Community Matters: Leadership Summary

Dr. Patricia A. Clary

Throughout the miniseries, we have explored how a convening leader’s leadership style, informed by various leadership theories, the servant leadership philosophy, and emotional intelligence, can be pivotal in driving strategic outcomes within collaborative efforts. However, developing a comprehension of one’s leadership style necessitates cultivating self-awareness, which enables the capacity to adapt and transition leadership styles effectively when leading collaborative efforts. Convening leaders provide a pivotal link connecting tackling complex problems and the active engagement of collaborative partners. Despite the specific issues faced by urban, metropolitan, and rural areas, effective leadership plays a crucial role in unifying stakeholders and addressing these issues collectively. The implications for leadership are discussed within this context, with five valuable tips for cultivating self-awareness recommended.

Authentic leaders act in accordance with their values. By cultivating self-awareness of their authenticity as convening leaders, authentic leaders recognize the impact of their actions on others. They can create trusting relationships, promote positive organizational cultures, and inspire others by aligning their actions with their values, fostering trust and credibility among stakeholders. In the leader-member exchange theory (LMX), we examined how embracing attributes of the LMX theory offers the ability to personalize leader-member relationships as convening leaders recognize how their relationship with stakeholders influences strategic outcomes. The influence of the relationship LMX convening leaders have with their stakeholders fosters collaboration, contributes to the development of future leaders, builds trust, and ultimately creates a positive work environment that promotes individual and collaborative success.

We discovered throughout this miniseries that convening leaders who adapt their leadership style could embrace the four fundamental pillars of the transformational leadership theory: inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, individualized consideration, and idealized influence. The implication for leadership is that by providing a compelling vision, stimulating intellectual growth, considering individual needs, and demonstrating ethical conduct, convening leaders can foster a collaborative environment that encourages active participation, creativity, and commitment from stakeholders. In a philosophical approach to leadership, we learned that the mantra of servant leadership can be summarized as “Serve first, lead second.” The implication for leadership is that as servant leaders assume the role of serving others and prioritizing the needs and welfare of stakeholders, they create an environment that fosters the development and flourishing of their stakeholders. Additionally, as servant leaders, convening leaders can foster collaboration and create a servant leadership culture within the collaborative.

The miniseries concluded by considering a leader’s emotional intelligence as to be emotionally intelligent means you can recognize and understand emotions in yourself and others. The implication for leaders is that developing emotional intelligence allows convening leaders to enhance their ability to recognize and understand emotions, enabling effective decision-making, inspiration, and motivation of stakeholders to pursue shared objectives. By prioritizing self-awareness, emotionally intelligent leaders can establish a strong foundation for guiding their actions and fostering positive relationships with others.

As we contemplate the significance of convening leadership in uniting stakeholders and tackling collective challenges, it becomes clear that self-awareness and comprehending one’s leadership style are pivotal elements. Within the convening leadership model, self-awareness stands as the initial dimension. To augment your self-awareness and acquire valuable insights into your leadership style, here are a few recommendations to contemplate:

Journaling: Reflect on your leadership experiences, challenges, and successes. Explore your thoughts, emotions, and insights about your leadership style, values, and interactions with others.

360-Degree Feedback: Seek feedback from various sources, including your stakeholders. Ask for specific examples of your strengths and areas for growth as a leader. Use proper tools or assessments that collect anonymous feedback to provide a comprehensive view of your leadership style and its impact on others.

Self-Assessment Tools: Utilize self-assessment tools specifically designed for leadership development. These tools, such as personality inventories, leadership style questionnaires, or emotional intelligence assessments, can provide insights into your preferences, strengths, and areas of development as a leader. Be sure to select reliable and validated assessments to ensure accuracy.

Coaching or Mentoring: Engage in coaching or mentoring relationships with experienced leaders who can guide and support your leadership journey. Work with a coach or mentor who can help you explore your leadership style, challenge your assumptions, and provide valuable feedback and insights based on your experiences.

Reflective Exercises: Incorporate reflective exercises into your routine. Set aside dedicated time to think deeply about your leadership approach, values, and goals. Ask yourself questions such as “What leadership behaviors align with my values?” or “How can I improve my communication and decision-making skills?” Reflect on past situations and consider how you could have handled them differently. Write down your reflections and insights to track your progress over time.

I trust you have found value in this miniseries on leadership styles based on leadership theories within the Community Matters series. As individuals committed to positively impacting our communities, we must be effective convening leaders. We should reflect upon the specific attributes of a convening leader that we admire in others and aspire to embody as we collaborate to improve our communities.

In the forthcoming column, we will explore a third dimension of the convening leadership model—striving for the pursuit of excellence as we aim to understand the essence of excellence and how it translates into effective governance, collaboration, and convening leadership because community matters.

In community,
Dr. Pat

Patricia A. Clary is a consultant who champions the advancement of strategic community impact agendas to address intricate societal challenges through collaborative efforts, convening leadership, and effective governance.

You can contact her through the following channels:

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– Facebook: PatriciaAClaryPhD

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