in the cultivation of long-term relationships and that can effect a truly positive workplace culture. I have seen in my own workplace experience how it important it is to be authentic and to be a servant because I can see the workplace culture change.

Organizational culture is really what it is all about when it comes to leadership. In our Kuwait bank, the culture needs to change and be more positive and helpful towards our workers and customers. Organizational culture is defined as “a system of shared meaning held by members that distinguishes the organization from other organizations” (Organizational Culture, 2017). When I talk with my workers and colleagues, I try to have a sense of what we are all seeing as the shared meaning. I want to know what makes our bank different from other banks. Why is our workplace superior to others? Why should we all want to work here? I cannot always answer these questions which suggests to me that I need to help the bank to define its organizational culture, and I think I can do this by using leadership skills and styles that will help.

After all, that is what this course has suggested. The way to help improve the organizational culture are through these steps (Organizational Culture, 2017):

· Innovation and risk taking

· Attention to detail

· Outcome orientation

· People orientation

· Team orientation

· Aggressiveness

· Stability

If I can help to provide some assistance in each of these areas, I will be able to shape the workplace culture more to be in line with the international character that we should reflect. However, it is important that we not innovate outside the rules and regulations. We are in the risk management department, so we have to manage risk, not take it excessively. One way to be innovative while also managing risk is to discuss with workers how we could enhance the organizational culture. This is a good leadership strategy that I could employ because it shows that I am willing to listen to others and to take into consideration what they have to say.

I can also pay attention to deal, which is a must for my daily job. I have to train my workers to do this too. We have to pay close attention to where money is coming from and where it is going. There can be signals for us in terms of whether the money transactions are being for legal or illegal purposes. Our organizational culture has to embrace this type of focus, and we can teach it but….....

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References

Emotional Intelligence and Leadership: Part of Trait Theory. (2017). PPT. Pearson Education.

Leadership. (2017). PPT. Pearson Education.

Organizational Culture. (2017). PPT. Pearson Education.

What is Leadership, Team and Organizational Behavior? (2017). PPT. Pearson Education.
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