WHAT KIND OF LEADER I FEEL I AM
I am a female. My profession is an engineer. I am in charge of a company in Iraq. The executive position demands full self dedication and is considered to be quite a challenging for a female in a state like Iraq. The matter is that females in Moslem countries are deprived of the range of rights. However, being in charge of the company, I have to encounter biased treatment of the male co-workers and hostility from the male directing board. Hence, female engineer in Iraq is considered to be an obstacle in its self. Notwithstanding the higher position, for male supported it is still unacceptable to obey. The cultural bias in relation to female place in society provokes distrust and complications in employer-employee relationships. It is widely accepted in Moslem states that women cannot occupy executive position, interfere with political, economic, etc. aspects of activity; be literate and work in general. Thus, it is harder to get the respect of a man being in a higher position.
However, I manage to cope with the industrial and internal issues and incidents due to the personal experiences as a leader, knowledge, and work ethics. I consider myself to be the Situational leader for a number of reasons and adjust to my own style. First of all I am “a follower maturity.” (Hersey and Blanchard, 1998) It means I am ready to react and perform immediately in the given situation. In this very meaning the readiness is basically founded on two major factors: follower ability and follower confidence. (Hersey and Blanchard, 1998) Personally I adjust to the following style as I am able to resort to the alternative decision making in various situational models. Thus, realizing the issue I use the style that best fits. Hence, the ability of adaptation is high, especially while working under the relative emotional pressure. Besides, extreme working conditions empower the ways of improvement of myself as a leader, especially in the type of work I am in.
In addition my leadership style exploits minimal leadership intervention. Thus, my strategies in the work field are: allowing workers to use their brains on the job that increases output; participation in setting goals for the job that motivates a worker; and sure asking employees for their ideas that results in the development of useful suggestions. Notwithstanding the tense relationships with the male workers, the trust and relative loyalty in giving orders and control enables to conciliate the team. My profession is quite creative. Thus, giving workers much space for creation, especially in the field of engineering is the best way to observe their talents and ability and develop them in the best way. Besides, observation from aside of the leader enables workers use their competence fully and not to interfere in decision making process in the cases where it is appropriate. Sure the leader can make important decisions, but I do it only under the agreement of the whole team. My strategy is to encourage the worker and highly motivate by means of project participation, open consultation conduct etc. For me as the leader it is essential to take into the consideration the ideas of each of the colleagues. In addition, taking into account the position of the female in Iraq I always try to do some research on cultural, ethical, psychological and marketing issues in order to be one step further than male part of the leadership.
However, the numerous life experiences and the data I learned about myself including, instrument scores, simulation experience, peer and instructor feedback revealed that I need some improvement of the leadership. I become close to people and express friendly and affectionate feelings and attempt to be personal and intimate. Also become too emotionally attached to people. It is really important within personal relationships, but a bit interferes with the leadership and boss-supported relationships, that is professional relations. Sometimes it is really hard to follow the rules of the leadership and not to cross professional relationships. However, I believe exactly being a human in all meanings of the word enabled
me to reach such a high status among my co-workers and gain solid reputation among male representatives of the company. “The leaders should be flexible and adjust their styles as followers and situations change over time.” (Hersey, 1984) Task competence, ability, and willingness are the essential parts of situational leadership. For me the most essential about the leadership is ability to assist, supervise and help in any situation according to the current circumstances. Sure thing as the leader I have a lot of issues to gain. First of all it is important for a female leader to experience loyalty while communicating and giving orders to males. It is essential to display maturity and confidence in decision making and promoting the personnel. For me personally it is essential to keep some professional distance in order to avoid personality affection for the team members, etc. It is also essential to improve the rhetoric speech skills, as far as the good leader should be an excellent and articulate orator.
However, in my opinion, the main features I possess as the situational leader are: common sense, logicality in drawing conclusions, strong character, which is inevitable condition of the leadership in male surrounding. Hence, good sense of humor is important, as well, because it serves to melt the ice and sometimes remove personality barriers in communication, etc. in addition, it is reasonable to mention the personal working style, aesthetics and ethics. The style of clothes is significant in the sphere of business, as well. I believe for a female is important to represent herself with respect in order to be treated appropriately in future. Thus, to improve my leadership knowledge and skills I can engage myself in trainings, reading specialized literature and immediate activity at work with the team. Experience turns out to be the best teacher and the company is the school of leadership for the executive worker like me.
Hersey, P. The Situational Leader. Escondido, CA: Center for Leadership Studies, 1984.
Hersey, P. & Blanchard, K. H. Management and Organizational Behavior. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1988.