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Effective leadership is the key to success in any organizational system.  The study of leadership is a topic of interest and relevance that transcends disciplines, with effective leaders at the helm of shaping the political, corporate and educational landscapes (to name a few). It is widespread belief that effective educational leaders are able to inspire school reform and improve student outcomes. Defining ones leadership style and vision, analyzing those leadership traits and how they subsequently translate into effective leadership practices are the hallmarks of a reflective practitioner and an effective leader. My personal mission is to inspire others to discover the world and use their knowledge for the betterment of humanity, and to have along the way. This mission has been the driving force to the successes I have achieved personally, academically and professionally. I also learned that a vision for success is critical for effective leadership. My vision as an educational leader is to know where I am going but focus on the road ahead. In other words, success as an educational leader is based less on reaching a goal and more on the road to accomplishment. It is paved by the motivation, experiences, growth and smiles made along the way. My vision can best be summed up by the quote by motivational speaker Robin Sharma: Leadership is not about a title or a designation. It’s about impact, influence, and inspiration. Impact involves getting results, influence is about spreading the passion you have for your work, and you have to inspire teammates and customers (n.d.). My leadership vision compliments my leadership style, which focuses on the people on my team. I believe in empowering others to reach their full potential by motivating others through the development of their own leadership capacity. As my teammate continue to learn and drive their own discovery process, they should spread that passion to motivate others in the quest for knowledge and truth. All the while, asking themselves, “why am I doing this” and, “how is what I am doing going to affect people?” As they discover their potential as leaders I, in turn, learn about my own leadership values and principles. I realize it takes courage to lead, strong communication skills to share a compelling vision, and the development of a shared decision-making process. When a leaders builds this feeling community, there also becomes a need for integrity, imagination and impartiality to build transparency. My strengths as an educational leader leaves much to be desired if I am to achieve my mission and vision. Understanding the leadership qualities that essentially characterize one’s leadership style to understand how or why we do what we do, and areas that could be improved. Although no single test can definitively determine an individual’s leadership style, one survey was designed specifically for that purpose. According to Jeffrey Glanz, a self-assessment can be used to determine an educators Natural Leadership Quality (N.L.Q.) (2004, pp.191-196). Glanz’s book Finding Your Leadership Style: A Guide for Educators, was inspired and is an adaptation of the work of British educational philosopher William Hare’s “virtues” (i.e., characteristics of a good teacher) (1993) and the  Natural Life Energy theory (i.e., the belief that people are born with innate attributes) developed by alternative medicine author Gary Null (1996). The results of the fifty-six (56)-statement self-assessment allows educators to categorize their leadership style into one of seven N.L.Q. types: Dynamic Aggressives, Dynamic Assertives, Dynamic Supportives, Adaptive Aggressives, Adaptive Assertives, Adaptive Supportives, and Creative Assertives (Glanz, 2004).  With a score of  six out of eight, the results of my self-assessment suggest my N.L.Q. type (or leadership style) is a Dynamic Assertive (see Table 1).A Dynamic Assertive is characterized to be charismatic, nonconformist, idealistic, introspective and have the power to make change happen (Glanz, 2004). These are interesting results because I although I do agree I am nonconformist, idealistic and introspective, my flailing charisma and belief I am capable of being a change agent are areas that need improvement. Also, there are characteristics from the other N.L.Q. types that resonate with me, which include: the warm-heartedness and easy-going of Dynamic Supportives, and; the imagination and drive of Creative Assertives (Glanz, 2004).Another way to gauge one’s leadership style and capacity are through online personality tests, such as the Jung Typology Test. These tests are often easily accessible and useful in understanding one’s perceptions and proclivities. The Jung Typology Test is another self-assessment based on Carl Jung’s theory of psychological types (ref) and utilizes the Myer-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI Basics, ) to bring awareness to an individuals strengths and preferences. Upon completing the Jung  Typology Test, my results indicate that I share characteristics of two of the sixteen types – ENTJ and ENFJ (see Figure 1). In general, an ENTJ type is characterized as having a natural tendency to seek leadership, and is strategic, procedural and goal-oriented, whereas ENFJ types are sociable, empathetic, and aim to inspire and motivate others (Myer-Briggs website).  I believe these results are more attune to my own strengths leadership style and are aligned with my leadership vision. Give examplesBoth the NLQ and Jung Personality Tests have given me insight on my own personality traits and decision-making style. By biggest takeaways from these results are: recognizing how my leadership style and preferences may vary from others; appreciating this diversity by seeking multiple perspectives on an issue, and; identifying areas in myself that need improvement.  Obtaining the “ideal” leadership style and vision may ultimately lie in self-reflection and the movement towards self-actualization.

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