Mike Carter’s Leadership Philosophy

Leadership encompasses guiding others in the right direction, working towards a common goal, and incorporating varying moral values of a group or team. Being a great leader starts with having and developing a greater understanding of one’s self, involving others to complete the task-at-hand, and knowing methods to build sustainable communities. Understanding one’s personality traits plays a key role in the success as a leader, but certain portions of leadership can be learned as we will discuss later. Throughout this website, you can explore my personal interest in leadership, differing theories of leadership that have evolved, and my objectives moving forward.

Personally, I am interested in developing my leadership abilities because doing so will further my self-understanding and self-awareness, help me be able to better connect with others, and enhance my ability to involve everyone in a team environment working to achieve an important, sustainable goal. One of the ways to develop my abilities is to understand the differing theories regarding leadership. A better understanding of all of these aspects will prepare me to handle a wide variety of situations. For example, currently I am a student supervisor with the University of Illinois Dining Services. By increasing my self-awareness and my knowledge about the different types of personalities, my ability to create a strong, fun, and productive community will increase substantially. Other situations will include examples from school, work, and even my personal life.

Role models of my ethics, morals, and hard work are my parents. My mom shows deep passion with all that she does, which I have been able to adapt as a personality trait of my own. For hard work, my dad has shown me the best while always doing what is fair and “right”. For example, a few years ago, a car in front of him flipped numerous times and caught on fire. He pulled over and helped pull the passenger out to safety. Also, the nature of my dad’s work helped me observe the most effective ways to lead people. Neither of my parents explicitly taught me how to be a leader, rather they provided the strong foundation necessary for me to incorporate leadership traits, responsibilities, and methods into my every-day life. More recently, David Gergen has been a model of a leader for me referencing his historical and continued success. Although he has held numerous positions within the White House, he is still down to earth and able to keep his mentor-like personality, which is a skill I strive to have.

Leadership to me is the ability to bring the best out of someone, while focusing on their strengths and helping to improve (or compensate for) their weaknesses. Also, it includes working towards a common goal while respecting the variety of personalities and values found within a community. This definition of leadership encourages the development of community, increases awareness of others, and requires the presence of respect. Through this personal definition, I feel that developing leadership develops one’s character and furthers our society’s overall success. Through the Leadership Certificate Program, I have begun identifying and strengthening the best aspects of my leadership style and work to improve my weaknesses.