Leadership: learning the skills

Leadership is an interesting concept. In life we have many different leaders, and therefore many different interpretations of what makes a good leader. I have been a leader in the form of netball team captain, netball coach, junior rugby team manager, president of the university communications club, a big sister and training staff. These are each different in their own ways and I have learnt a variety of skills from each role.

This year I have decided to look deeper into what makes a good leader and how I can improve on what I have already learnt from these experiences to make myself a better leader in the future. I am taking a university paper in leadership (which happens to be coded 111!), I have also taken the opportunity to participate in a six day leadership camp through the NZ Rotary Club (which starts on Saturday). I thought it would be good to compare my current views of leadership with those I have after attending the camp,  and finishing my uni paper.

The leadership lectures at uni focus a lot on our own personality and combine it with the research theory that has been done on leadership qualities. One study we were given showed that New Zealanders ranked the following four characteristics as most important in a good leader:

  • Honesty (86%)
  • Forward-looking (86%)
  • Inspiring (78%)
  • Competent (53%)

These are very similar to the top four characteristics I would have chosen for a good leader. It is however a challenge to have a strong balance of all of these characteristics in every leadership role. I think attending the Rotary camp and completing the uni paper will help me to cement my own personal leadership style and fine tune how I use each of these characteristics to best serve in different situations.

The Rotary leadership camp is next week and before I go I have to make a one minute presentation with voice over on ‘what leadership means to me’. I have used my previous sporting and club experiences to demonstrate what I think a good leader is and how I attempt to demonstrate those skills. This is a good starting point and I will be interested to see how my views expand and alter during the camp.

I will report back after camp. Wish me luck.



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