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This month I am taking an Executive Leadership class. In this class we are reading two books, the first is Robert Greene’s The 48 Laws of Power and John C. Maxwell’s Developing the Leader Within You 2.0. When I think about what type of leader I am as described by Maxwell or Greene, it is hard to find the answer. In Maxwell’s book the leader is described as someone for the people whereas in Greene’s book it is described as being a leader for the self. After reading both books I believe I fall somewhere in the middle leaning towards the style described by Maxwell. I have found that there are two Greene Law’s that I resonate with and three Maxwell traits that also line up with the type of leader that I currently am.
1. Law 35: Master the Art of Timing
“Always seem patient, as if you know that everything will come to you eventually. – Learn to stand back when the time is not yet ripe, and to strike fiercely when it has reached fruition.” (Greene, 2000, Law 35). There are more aspects to patience than a lot of people see. When we think patience, we think to sit and wait. However, patience also covers listening, observing, strategizing, being in the present, sitting with yourself, reflecting, and so much more. When we become patient, we become that much more powerful of a leader. I have been on a mission to build my patience ever since I met my husband back in 2013. I could recognize that as a friend that is what he needed and when we got married, I realized I had to be even more patient. He is the one to teach me that valuable skill and I am so grateful to him. When I am a patient leader, I am the best version of my leader self.
2. Law 1: Never Outshine the Master
At this stage in my academic and professional journey I am at the apprentice level. I have knowledge about what I want to do and am gaining more every day from master’s around me. From school professors to following different leaders in the entertainment industry, I am consistently being filled with their wisdom and knowledge. Yet I know that I have a rare gift and vision and can bring so much to the table. For example, the internship I gained from my theater teacher will immensely help to teach me many valuable things. However, I can learn from this chapter by applying some of Greene’s thought process when he says, “When it comes to power, outshining the master is perhaps the worst mistake of all.” (Greene, 2000, Law 1). Another quote that I find a lot of value in is “Remember the following: Never take your position for granted and never let any favors you receive go to your head.” (Greene, 2000, Law 1).
1. The definition of Leadership: Influence
In Leadership I have found that I am a very influential person. Often when I have a vision, I am often able to influence others to see that vision and support or participate. I have a background in sales and different theater awards from theater class. It has been a talent I believe I acquired from my father who had to sell himself as an outstanding painter to every job he ever had. “-you must prepare for leadership today and learn how to cultivate influence and use it positively to make a difference.” (Maxwell, 2018, p. 22). I currently run a non-profit theater community and I have used the vision of this community to positively spread a message of love, acceptance, tolerance, patience, wisdom, and understanding. It has changed my life and others who have joined the community, it is truly one of my greatest achievements.
2. The Ultimate Test of Leadership: Creating Positive Change
“I think the real question is, how many people does it take to create positive change? The answer is one person who is willing to lead the people involved in making the change through a process and do his best to take everyone with him.” (Maxwell, 2018, p. 130). I have always been an advocate for staying positive and realistic. Our time on this earth is so incredibly short and I know that for myself that means doing my best to being kind, spreading positivity, and staying optimistic in hard and dark times. Holding these values dear has helped me in both my personal and professional life. I know that I am the kind of leader to be able to create positive change in more than one circumstance.
3. The Price Tag of Leadership: Self-Discipline
Last year when I graduated from Full Sail with my Graphic Design Bachelor’s Degree, I learned an important skill, self-discipline. I had to become self-disciplined to be able to manage my schoolwork and personal life. I did lose my self-disciple last year due to depression, however I was able to gain it back earlier this year. I am very proud of myself and know that by being self-disciplined I can become an even better leader, be able to conquer my schooling, and thrive in the entertainment business industry. “Everything worthwhile is uphill.” (Maxwell, 2018, p. 290).
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