IntroductionHuman nature drives some to lead and some to follow in nearly every situation one may come across. Great leadership qualities develop over time and great leaders take the opportunity to grow and learn from other people, new situations and new challenges in order to constantly renew their skills as leaders. Within organizations, leadership qualities can be found in the ability to seize opportunities and motivate employees to work hard towards achieving common goals in line with the company’s strategy (Patel 2017). This report reflects upon my own qualities as a leader as is important in order to critically evaluate one’s strengths and weaknesses and areas for improvement. As a business must be flexible and constantly evolve, so to must the leaders within it. In this report, my qualities as a leader have been reflected upon; the extent to which these are effective, suggestions for development and areas where there is scope for improvement, developing myself both professionally and personally Self ReflectionSelf reflection is a great way to analyze one’s behavior and qualities, to better understand oneself and to recognize one’s weaknesses. As suggested by Daum (2014) I have focused on questions about my goals, my behavior, and my general state of mind. As a person I have always been an introvert though do not find communication difficult. Say the word “leader” and most people think of a domineering, take-charge, charismatic individual(Bradberry 2015) however I believe that this is unnecessary for productive leadership. Whilst this can seem the case because of the need to deal with many people, effective communicationand a full understanding of leadership methods individuals may respond to, this can overcome the barriers posed by an introverted personality. Being quiet and shy may make me seem more approachable, and I receive everyone with modesty and politeness. That being said, some days I find it more difficult to motivate myself and others when I would like some personal quiet time. Many feel that a calm approach is not perceived as being authoritative enough and new employees and acquaintances especially take time to see my ability to make firm decisions. Though I do not believe a loud or extroverted approach is required for good leadership, I understand that a more confident approach may be deemed necessary in some situations especially when those I am dealing with respond better to this way of working. It can easily be misunderstood from my quiet personality that colleagues working under me can be relaxed and unmotivated which has unfortunately been the case on too many occasions. Even though I have made it clear that I don’t appreciate this careless attitude, it can often be the case that people respond disrespectfully and refuse to change their approach. In order to deal with this situation, I prefer to praise and reward those who work hard so any change in unresponsive individuals comes from themselves motivated by seeing the rewards. This avoids conflict and resentment. I do however understand that a more strict approach can be useful in situations especially where there is a time deadline and therefore I feel I could develop myself in this area and present myself as a strong leader from the offset. Leaders who “communicate often and openly” and “create a feeling of succeeding and failing together as a pack” build a strong foundation for connection (Giles 2016). I have been fortunate throughout my career to have met leaders that are dedicated, talented, hard-working andextremely sincere. I have tried to learn and much as I can from them to develop my career and improve myself as a person. Whilst employed in a managerial position, I have been a leader of many projects. These have given me the opportunity to fully embrace my passion for organization and efficiency whilst bringing a team of people together to work towards a common goal. This does sometimes introduce new challenges in to the normally smooth group dynamic. If a team member is less motivated by a project, they can often become desponsive and unmotivated. Recently this has occurred in a new paperless initiative aimed to increase efficiency, reduce costs and become more environmentally friendly. One member of the team resistant to change was unmotivated and therefore had a lazy and unproductive approach to the new project. In order to minimize the effect of big changes, I feel it is important to communicate and engage employees before and throughout the duration of transition. For the most part this works well however in this case, my colleague did not contribute to group discussions and when prompted for their opinion responded with “whatever you want”. This started to cause friction and despondency because of the increased workload for the other team members. Normally I would approach this situation as previously suggested, rewarding those who worked hard allowing the individual’s attitude to change over time however due to the short term and intense nature of this project I felt something needed to be done with more immediate effect. Initially I responded calmly, talking to the group as a whole regarding their attitude at work, followed by a discussion in private with the individual giving them a chance to put forward their own opinion. Unfortunately this was met with further despondency and rudeness. By this point, this intense short term project was nearly over and I had been unable to improve the situation. Looking back, I see that I should have been stronger and reacted sooner to avoid the later situation that occurred. I have used this as a learning experience and now begin any project with clear objectives and consequences if they are not achieved, making it clear that it applies on both a group and individual basis. In the previous situation, I was able to prevent any further negative effects by removing the team member from the project after several more warnings and giving them a formal warning of their attitude and behavior. Communication is a necessary part of life; it can aid or hinder formation and maintenance of relationships both personally and professionally. From childhood to being a young adult, anxiety heavily influenced my ability to communicate as I was too shy, quiet and timid. I found it very hard to discuss personal issues with anyone which made it difficult to form new attachments and make friends. It also made it difficult when confronting conflict as I was unable to effectively defend my point or put across my thoughts effectively. I feel like although confidence generally improves any way with age, pushing myself in my professional life has helped me develop the skill. When I first started working, I was scared to talk to my new colleagues and would sit for hours without saying anything. I was promoted to a more permanent position which was customer facing and although finding it incredibly difficult, with the help of my colleagues I felt more relaxed talking to people on the phone and in person. I feel like having a greater knowledge for a subject makes it easier for me to talk freely on the subject so ensuring I am professionally as knowledgeable and skilled as I can be, confidence comes naturally. This is an especially important point for me in my leadership. Professional aptitude not only makes me more confident to lead others, it leads others to be confident and comfortable in their job role too. I believe one is not able to lead someone else in doing something that they are not fully informed of and capable of doing themselves.To address the areas where I feel my leadership could use improvement I feel I would benefit with joining a mentor group where I can be guided by the person leading and by my peers. Whilst there is potential to develop myself with coaching, I feel a group situation would be more natural and I would be able to develop myself in other less specific ways in order to become a better leader. Being more outgoing in my personal life, joining social groups and doing shared hobbies can also help cope with being an introvert and help develop confidence, communication and a better understanding of people. I feel like these suggestions will help bring about positive changes in me. In addition, by constantly listening to feedback from others as well as using my own critical evaluation, I should be able to more easily identify areas in which I can better myself. Being proactive in changing these things should prevent them becoming a problem. I would also seek to further my own education, in the business I represent and a better understanding of leadership in general; knowledge of personality types for example and how they react to different types of management can help me better understand how to deal with my colleagues ConclusionIn my professional career I have developed what I believe to be the most important skills required for leadership and through constant evaluation I can strive for self improvement. I have identified areas in my leadership style that could be developed to make me more responsive to the individual needs of the members of my team. This has helped me equip myself with useful skills in both a personal and professional sense including confidence and communication. To continue this self development, I must continue to constantly seek improvement by evaluating situations for improvement and hearing criticism from my peers and colleagues to strive to be the best leader and person I can be.