The SPA Leadership program has taught me so much about not only leadership theory, but my own outlook on leadership and experiences with it. My personal definition of leadership involves understanding that leadership changes based on the person and the situation. Leadership is adaption of the circumstances your in. To be an effective leader one must know that they need to be the leader their followers need. This means changing your tactic when needed. It can also mean delegating control to someone else when it is best for the group.
Often in leadership studies, one is asked to list traits of a leader. In fact, even job interviewers will ask the interviewee the same question. However, if the leadership program has taught me anything it is that there is no single set of traits that define a leader. Each leader has to identify and find their own strengths and how these individual traits contribute to effective leadership. For example, I learned that I am most effective in emergency situations where other leaders would freeze. Identifying this skill has taught me what my own leadership qualities are; however, I recognize this is not the case for every leader.
And finally, I have learned that the most important part about leadership is that it isn’t about you. No leader should be looking for their moment in the spotlight or controlling a situation that isn’t meant for them. As I mentioned, every leader has their own set of leadership qualities or traits, a leader needs to recognize when their own skill set can be used and when it is for the best of the group that they delegate power to someone else. Being a smart leader is in part recognizing when they are not the best leader and can be better utilized elsewhere.