*(Originally written for my Communication course)

The importance of the ability to take on leadership in a group is infinite. Not being content to simply follow our peers, as leaders we take hold of a collective of intangible, personal characteristics, and employ them at the most crucial moments of group communication. The ability to take on the task of being a mediator in moments of conflict, and being able to smooth over any miscommunication , while still acknowledging group diversity, and maintaining the overall objective of your colleagues as a group provides a foundation for success, not only in a work or academic setting, but also in social situations. In an attempt to analyze my own leadership qualities, I have collected two individual opinions, one from a classmate, and the other from someone who observes me in a professional setting. From these results I hope to uncover conclusions about whether others see me as a possible effective leader, or not.

The first individual I collected impressions from was a fellow classmate from my Mass Media course; Josh. We had previously worked together as a team on a written paper and presentation for the class, and although our time together was not extensive, I was interested in seeing what his opinion would be, us having interacted as a team for the relatively brief period of about a month. Josh had mostly positives to say, and was not as hard on me as I was in evaluating myself. This further confirms that, although I do not feel that I have poor communication skills or insufficent ability to become a leader, others see positive qualities in me that I sometimes miss. I feel in order for me to become a better leader in communication, it is essential that I take into account other peoples’ perspectives and interpretations. In this case, having given what I believe to be a completely unbiased testimonial on my leadership skills, Josh has fueled me to continue to perfect expressing myself and communicating with others. Because our relationship had little prior history, I believe the opinions he expressed were pure gut reactions after absorbing my personality and attitude in our interaction and unfiltered communication.

The individual who has been in a formal position to observe me, is a person I edit video for at a local cable station I work at; Lawrence Hollie. His impressions of me were similar to Josh’s, in that the majority was positive, but realistic. Due to a varied history, and working with him in a variety of capacities, Lawrence has a good idea of my communication skills and how I can articulate myself and take charge of a situation, whether it is expressing a comment or concern while working on something, or when the two of us engage each other in spiritual or other less concrete conversation on a break from work. We are both very talkative, unique, verbal people, and in a work setting, being on the same wave length of comprehension helps a great deal in minimizing the “noise” occurring in our channel of communication. Lawrence’s opinions in filling out the assessment sheet on me were indeed positive, due to the fact that, although I often am assisting him on whatever projects he needs completed, I also take every opportunity to lead the way in how I articulate myself in a multitude of scenarios, and the particular tasks and projects I voluntarily take on.

In overall analysis of the evaluations I received back, it can be concluded that, whether in a brief, informal communication relationship, or a more storied, working relationship, I have the potential to utilize a multitude of leadership skills, via natural speaking ability, and an impressionable positive attitude on those I interact with. Regardless of past history, I received virtually the same feedback on my communication skills regarding potential leadership situations, from two very different individuals. Josh’s response was interesting in particular, as it is fair to say that his responses were based on what were essentially his first impressions of me in any or all of the scenarios listed. Ultimately, this exercise exists as an important reflective tool for me, as I fight for leadership contention, in a world of fast-talkers; some with little substance of integrity in all their distracting verbiage. My goal is for my words, mannerisms, and interactions in leadership to command attention not simply due to rhetoric or persuasion, but more because of the power in the real-world messages and values behind them, and my down-to-earth, approachable demeanor.