Introduction Motivator, decision maker, innovative, adaptable, forecaster. These are just a few words that describe a leader. A leader can be anyone who uses power and influence to direct the activities of followers toward achieving goals (Colquitt, Lepine, Wesson, 2013, p.418). One, who directs and inspires their peers, can be of any age, race or sex. A great leader must possess the innate characteristics of being able to bring out the best in people. A great leader must know how to lead as well as know when to listen and follow. This paper will further analyze what is takes to be a great leader and give examples of great leaders while comparing real leaders and managers with studies that have been conducted on the characteristics of a great manager. I will also include my personal reflection on being a leader and what I can do to become a better leader and future manager according to self-assessment quizzes related to leadership. Theories and studies will be used to explain and justify the reasons on why particular people are great leaders. I will discuss in detail the leadership of my supervisor and the tasks he has accomplished that made him an effective leader.
When encountered with the opportunity to choose a great leader, I immediately thought of my supervisor. My supervisor is the Chief Deputy Clerk for the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. He oversees a team of about 15 people, including an operations and information technology team. The Chief Deputy Clerk has been with the Judicial Panel for about 6 years. When he first arrived, he was forced to handle a huge challenge. He was forced to take an office that totally relied on paper filings to a paperless office. There were naysayers from top management on down. He had no direction on how to get to a paperless or even how to motivate employees to believe that a paperless office was even possible. Also, because he was a recent employee, employees were not trustworthy of his decision making. Therefore, during this time morale was at a low. There were rumors surfacing the office about layoffs and the workload diminishing because the office was going paperless. The Chief Deputy Clerk had a lot to deal with a lot. Negativity and naysayers were a regular part of his day. For the first year, he was very stern and made a lot of changes. Employees were very apprehensive about the new Chief Deputy Clerk. Changes he made were related to employee positions. He revamped jobs and abolished positions all in preparation for a paperless office. He was also very secretive. He did not communicate decisions to staff until the decision was final. There was never any inclination of any changes that were to be made. During the next year, he set up teams in order to get a full understanding of each person’s job and how each job would fit into the new paperless system. After the many changes made by the Chief Deputy Clerk, employees thought negatively of him. During his second year, he became more in tune with his employees. He motivated his employees to believe that a new system would create more opportunities for employees and will make everyone more marketable because we would be using a system that is used within all the courts in the federal government. This added hope for