Self Awareness Leadership Proforma

Introduction

Leadership has been described as a process which entails interactions between managers and members of the team, so that managers function as leaders and influence their teams to obtain the aims and goals of the organization which they serve (Kramer, 2008). Good leaders and effective leadership have been an area of focus since times immemorial due to their impact on the positive results on organizations. It is therefore vital to for prospective leaders and mangers to understand the essentials of efficient leadership.

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According to Vince Lombardi (2003) “leaders aren’t born, they are made”. Successful leadership entails delivery of optimal results (Lombardi, 2003). Effective leaders have been an area of focus due to their impact on the positive results on organizations by virtue of contentment and highly positive outcomes. Leadership is said to be the process with which managers motivate members of their team and positively influence them to obtain the aims and goals of the organization (Kramer, 2008). However, different managers and leaders have distinct styles of encouraging and motivating their teams to deliver optimal results. As such, leadership styles have received great importance since effective leaders have the power to influence psychological processes which are responsible in initiating goal oriented voluntary activities through encouragement, direction and perseverance (Mitchell, 1982).

Self Awareness

Self awareness is a crucial determinant of the feelings and behaviours individuals reflect towards other individuals around them. Awareness of the self and self acceptance are believed to be closely inter linked, influencing the ability to know individuals and accept them (Carl Rogers, 1961). Rogers also asserted that self awareness has a vital impact on the psychological heath and personal growth of an individual. Self awareness “lays the groundwork for insight without which no growth can occur” (Rogers, 1964 p. 156). Self-awareness assessment is based on the core aspects which are crucial in the development of effective managerial practices including “personal values, cognitive style, orientation towards change and interpersonal style”, all of which are believed to be essential in effective management and leadership practices (Carlopio, Andrewartha and Armstrong, 2005).

How do you and others characterise your leadership style?

Through the leadership Proforma scale, I seek to undertake a close examination of myself and examine the values, attributes and qualities which make me an effective leader. I also seek to explore those areas of my personality which need improvement so that I can change them and make a conscious effort to improve and develop myself in becoming an excellent leader.

Values are the foundational characteristics of an individual’s personality and determine preferences and performance (Carlopio, Andrewartha and Armstrong, 2005). Research confirms that leaders function with a set of values which impacts their style of functioning and develops synergy between the leader and the followers (Kerfoot, 2009). My personal values include happiness/contentedness, self-respect/self-esteem, a love for freedom, independence and free choice, an exciting life and a sense of accomplishment in life. I received a Self awareness assessment score of 61 which indicate certain positive leadership traits in my personality.

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My sense of accomplishment and the need to achieve has been a proven trait which enables leaders to perform to the best of their abilities. Individuals who rank high on the locus of control scale are open to feedback and are goal oriented. High locus of control also indicates that these leaders strive to be unique and seek to accomplish on the basis of personal hard work and efforts. A high score on the locus of control also indicates that these individual are risk takers but do not take extreme risks.

Values are the ‘core dynamics of behaviour” and play a great role in “unifying” “personality” (Allport, Gordon and Vernon, 1931). Values also determine the personal standards of an individual and the moral judgements.

My instrumental values are:

  • Ambition which makes me a hard-working and aspiring individual
  • Logic which is indicative of consistency and rationality
  • Capability which is indicative of competence and effectiveness
  • Cheerfulness which comes from being self-reliant and self-sufficient

Leadership

According to the Leadership Attributes Proforma, I achieved a score of 15 affirms that I am a participative leader (3.2). My high ranking on the participative leadership scale indicates my abilities to engage in participative decision making behaviours which are essential for the success of an organisation.

Participative Leadership

Participative leadership is an essential trail which enables managers to involve other members of the organization in critical decision making processes and welcome their involvement (Sorenson, 2009). Participative leaders develop positive and united teams, in contrast to autocratic leaders who take decision without consulting members of the team (Sorenson, 2009). Participative leaders have a positive influence on the satisfaction levels of satisfaction of team workers. Resolution of conflicts and acceptance of decisions are some of the benefits of participative leadership which enhances the quality of decision making in businesses and facilitates understanding of the business process through enrichment of work practices (Sorenson, 2009).

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Effective management is associated with the power to influence others to work towards common organizational goals in order to achieve the desired objectives through their input (Islam and Ismail, 2008). Effective managers are those who “create a proper climate in which employees can develop to their fullest potential” and ensure their optimal participation (Steers and Porter, 1983). One of the ways in which effective managers can influence employees positively is through their participation and involvement in the decision making process.

Participative leadership is associated with positive leadership styles like transformational leadership. Transformational leadership has been linked to several positive outcomes such as innovation, through the engagement and participation of team members’ personal value systems, which also enhances the levels of motivation and performance of employees (Gardner and Avolio, 1998).

Assertive Leadership

Burns (1978) identified that leadership is essentially of two types, transactional leadership and transformational leadership. Transactional leadership entails that the leader accede to the independence of their followers and their own independence while transformational leadership is one in which the leader makes effort to alter the goals and objectives of the followers in accordance with the collective goals of the organization (Burns, 1978).

According to the Leadership Attributes Proforma, I achieved a score of 17 which confirms that I am an assertive leader (3.2). Literature on assertive leadership confirms that assertive or transactional leadership focuses principally on the completion of tasks through rewards and punishments which impact the performance of employees, resulting in a “leader-follower relationship” based primarily on economic transactions which benefit the employee as well as the leader (Casimir, Waldman, Bartram and Yang, 2006). I do agree that I have some assertive traits in my personality which could negatively impact the relationship I have with my team members.

However, I do not consider assertiveness to be a complete flaw of my personality because some situations demand that leaders play a passive rather than active role and intervene only when errors and mistakes occur. In transactional form of leadership, trust is a crucial factor and is based on two theories of motivation, namely the expectancy theory (Vroom, 1964) and equity theory (Adams, 1965). The expectancy theory postulates that instrumentality is a vital motivator according to which employees ought to be rewarded when their performance reaches a specific level, whereas the equity theory postulates that fair and equitable treatment of employees serves as an important form of motivation (Casimir, Waldman, Bartram and Yang, 2006).

What do you regard as your leadership strengths and weaknesses?

Being assertive and transactional leaders will enable my subordinates to work independently but I also realise the importance of intervention in case objectives are not met and goals are not achieved. Similarly, an assertive leader distributes rewards after a certain level of success is achieved. However, research confirms that assertive or transactional leadership fails to motivate employees through identification or internalisation which transformational leadership promises to achieve through active participation of team members. Researchers note that transactional leadership, also known as Laissez-faire leadership as one in which leaders reflect utter and complete disregard of their duties and fail to provide guidance to their subordinates (Bradford and Lippitt, 1945). Transactional leadership fails to offer the necessary support to their assistants and tend to be unmindful to the productivity of their workforce of the completion of their duties in a rightful manner.

Even though transactional leaders offer complete freedom to their employees, the guidance is minimal making these work groups extremely inefficient resulting in poor quality work. Barbuto (2005) asserts that transactional leaders tend to interfere only after a failure has occurred and consider punishment to be the corrective form of action. These leaders have pre-fixed actions for particular failures and practice specific action in the form of punishments so that their involvement is limited to necessity and there is compete lack of encouragement on their part (Barbuto, 2005). As such, I have come to the conclusion that assertive or transactional leadership also known as Laissez-faire form of leadership tends to be the “most inactive and least ineffective” for of leadership due to its unproductiveness and cheap work quality (Barbuto, 2005). I aim to improve myself in this regard and develop transformational or participative leadership qualities for personal as well as professional achievement.

Participative Decision Making

Decision making is associated with effective employee participation and is considered to be a determining feature of effective management, which not only has a crucial impact on performance but also on the productivity (Shaskin, 1984). Literature on decision making substantiates that participation in decision making related to work issues tends to result in positive attitudes towards company managers and the organization in general and research indicates that decision making is positively linked to job satisfaction (Nykodym, Simonetti, Nielsen and Welling, 1994). My high score ranking on the participative leadership scale will enable me to involve and engage team members to work hard and deliver focused results.

Issues at the work place generally necessitate participation in decision making with regard to the work that should be done, the process of organizing the work and the persons involved in carrying out a particular task or work and this is something I will be able to deal with efficiently. (Nykodym, Simonetti, Nielsen and Welling, 1994). Cotton, et al., (1988) assert that participative decision making at work is generally direct and formal and relates primarily to work issues with the workers having an important say and influence in the decision making process. However, they also affirm that not all companies and organizations may have formal participatory decision making and participatory decision making could be an informal process which occurs through participation due to interpersonal relationships between managers and their subordinates (Cotton, et al., 1988).

Despite its important role in effective management, researchers note that participative decision making needs specific milieu or background to take place and can prove to be extremely beneficial to large-scale companies if employees are given the opportunity to use participative decision making to bring about positive changes at their workplace (Greengard, 1993). Due to the important trait of participative leadership, I will be able to engage employees and involve them in company related affairs for optimal outcome.

How does your self-reflection compare with the 360-degree evaluation of others (that is, there a coherence between how you see yourself and how you are seen by others?)

I see coherence between my personal evaluation and that of others. I find minimal difference when I compare my personal ratings with the ratings of my peers and colleagues. This make me come to the conclusion that I am capable of being an effective leader with the crucial talent to facilitate employee involvement and motivate them to deliver optimal results. Effective leaders are those who have the capability and power to motivate employee involvement in order to encourage commitment to the organization leading to ultimate profitability and success (Cotton, 1993). Literature on employee involvement suggests that employee involvement in decision making is directly proportional to job satisfaction and high performance of employees and workers (Crandall and Parnell, 1994). Numerous studies have also indicated that when subordinate employees are allowed to participate actively in taking decisions, they reflect a higher degree of content with the company management (Cohen and Bailey, 1997).

Employee involvement refers to the active participation of employees in the decision making processes which ultimately leads to the success of the organization (Hoell, 2004). Employee involvement is thus said to be a “participative process” in which effective managers are able to draw employees to their work places through enhanced communicative techniques, suggestions and incentives to work (Cotton, 1993). Management practices which enable employees to determine and decide how their work is performed are believed to be optimal and effective, since they have a crucial and positive influence on employee involvement (Ariss, 2002). Employee involvement also enables decision making at the lowest levels of the organization thereby improving the quality and productivity to employees (Cotton, 1993).

What does the answer to question 4 tell you about your own leadership style?

I believe that I am highly capable of becoming a transformational leader. Although I have some aspects of assertiveness, I believe this trait to be useful in higher levels of management when I would have to lead large number of people and groups. I do however realise that assertive leadership is not the only effective management trait and know that transactional leadership is the ideal form of leadership. I believe myself to be a transformational leader with the potential to effectively manage people and situations for enhanced results.

Transformational Leadership

Transformational leadership is believed to be superior and more effective than transactional leadership due to its effectiveness and satisfaction which motivates employees to work towards a common purpose and goals (Casimir, Waldman, Bartram and Yang, 2006). This form of leadership enables managers is articulate a vision to the employees and followers which also results from respect and admiration for the leader due to the display of intelligence, focus and concern for followers and employees (Bass, 1985). The theory of transformational leadership is based on the early work of Burns (1978) and later confirmed by research through its highly affirmative outcomes on followers and employees apparent through feelings of trust, admiration, loyalty and respect for their leader (Bass, 1985). Studies indicate that transformational leadership augments the levels of trust and satisfaction among followers which enables leaders to achieve maximum performance from employees through the development of skills and proficiency at the work place (Bass, 1985; Yammarino & Bass, 1990).

Transformational or participative leaders would take part in every aspect of the process and through wisdom and knowledge would educate and enlighten employees regarding the failures which could occur during the process. Through constant guidance and support, a transformational leader is available for the team and all their problems, taking an active part through knowledge sharing and constant support which results in the development of trust and understanding among employees.

Trust and confidence in the leader also enables employees to maximise their performance through the building of skills and proficiency of the workforce. Transformational leadership proves to be highly beneficial for employees because they believe their leaders to be sincerely concerned about their welfare and basic needs, including security at job and the working conditions (Kanter, 1983). Transformational leadership, thus, facilitates the development of faith through empowerment and encouragement with the help of leaders who enable employees to take independent decisions at the work place (Avolio and Bass, 1995).

Servant Leadership

A second highly crucial trait of my character is Servant leadership, which is the behavioural reflection of the orientation of leaders with regard to their surroundings and behaviours with people around them, on the basis of shared trust, dependability and flexibility (McCuddy, Michael, and Cavin, 2008). I received a rating of 135 on the servant leadership questionnaire while others rated me with a total score of 144. This score indicates my ability to “assert authority” which is “freely and knowingly granted to a leader” (Greenleaf, 1991). Studies indicate that servant leadership is based on ten important skills including active listening, empathy, healing, awareness of the self, art of persuading people, ability to conceptualise, foresight, stewardship, commitment to growth and the ability to build a community (Spears, 2002). Research also indicates that a servant leader is one who takes the first chance to serve so that those who are being served are “healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants” (Greenleaf, 1991). As such, a person ranking high on the scale of servant leadership will display the crucial characteristic of developing a strong follower base through leadership traits which enable team members to trust and depend on their leader. Some other important aspects for being a strong servant leader include the ability to value people, humility, vision, trust and empowerment through shared and participative leadership (McCuddy, Michael, and Cavin, 2008).

What cultural issues might impact on your leadership style (both organisational culture and national culture)?

A close analysis and self reflection indicates that my primary strengths lie in my values and my ability to lead individuals by respecting their value system. This is due to the strong cultural values and morals which have been instilled in me since childhood. My parents and the environment in which I was raised has made me a strong yet adjusting and appreciative individual. A joint family atmosphere enabled me to develop the ability to be sensitive to and appreciate the needs and perspectives of others, which is why I have participative leadership qualities.

Which of the leadership models/theories presented in the unit do you relate most closely to? Why? (use ‘Leadership Proforma’ for this question)

Participative leadership is one of my strongest leadership traits and gives me the potential to be an acceptable team leader. My strong point also lies in servant leadership which I believe to be an important factor in becoming an efficient and acceptable leader, one who has the ability to guide and support team members through example. However, I do notice assertiveness in my personality, something which needs to be worked upon an improved. While I do not consider this trait to be entirely negative, I do feel the need to reduce assertiveness from my behaviour. Finally, I would like to conclude that comparison of my self-awareness with the way others perceive me does not reflect much difference which proves that there is coherence between peoples’ perception of me and my own perception. I firmly believe that the global and competitive environment today, supports transformational form of leadership as the most ideal leadership theory. Based on the research and self analysis above, I see myself as a potential transformational leader and aspire to improve myself becoming a true and revered leader – one whom people admire and love to follow.

Personal Style Inventory Scale

On the personal style inventory scale, I find myself matching to the ESTJ scale (Hogan and Champagne, 1994). According to this scale, I have the qualities of Extraversion, Sensing, Thinking and Judging. As an extroverted individual, I do find myself “attuned to the culture, people and things” around me. My extrovert nature makes me an outgoing and free person with a high degree of interest in working with people. However, I do sometimes tend to be impatient when tasks get slow and are not accomplished on time, but I am always open to helping people and do not mind being interrupted for valid reasons.

True to my inner qualities, I am a ‘sensing’ and practical individual who does not rely on intuition; rather true facts and figures as I see and witness them. I have a keen eye for detail and accuracy which leaves little room for error and promises success and fulfilment of goals and objectives.

The inventory classifies me as a ‘Thinker’ which is also reflective of my personality. True to the classification, I prefer to judge people and life instances based on logical and rational thinking. Although I am sensitive and emotional and do get along well with people, I consider myself to be a good blend of emotions and practical sense. My regard for logic, rationale and evidence is greater than that of emotion and intuition, but I do have consideration for the value system of other individuals whom i interact and work with.

As a Judger, I have the ability to be firm and decisive in my objectives and pursue them in a systematic and planned manner. I like to give projects a logical and successful end so that I can progress to new ones with enthusiasm and a sense of accomplishment. In case of projects which take too long to complete or do not reach their logical end and no profitability, I prefer to try and begin new ones with new aims and goals rather than wasting my time over projects which are not profitable.

References

Ariss, Sonny S. (Spring 2002) Employee involvement as a prerequisite to reduce workers’ compensation costs: a case study. Review of Business 23.2: 12(5).

Avolio, B. J., & Bass, B. M. (1995). Individual consideration viewed at multiple levels of analysis: a multi-level framework for examining the diffusion of transformational leadership. The Leadership Quarterly, 6, 199-218.

Barbuto, John E. Jr. (2005). Motivation and transactional, charismatic, and transformational leadership: a test of antecedents. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies 11.4: 26(15).

Bass, B. M. (1985). Leadership and performance beyond expectations. New York: Free Press.

Bradford, L. P., & Lippitt, R. (1945). Building a democratic work group. Personnel, 22(3), 142-148.

Burns, J. M. (1978). Leadership. New York: Harper & Row.

Casimir, Gian, David A. Waldman, Timothy Bartram, and Sarah Yang (2006). Trust and the relationship between leadership and follower performance: opening the black box in Australia and China. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies 12.3: 68(17).

Cotton, John L. (1993). Employee Involvement. Newbury Park, Calif.: Sage Publications.

Cotton, J.L., Vollrath, D.A., Froggatt, K.L., Lengnick-Hall, M.L., Jennings, K.R. (1988), Employee Participation: Diverse Forms and Different Outcomes, Academy of Management Review, Vol. 13 No.1, pp.8-22.

Crandall, W.R., Parnell, J.A. (1994), “On the relationship between propensity for participative management and intentions to leave: re-opening the case for participation”, Mid-Atlantic Journal of Business, Vol. 30 pp.197-209.

Greengard, S. (1993), Reengineering: out of the rubble, Personnel Journal, Vol. 72 No.12, pp.48B.

Greenleaf, R.K. (1991). The Servant as Leader, The Robert K. Greenleaf Center, Westfield, IN.

Hoell, Robert C. (2004). How employee involvement affects union commitment. Journal of Labor Research 25.2: 267(11).

Hogan and Champagne (1994). Personal Style Inventory. Connections. Australian Institute of Management.

Islam, Rafikul, and Ahmad Zaki Hj. Ismail (2008). Employee motivation: a Malaysian perspective. International Journal of Commerce and Management 18.4 : 344(19).

Kanter, R. (1983). The change masters: Innovation and entrepreneurship in the American corporation. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Kerfoot, Karlene M. (2009). Leadership: social identity and guiding from within. MedSurg Nursing 18.3: 200+

Kramer, Robert J. (2008). Have We Learned Anything about Leadership Development? The Conference Board Review, pp. 26-30.

Lombardi Vince (2003). What It Takes To Be Number #1: Vince Lombardi on Leadership. McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing.

McCuddy, Michael K., and Matthew C. Cavin (2008). “Fundamental moral orientations, servant leadership, and leadership effectiveness: an empirical test.” Review of Business Research 8.4: 107+.

Mitchell, T.R. (1982), “Motivation: new direction for theory, research, and practices”, Academy of Management Review, Vol. 7, pp. 80-8.

Nykodym Nick, Simonetti Jack L., Nielsen Warren R., Welling Barbara, (1994). Employee Empowerment. Empowerment in Organizations Volume: 2 Number: 3 pp: 45-55

Sashkin, M. (1984). Participative Management Is an Ethical Imperative, Organizational Dynamics, Vol. 12 pp.5-22.

Sorenson, Ritch L. (2000) The Contribution of Leadership Style and Practices to Family and Business Success. Family Business Review 13.3: 183.

Spears, L.C (2002). On Character and Servant Leadership: Ten Characteristics of Effective, Caring Leaders, The Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership,. Web.

Steers, R.M. and Porter, L.W. (1983), Motivation and Work Behavior, 3rd ed., McGraw-Hill, New York, NY.

Yammarino, F. J., & Bass, B. M. (1990). Transformational leadership and multiple levels of analysis. Human Relations, 43, 975-995.

Self Awareness Leadership Proforma
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