Applicants need to think through past experiences to find the stories that best illustrate leadership skills. The most effective examples may not be the first to come to mind.
What kind of experiences will make the best tales of leadership?
- Think about challenges where the following came into play:
- Identifying/defining a problem
- Being open to new information, input, etc.
- Building consensus with appropriate stakeholders
- Guiding strong mid-course corrections; overcoming mistakes
- Building on success
- Articulating a vision
- Resisting conventional approaches; challenging status quo
- Convincing others of importance of problem
- Marshaling resources to address problem
- Motivating others
- Making good use of others’ talents
- Permanently upgrading organization’s capabilities; institutionalizing solutions
- Illustrating methods for other individuals, organizations, etc.
Related: How to elicit the strongest and most compelling responses about leadership from your recommender
Details of your working style
AJ bears exceptional leadership abilities. In internal discussions or project meetings, he would always raise some thoughtful points or questions, which had led us to think thoroughly about the challenges that we were facing. He would quickly empower the team and has an uncanny ability to focus on the bigger picture of the project. He creates a space for free exchange of ideas and encourages his teammates to debate over it .This process has often helped him in coming out with a clear plan and involving the team in all aspects of the project.
P.S: Describe your style of functioning , making decisions and the values that you believe in.
He has portrayed his leadership skill throughout his tenure in Company X. In projects like for Client Y, UK, he proved his leadership skill by taking ownership of projects and delivering an impressive output with his team even before the schedule. He has taken responsibility beyond our expectation and has played a proactive role in handling high-pressure project deadlines.
P.S: Give a background on the type, location and scale of the project.
Capacity to learn
He has shown his potential for leadership not only in handling projects but also in learning new technologies. Technology A was a tough one to learn. He led the team and learned this technology in a very short duration of time. More than learning, what I like about AJ is the ability to apply his skills. His judgment on the right technology as an interface was the key factor in the success of Project X
P.S: Expand on projects but use minimal industry specific terms
Related: 8 Sample Recommendation Letters (For Different Background)
Diverse experiences and creativity
AJ’s experience in handling projects across the world including <mention countries) would contribute to the learning experience of the entering class. I strongly believe that AJ will become a first generation entrepreneur in a few years from now, running a successful business venture. He has sincerity, commitment, and the ability to think out of the box . He always lead from the front and creates the right pressure for his team to excel. An MBA from Z business school would definitely polish his skills and make him a bright entrepreneur/(Your long term goal)
To manage the recommendation letter writing process, Stacy Blackman has released a Recommendation Letter Guide for MBA Application.
Inside the Recommendation Letters for MBA Application guide, you will find:
1) Tips to select a recommender under any circumstances
2) How to carefully manage the recommendation process, from selecting the right recommenders to ensuring effective content
3) How to elicit the strongest and most compelling responses from those who write on your behalf
4) Eight Sample Recommendations, covering different scenarios
5) Sample Templates that can be used for preparing your recommendation letter.
Download Recommendation Letter Guide