This course has been a walk down memory lane as I’ve reflected on my past experiences with leadership, change, and project management. Some memories have been insightful, some have been frustrating as I recognize what some of my past leaders, project managers, and change leaders have lacked.
My initial reflection on leadership put honesty at the forefront of a great leader’s attributes. While this hasn’t wavered, I now recognize the importance of other attributes, such as communication, dependability, trust, and empathy. The exercise with my teammates on leadership attributes proved that no one has the exact same consensus on what a great leader should bring. I think its safe to say its easier to agree on what a great leader shouldn’t bring. But whatever the golden list of attributes is, I believe that some people naturally have these attributes; I also believe some people can learn these attributes, but only if they’re willing.
I’ve never been in a formal management or leadership position, and I’m still not sure if I do since it’s such a dauting task and easy to botch. But I would be willing to step out of my comfort zone and to be more involved in change projects for my next employer, particularly if it involves a digital learning environment. Despite Al-Haddad and Kotnour’s (2015) assertion that only 30% of change initiatives succeed, being on the team that lead a successful change would be rewarding.
If I am ever in a formal position where I must lead change, I will strive to remember O’Toole’s (2008) words, “people will only follow leaders who manifest the ability and willingness to take them where they want to go (p. 3).
Al-Haddad, S., & Kotnour, T. (2015). Integrating the organizational change literature: a model for successful change. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 28(2), 234–262. https://doi.org/10.1108/JOCM-11-2013-0215
O’Toole, J. (2008). Notes Toward a Definition of Values-Based Leadership. The Journal of Values-Based Leadership, 1(1), 10. https://scholar.valpo.edu/jvbl/vol1/iss1/10