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Essay on Leadership Interview

Q1 – Tell us a little about yourself?

My name is Essa Almatar. I am originally from Saudi Arabia, but relocated to Canada for purposes of higher learning. On top of my status as a student, I am also the leader of the Saudi Student Association in Vancouver; a non-profit organization. This is my first year at the helm of the organization. While not executing my duties as the leader of the Saudi Student Association and engaging in community work, I am busy at my workplace as a junior research analyst.

Q2 – What does the Saudi Student Association entail as an organization? Essay on Leadership Interview

The Saudi Student Association Vancouver Chapter is a non-profit organization that brings together Saudi students in Vancouver and consists of a workforce of twenty-five volunteers. Other cities have their own versions of Saudi Student Association most of which are recognized by the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Canada as the one I lead. Financial aid for the Saudi Student Association emanates from the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Canada. The organization holds weekly meetings on Saturdays whereby Saudi students meet to engage in various discourses and activities such as sports and games. Most of these discussions and activities are prevalent in the workshops organized by the Saudi Student Association for purposes of stress management and fostering academic excellence among Saudi students as they endeavor to succeed in a foreign country with expectations. Since most Saudi students in Canada are still not familiar with most places in the country, the organization also plans trips to different cities and towns such as Victoria and Whistler to help them know their way around Canada’s towns and cities. The Saudi Student Association also acknowledges the prominence of religious occasions such as Eid and Ramadan and as such, organizes joint prayers and provides food for the Saudi students during this period. Finally, the association not only recognizes but also celebrates the achievements of Saudi students in Vancouver, for instance, it organizes graduation ceremonies for Saudi students.

Q3 – From the description of the Saudi Student Association you are in charge of a significant number of students. What kind of leader would you describe yourself to be? Essay on Leadership Interview

I prefer a hands-on approach when it comes to leadership. I like getting involved in very event and activity that the Saudi Student Association engages in and offer my guidance appropriately while also consulting with every member of the organization and considering their sentiments and feedback. I guess you can say I am democratic or participative leader. But I must admit there are certain occasions that require me to assert my authority as a leader and delegate duties to members of the organization. For example, given the busy schedules of the volunteers, in order to save time in planning events and activities, I often draw up the prerequisite duties and delegate them to the volunteers. I guess I also have a little bit of a Laissez-Faire touch in my leadership.

Q4 – Some say leadership is defined by personal precepts. Do you have particular philosophical tenets that you hold close as a leader?

You know I used to think that personal philosophies are only salient to political leadership, but I soon found out that they apply in almost every leadership setting. My personal leadership can be summarized in five words; determine, know, set, analyze, communicate. I took determine who I am as a person and what my values and priorities in leadership are. It is from this determination of my values and priorities that I was able to know the course I wanted to take or pursue as a leader. Nonetheless, my quest can only be successful if I have set internal compass that grants me self-confidence and self-knowledge, as well as, improves my effectiveness as a leader. The most vital part of my philosophy is in analyzing my course of action to determine whether my goals are sufficient and can be achieved better through delegation or participation. Moreover, I put myself in the shoes of the members of the organization and evaluate whether my priorities and values suffice or whether the input of the members is required. Finally, I communicate my stand to other members and involve myself in very activity and event passionately in as much as I also delegate duties.

Q5 – Your philosophy points towards both delegation of duties and participatory leadership. Does this mean that you consider yourself as a complete leader? Essay on Leadership Interview

Far from it. Quite far from it actually. This is only my first year as the leader as the Saudi Student Association and I can already see why they say leadership is a not an easy task. You know the greatest art is in making people happy. I believe Watson said that. That is what I aim for as a leader and I tell you if I were a complete leader then every member of the organization would be happy with my leadership. I guess what I am trying to say is that there are a few times that my colleagues in the organization and I have rubbed shoulders the wrong way when it comes to who does what and who is in charge of what. Notwithstanding, with every learning experience the members of the organization sharpen my leadership skills just like iron sharpens another. I am quite privileged to be their leader. It is them who make me a better leader.

Q6 – Having dealt with various individuals and situations and presided over numerous activities as the leader of the Saudi Student Association what abilities or skills do you reckon are vital to effective and successful leadership?

I believe that a leader should be able to inspire and motivate others. This skill is vital because people normally motivated by a leader who has a clear and compelling vision. Members of an organization will be more willing to perform duties and follow the directions of a leader if what they are doing has a positive and tangible impact on others and the world as a whole. A leader should also portray honesty and high integrity. Many organizations have fallen because of promiscuity and dishonesty exhibited by the leaders. As such, a leader must maintain transparency and honest communication with members while also walking the talk, that is, doing exactly what he or she said they would do. Otherwise, what you have is a leader that is easily corruptible or one that perpetuates corruption and underhand dealings in an organization. Finally, a leader must be able to evaluate issues comprehensively and solve problems or find appropriate solutions to problems. This is vital because ultimately leaders are chosen to solve organizational problems and identify opportunities of success. This requires not only diligence but also formidable analytical abilities.

Q7 – Do you possess these skills or abilities that would otherwise render you an important individual to the Saudi Student Association?

I consider myself to be an honest individual. This comes from years of seeing massive corruption in many organizations, even non-profit organizations and people yearning for an honest leader. Fortunately, the Saudi Student Association lacks such kind of underhand and dubious dealings and I intend to keep it that way. I also like solving problems and getting people involved in courses that are for the greater good and improve their lives in the process. That is why the leadership of the Saudi Student Association is a perfect opportunity for me to extend my problem solving skills to fellow students and help them sail safely against the waves of academic pressures and social expectations, and still find time to celebrate their successes and achievements. With that said, I believe I possess the skills of motivation, integrity and problem solving as a leader even though I still encounter problems as the leader of the Saudi Student Association. Whether I am important or not can only be determined by those I lead.

Q8 – What are some of these obstacles or shortcomings that you have faced as a leader? Essay on Leadership Interview

Most of the problems come in the planning stage of events and activities, that is, getting all the logistics right and fitting it all in the members’ busy schedules. In certain occasions you find that events and activities clash with members’ commitments to their classes and jobs. In other occasions, getting full participation by members can be difficult with some not meeting their objectives.

Q9 – How did you deal with these barricades?

It is only through constant communication. I found out that most of these barricades can be solved by maintaining constant communication with members. In areas where there were problems a solution would be found in the process of communication. Trust me when you regularly give someone a call about an issue, they are more willing to suggest a solution rather than just informing them once and expecting them to do their part.

Q10 – What advice can you give to future leaders?

I can only that they should strive to create something that is greater than them. Leadership is not an opportunity for one to get ahead in life in terms of recommendations, work experience or filling one’s resume with achievements. It is a rare chance that only few get to make a real difference in people’s lives and the world at large. Many people say the world has changed a lot. It does not incite the feelings that it did in them as children. Well, this is your opportunity to make that world a reality by bringing real change and happiness to people.