Personal Leadership Philosophy Paper
Registration for Leadership 3000 was not the most thrilling part of December 2002. I was required to take this course because of a job requirement for Housing at Austin Peay. Although I was not looking forward to the class, I was met with questions and opinions that made me think. I developed a working philosophy on what leadership, leader, and follower mean to me. This course made me examine not only what type of leadership I think works best, but also what kind of leader that I want to be. On the first day of class I was required to write my definition of the words leadership, leader, and follower. I defined leadership as the ability to process circumstances and cooperate with others in order to make decisions. Having no previous study in leadership this definition makes sense, but following this course my definition has been tweaked. I now believe that leadership is a process, not an ability. The previous definition assumes that a leader is absolute and that his/her decisions direct followers and that the followers do not deviate from the decisions. The followers also have no input whatsoever. The closest definition to my personal beliefs about leadership is that of Komives, Lucas, and McMahon, who define leadership as a relational process of people together attempting to change or make a difference. This definition gives the group of people that are working together a purpose. It also puts the leader at the center of the group's activity instead of at the top. This definition is a bit idealistic in that respect and also because it insinuates that the leader and process will represent the will of the entire group. It is virtually impossible for a leader to not be motivated by personal gain, but it is likely that a leader can work for the common good, while still serving his/her self.
Since my definition of leadership has changed, my definition for leader and follower hav