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Leadership Development Series

What Type of Leader Am I? Leadership Styles

As we adjust to a new style of living, it’s easy to feel separate from UC San Diego and Warren College. However, it is important to remember that as students we’re all members of our Warren community. 

In the time that we would normally spend engaging with each other in organizations and at events, we can still work on self-improvement and becoming a strong leader. The first step towards becoming a stronger leader is considering what type of leader you are already.

This week I encourage you to learn along with me and read this interesting article I found on leadership styles.  Consider what type (or types) of leadership you identify with most, and consider the pros and cons of that style. If you like, you can write down your responses.

What Kind of Leader Are You? 8 Common Leadership Styles (and Their Pros and Cons)
https://www.themuse.com

What Type of Leader Am I? Personality Tests

 

Another part of being a leader is understanding your personality- how you enjoy working, what bothers you, and how much you enjoy working with other people. So, I’ve gathered a few personality tests for you to take. You can take just one test, or all of them. Take note of any similar themes between the results of these tests and reflect on what makes you, you!

These websites may contain affiliate links.  We do not endorse the products advertised on this website.  We just like the resources.

Understanding Your Strengths

 

As we work towards self-improvement, it’s important to understand what skills we already have, and what we want to improve on. So for today, let’s focus on getting a list of our strengths put together.

In order to help identify your strengths, let's begin by simply making a list.  List things you have accomplished in your life that you feel proud of. These can be big things like getting into college or winning a sports championship, or everyday accomplishments like finally figuring out a tough concept from one of your classes or something that you love to do and feel that you are good at. After you have your list of accomplishments, go back to each one and write down one or two things that made your success possible. Is it your determination? Your attention to detail? Creativity? Organization skills?

The goal of this is to figure out what attributes you have that make your personal successes possible. Keep this list handy- we’re going to add onto it later in this series.

Understanding Your Weaknesses


In the last post, we focused on understanding your strengths by putting a list together of our accomplishments and writing down what made those successes possible. But knowing your strengths is only half the battle- now, you have to take a look at your weaknesses in order to think about what you want to improve on. So let’s go back to that list from last time.

For every accomplishment, think about what made your success more difficult. Be honest with yourself, it wouldn’t feel like much of an achievement if it was completed with zero effort. What did you struggle with? What did you have to change in order to succeed? What took the most time? It may not be very fun to think about all the times that you struggled, but it’s an important part of self-reflection.

Remember to think about your weaknesses with a positive growth-mindset! It was a struggle in the past, but now there is plenty of time to improve.

Personal Mission Statement


 

We have explored leadership style, strengths, and weaknesses. Now that we know what we’re working with, it’s time to set a goal for the future- whether it be the rest of the quarter, the rest of the year, or for your future career.  A personal mission statement can help you focus on your goals, remind yourself why you are working so hard, and can be a great opening statement for a cover letter!

I found a great resource to help create a personal mission statement. This site provides a step-by-step process for creating a personal mission statement as well as some additional resources.

Discover How to Create an Effective Personal Mission Statement 
theoldenchapters.com

This website may contain affiliate links.  We do not endorse the products advertised on this website.  We just like the resource.

 

Creating a Vision Board


In the last post, we introduced a way to set our goals via creating a personal mission statement. If you are more of a visual learner, making a vision board might be a better way for you to create a map towards your goal. It’s also a really fun arts and crafts activity to pass the time.

To make a physical vision board that you can keep on your wall as a daily reminder the goal you’re working towards, you will need:

  • a large piece of paper
  • old newspapers/magazines
  • scissors
  • glue
  • whatever embellishments you like

If you don’t have supplies at home or prefer a more virtual representation to keep as your screen background, there are a lot of websites that will let you create a vision board for free - one I like is linked below!

However you make your vision board, keep your mission statement in mind and have fun with your creative side for a while.

Canva Online Vision Board
https://www.canva.com

How to Make a Vision Board
https://christinekane.com

This website may contain affiliate links.  We do not endorse the products advertised on this website.  We just like the resource.

Making a Schedule

So far, we have explored our strengths, weaknesses, and personal goal towards becoming a better leader. But how do we actually work towards that goal? My first step towards achieving any big project is making a schedule, it helps keep me on track and help my daily routine as well.  How do I make a schedule?

  1. Consider the time of day when you’re most productive. If you notice you get a lot done if you wake up early, set aside time every morning toward working on your goal or getting other work done to free up time later in the day for co-curricular leadership opportunities.
  2. Schedule semi-regular breaks. Consider how long your attention span is - if you find yourself zoning out every 20 minutes, schedule quick breaks more frequently. If you can sit down and work uninterrupted for a while, schedule longer breaks, but less often.
  3. Consider the most important tasks you need to do every day. If you have class assignments, scholarship applications, or other important obligations, make sure the stuff that is due first gets done first.
  4. Take a step back and look again at the goal you are working towards. Does the schedule you have so far make sure you’ll get all of your tasks done in time to meet that goal? Does it allow time for (inevitable) procrastination? Work backwards from the deadline and try to gauge how realistic your schedule is.

For more information on scheduling strategies, this website lists a few different options that may fit your work style: 

Master Your Time: 5 Daily Scheduling Methods to Bring More Focus to Your Day
https://zapier.com

This website may contain affiliate links.  We do not endorse the products advertised on this website.  We just like the resource.

Using Apps to Stay Organized

We have busy (and productive!) schedules, but how do we keep track of all we need to do? There are many ways to keep organized, whether it’s a checklist or a wall calendar. I think it is helpful to have an online option for staying organized. Here are some helpful, free apps that I like and you may enjoy to help keep your schedule together:

These websites may contain affiliate links.  We do not endorse the products advertised on these websites.  We just like the resource.

Take A Break - Stress Management

Part of being a leader is knowing when to take a step back. The schedules that we created last time had designated time for breaks. That may be a time for a snack or to talk to friends, but sometimes we need to relieve some stress. If you want to take your mind off things, there are some great free games to play online that will help you forget about your stress for a while. Just remember to set a timer so you don’t end up avoiding your work for too long!

These websites may contain affiliate links.  We do not endorse the products advertised on these websites.  We just like the resource.

Showing Your Leadership On Your Resume

We’ve gone through quite a few self-development and leadership skills in this series. One of the most important things we can do, now that we have these new/developed skills, is show potential employers our capabilities via a resume. So, here are some of the tips and tricks I learned for showing leadership skills on my resume:

  1. First, you need a resume. If you don’t have a resume already made, or if you want to make a new one, I highly recommend resume.com. It’s a free website where you put in your information and it generates a professional layout for you to download.
  2. If you find yourself using the same words over and over and having trouble describing your strengths, look at the action words that make your resume sound more professional. If you are applying for a specific job, a great strategy you can use is putting keywords from the job description into your resume. This will make it more likely that your resume will make it to the hiring manager for companies that pre-screen applications!
  3. Add your skills to the resume. There are two main ways to do this: you can add descriptions of your leadership to specific work experience sections, or you can add a section in your resume specifically for your skills.
    1. If you want to highlight examples of your leadership, then the best way to do that is within your work experience sections. For example, if you had a job where you were the leader of a group project, mention that in that job’s work experience description. Remember to use action words for the specific skill you want to highlight.
    2. If you want to give an overview of your best/most applicable skills, then make a section for your skills. Here, you can list each of your strengths and provide an example of each. This may be better if you have less work experience, and it highlights your strengths more.

Resume.com

185 Powerful Action Verbs That Will Make Your Resume Awesome
www.themuse.com

UC San Diego Career Center - Create a Resume 
UC San Diego Career Center - Create a Cover Letter

These websites may contain affiliate links.  We do not endorse the products advertised on these websites.  We just like the resource.

Using UC San Diego Resources

A great way to utilize your leadership skills is through participation in or leadership roles within a student organization.  As UC San Diego students, we have access to a lot of student organizations - within Warren College, departmental organizations, and across campus.  There are over 700+ student organizations on campus at any given time, ranging from pre-professional organizations to recreational clubs.

If you are interested in finding on-campus organizations that may interest you, check out

  1. Warren College Student Organizations - This website shows all current Warren College student organizations and groups.
  2. Center for Student Involvement List of Current Organizations - This resource has a list of non-College based student orgs, and you can filter by categories like cultural, educational, spiritual, or service organizations. 

If you are able to get involved in a student organization and show your leadership in that org, you may want to update your co-curricular record to reflect your accomplishments. Additionally, adding extracurricular activities to your resume is a great way to show your strengths and have concrete examples of teamwork, communication, project management, and more, when you don’t have as much job experience.

Reflcting On What We Have Learned

After going through all of these steps, it’s important to take a step back. Especially when there are things going on in the world that may be out of your control, taking time to reflect can be very calming. 

Consider what you have learned about yourself and write a reflection on it. Reflect on your leadership style, your strengths, and how your strengths have manifested in the past. Think about your goals for the future and your action plan. 

You can use these guidelines or you can write about whatever you want, but the important thing is to take some time for yourself. Take a moment, allow yourself to breathe, and allow yourself to write about whatever is on your mind. I hope you enjoyed going on this leadership and self development journey with me!