What Type of Leader I Want to Be?
I believe in order to be a strong leader you have to have strong communication skills with your staff. I want the staff members to feel comfortable talking to me one-on-one or within a group setting. I would not want to carry an aura about myself that would intimate them or put a fear of retaliation. This open communication would lead to trust. I want people to trust me and I want to trust them. A team that trusts each other is essential for success. I do not want to be the type of leader where I would dictate that,”this is the way or the highway”. I am not going to claim I know all the answers, but I would help direct people to the right individuals. I think what goes hand in hand with communication is listening skills. I believe I am a good listener and a good communicator. I think because I am thick skinned and can take criticism that it would be a strong attribute to have as a leader. I also feel I am a highly motivated person with a lot of creative ideas. I want a team of creative, visionaries who are willing to take risks. I firmly believe,”Without risk there would be no reward” and as a leader show this passion of looking towards the future. I also believe that as a leader the team members should want to adopt a vision or mission not be pushed or forced and to understand our end-user is our primary goal.
As a leader I am able to look at people’s strengths and weaknesses in both soft skills and hard skills and would be able to determine who would be a good fit as a mentor or a mentee. I believe this acknowledgement of a diverse group of individuals creates a strong team. The hard skills (technical skills) are occupational requirements for the job type such as writing, reading, using software, and are teachable abilities that are easy to quantify. Soft skills are not necessarily quantifiable and are subjective but are inherent in an individual such as personality traits, social graces, relationships with the other staff, conflict management and resolution, understanding your own emotions and how to react to other people’s emotions, team building, work styles, time management, leadership abilities, and most of all communication. Through my experiences, a high performing staff member would be well rounded in both hard and soft skills and as a leader, I would focus on improving a staff member’s abilities in both of these areas to maintain the staff member’s longevity in the company and prevent stagnant or burned out tendencies.
I think some areas I would find difficult are staff members who do not have drive, ambition or motivation to further themselves. I would hope I would address these issues ahead of time before these types of behaviors took over, but it happens all the time. I also have a hard time with negativity among staff members. Negativity can be toxic and a complete waste of time and resources. I want people to speak up and convey their ideas or feelings about how things are going and not to feel overpowered or shadowed by others. I think as a leader the areas that would be also difficult include the tough decisions when it comes to keeping or letting staff members go. I would have a hard time not taking things personal in making these decisions because individuals have a life outside of the work place that I would take into consideration. I need to step outside of this and realize they may not be following the vision of PNNL.
The other area I would find difficult in being a leader is the subject of budgets. At PNNL, budgets can fluctuate or be cut on a year to year basis. Understanding the needs of our customers is our priority but making decisions on cancellations of our subscriptions can be detrimental and can cause a negative reaction by our patrons. I would want the collection to reflect both the needs and mission of PNNL. I think figuring out metrics as to what is kept and what has to go is difficult as well. I would want to be fair, but it is hard not to be biased.