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July 2nd, 2014
One of my main professional development skills (aside from learning Chichewa and building my confidence and communication skills) is to develop my leadership abilities. I have found myself in leadership roles by choice and sometimes not by choice throughout the years but would really like to build on these skills and improve my capability.

A leadership style that I think I fall into and that I want to strengthen and use during my time here in the district water office is a type of leadership that enables and encourages others to lead as well. I think this style is the most practical and effective in a placement that only is lasting two months and three weeks (now only one month and three weeks!) because my goal is to set-up structures that are sustainable and will last without my input. If I can ensure that everyone is involved with the set-up of these structures and has ownership and a space to create how the Area Mechanic (AM) and Area Development Committee (ADC) plan will go, it’s more likely that people will be invested in it, and it will be more successful due to everyone’s input.

There is a Malawian saying “ichi chiyani kulinga muli awiri?” which means basically that you can know something better when you are two or more persons. That’s how I see my role within the office; creating a space for more communication and sharing and developing of ideas; and within the plan itself because the district will be sharing responsibilities and information with the ADCs and AMs. As I’ve been trying to improve my communication as well I’ve realized that obviously things go better when everyone is sharing openly and are on the same page.

I’ve also been trying to challenge the leadership areas that I feel unsure about, which is not always easy! If you are reading this, I’d love to hear about a time that you have felt compelled to lead due to the excellent leadership of someone you were working with. What inspires you to take charge or start an initiative? I’d also be interested in hearing what your styles of leadership are, or if you have any leadership resources.

Thanks for reading!

Source: Franny in Malawi