Essay on Different Definitions Of Leadership And Leadership

1079 Words Apr 6th, 2016 null Page
Over the years, I have learned there can be numerous definitions of leadership. When I was a non-rate onboard the Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell, leadership meant doing what the Chief or First Class Boatswain’s Mate said. There was no questioning the commands or giving feedback. I did what was told because of their legitimate power. When I finally went to A-school and earned a Third Class crow, I learned from my supervisor at Public Affairs Detachment San Diego that leadership was all about building relationships. She showed the value of using personal power to build relationships with the crew and her subordinates so she could cash in on that social capital later. When I made E7 and took over a shop full of enlisted, reserve and civilian members, I quickly reverted back to coercive and reward power to get my subordinates marching in the right direction. I also quickly became burnt out and stressed out beyond belief. It wasn’t until I went through CCTI and earned a position at the Chief Petty Officers Academy (CPOA) that I truly learned what leadership is all about. Although the business world literature will give us many definitions, Kouzes and Posner’s (Ref. (a)) definition rings truest for me: “the art of mobilizing others to want to struggle for shared aspirations.” To me, that says it all; a leader has to be inspiring, committed, artful, competent, and forward-looking. After getting my LPI 360 feedback back, I found myself pleasantly surprised in some facets of…

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