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Social Work - Leadership Essay, Personal Statement
• The first section of the paper should include a discussion of common themes and consensus regarding “what makes a good leader” as well as conflicting theories about this topic. Questions to be addressed might include: how has consensus regarding effective leadership evolved over the years, do for-profit and non-profit organizations require different types of leaders, how are gender, age, spirituality, ethnicity and other variables thought to influence one’s leadership style and/or effectiveness as a leader?
• The next section should include a detailed explanation of your own theory about “what makes a good leader” and the basis for this theory (personal experience, observation of other leaders, readings from class and other sources, etc.). Students should elaborate on how and why they view leadership in a certain way, and give examples to illustrate key points; including the student’s observations of other leaders.
• The third section of the paper is an analysis of the leadership style of someone with whom you have worked. This can be a co-worker, supervisor/manager, former teacher, camp counselor, etc. Provide a very brief biography of the leader you chose, and explain why you chose him or her. Identify the skills, experiences, and strengths that seem to have led him/her to the leadership position he/she holds. Discuss how this leader demonstrates or contradict the theories of effective leadership described in section one of this paper. Does he/she embody what the literature describes as characteristics of an effective leader? This discussion should also include the effectiveness of this leader in advancing social justice and working cross-culturally (if relevant), the impact of gender, race, and other differences, and the degree to which this leader demonstrates an ethical, strengths-based, inclusive orientation to leadership. Students may not use one of their parents or a famous leader (Mandela, MLK, Oprah, etc.) for this section of the paper.
• The fourth and final section of the paper should include the student’s overall assessment of his/her own capacity to lead, including key strengths and challenges. This section should begin with an overview of your experiences thus far, in leadership roles. In addition to traditional leadership roles, i.e. supervisor or manager, you can draw upon your experiences as a natural leader in school, the workplace, and community, in addition to other leadership roles you play or have played as siblings, parents, neighbors, church members, etc. Students are expected to demonstrate self-awareness regarding their personal backgrounds, unique skills and characteristics as leaders, as well as what they perceive as areas for further growth and development. This may include observations about how your age, gender, sexual orientation, culture, background, etc. may impact your leadership style. Articulate how your commitment to ethical, justice- and strengths-based practice and respect for diversity impacts your style and aspirations as a leader.
• The paper should conclude with a brief summary of your assessment of your learning to date - from course readings, discussions and this assignment – regarding the concept of leadership as well as your own capacity as a leader.
• The first section of the paper should include a discussion of common themes and consensus regarding “what makes a good leader” as well as conflicting theories about this topic.