Leadership is an asset specific to the business environment, defining the people who move and inspire others by transmitting a vision and instilling passion and motivation. However, such skills of influencing people towards achieving a goal are not specific solely to the business world. Leadership traits can be identified in every setting that implies the existence of more individuals, organized in a group, wherein one individual distinguishes as the leader of the group. However, leadership can also be exerted individually, to self in various contexts, including the academic one. This essay discusses the student self-leadership, indicating how students can use leadership skills and strategies for motivating, inspiring and determining themselves for achieving their academic vision and the sought academic results.
Being a student requires more than going to courses, taking notes, listening to professors’ guidelines. Being a student and achieving good academic results, while also enjoying the student life, also implies having a vision. It implies being able to break down the vision in specific, measurable, achievable, result-oriented and timed (SMART) objectives. Students need to know how to organize their time, how to motivate themselves to study and how to reward themselves for achieving the sought results. All these attributes require self-leadership skills, which can make the student savvier and more critical regarding his or her academic life.
The academic system, the professors, the courses, the grading system, etc. is similar to a bureaucratic and at times autocratic managerial style, based on stringent working procedures and guidelines that tell students what to do without motivating them. The academic system is often opaque and does not transmit passion or does not motivate students to willingly learn. Instead, the most often motivational strategy used in schools and universities is McGregor Theory X, according to which individuals dislike working or learning and they only do so when coerced or threatened (Pride, Hughes & Kapoor 284). These conditions describe an autocratic managerial style applied by the professors and academic staff in generally to determine students to learn. However, although management and leadership are both perceived as authority systems, they are distinct. Leadership is more flexible, less stringent and less procedure-focused than management, maximizing the inner capacities and skills of the followers for achieving success and not the step-by-step working or learning processes specific to management.
In this context, students need to find their own leadership skills, in order to self-motivate and self-guide themselves. Through self-leadership students can find their inner abilities or talents that they can optimize for achieving the sought results. In leadership, coordination means translating a vision. Students who can set a vision and translate it into SMART objectives further need to motivate themselves for achieving the sought objectives. Student self-leadership skills can be used for passing exams, for learning in an efficient manner or for acquiring a set of academic skills that the student requires for achieving his or her academic vision.
Leadership can be applied to any type of environment, including the academic one, for instilling individuals to follow a vision. This essay discussed the student self-leadership, required in the academic environment for supplementing the bureaucratic, autocratic and opaque system that describes this environment, through leadership strategies, focused on efficiency. Student self-leadership is a skill that students need to develop on their own, required for disciplining and motivating themselves to study for achieving the envisioned academic results.
Pride, Willian, Hughes, Robert & Kapoor, Jack. Business. Mason: Soth-Western Cengage Learning.