Leadership is an ever-developing process. No one has it mastered. Times change, people change, and new theories are introduced. As aspiring leaders, the best we can do is push ourselves to adjust, adapt, strategize, and continue to learn. We must know who we are and what opportunities we have that need developing. We also need to understand personalities and how people differ from us. Our textbook, The Leadership Experience, contains eight self-insight activities. The purpose of this presentation is to reflect on those activities. I will also explain how I can best utilize the information discovered throughout this process on my path of leadership development.
3.1 T–P Leadership Questionnaire: An Assessment of Style
It is extremely important to find balance in both task-oriented leadership and relationship-oriented behaviors . Throughout my years as a leader, I have taken many assessments to identify where my strengths are and where my areas of opportunity are. According to this assessment, I have very well balanced. I scored a 4 in task-oriented behavior s and a 5 in relationship-oriented behaviors. This is definitely not a coincidence. I have always been relationship style leader and in my earlier years of leadership I wasn’t afraid to let everyone know how I feel. People over process, is what I used to tell everyone, no matter the situation. I have since learned, there is a time and a place for both. My style can change depending on the task or the severity of the situation I have been confronted with. It is my ultimate goal to remain self-aware but to take more risks. I need to let those that follow me have more opportunity, in other words, I need to delegate and allow my people to come up with their own plan. I can then check in and strategically help them align the steps they are taking with my desired outcome. This will require more focus on the relationship side, but also development on their task-orientation behaviors, which I can facilitate.
3.2 Are You Ready?
I scored a perfect nine on this assessment, which suggests that I have a very high readiness level. I have a lot of experience within my company, I am extremely flexible and adaptable. So much so, I have been tapped on the shoulder for many promotions and opportunities. I believe it is my desire to continue my growth and advancement that puts me at that level. Oddly enough, my immediate manager has a very telling leadership style. He makes the plan, micromanages and fails to delegate. He wants things done his way, because according to him his way is the only right way. His leadership style would suggest that I am not capable, undesiring of performing or just not willing . I personally have had many conversations with him about this, he is well aware and knows it is an opportunity for his own development. Now I have new information I can share, by utilizing this model I can help him focus his internal need for control on the necessary things. He needs to trust that he can delegate to me. He can still give a little guidance and set goal expectations, but he needs to allow me to take responsibility for my actions . I know as a leader; I can also improve and do the same things for specific members on my team.
3.3 Measuring Substitutes for Leadership
There are several substitutes for task-oriented leadership and relational-oriented leadership. If a workgroup goes through the proper training, carries themselves professionally, works cohesively and formalizes processes the need for these leadership styles is essentially no longer necessary .
For task structure I scored a two, for task feedback I scored a three, I also scored a three for intrinsic satisfaction. My interpretation suggests that I should focus on a cultural shift. The team that I manage has a very specific job. They are on their own a lot and manage their own business to a certain extent. We do door to door sales. These sales positions do require a specific skillset, they are looked for during the hiring process. These specifics are basic sales skills, being task oriented and being self-motivated. Everyone I hire has the skillset to do the job. If I focus more on team building, overall experience, setting expectations and ensure my team has the proper training, I could essentially cut back on my task oriented behaviors because they would take care of them by themselves.
4.1 The Big Five Personality Dimensions
Extroversion is about putting yourself out there, being talkative or sociable, enthusiastic and outgoing. Neuroticism relates to being negative or like everyone is out to get them. Agreeableness is caring, kind and concerned for others well-being. Openness is the desire to be creative, reflect, imagine, and intellectual engagement. Conscientiousness is being self-disciplined, competent and achievement oriented .
I was not surprised by any of my scores at all, I have taken many personality tests over the years and I always get these same results. I am perfectly fine with being by myself, but I get energy and find joy when I am doing things with other people. I am passionate and I care about others, especially when I can relate to situations I am going through. I naturally want to be the hero, overachieve and help others. I genuinely care about people and take pride in being recognized for helping them out. I believe negativity and feeling like the world is against you is a choice. I choose to be in control, and I know my destination is entirely based on the choices I make.
4.2 Measuring Locus of Control
There are two sides to locus of control, internal and external. An individual with a internal locus of control believes there are responsible for the results they get whether good or bad. These individuals are more likely to put forth the necessary efforts to achieve something knowing the results are based on their actions. External locus of control is when an individual believes the results of their life are attributed to external influences like luck, fate or someone with greater control .
This assessment describes me as having an internal locus of control. I have developed a lot of leaders throughout my career. I have had people blame others for their lack of success and I have helped others self-assess and look within themselves for reasoning. There is something I live by that I often share with the people that work with me. We always have a choice, always. Now let’s imagine, Hollywood decided to make a movie about your life. Would you want your character to be the hero, the villain, the victim or the innocent bystander? The hero excepts his gift and who he is, he takes responsibility and does his best. The villain, he had something traumatic happen to him. The result of his trauma has turned him into what he is. Everyone is against him and he cares about no one or anything. The victim let life happen, wrong place at the wrong time, bum luck. The innocent bystander is just along for the ride, watching the story unfold. Until now, I have never heard of the locus of control. I am extremely pleased how well it aligns with all of the lessons I have given to those that I have tried to help.
4.3 Instrumental and End Values
End values are what someone determines are worth going for, these are the goals that an individually believes whole heartedly in. Instrumental values are what an individual believes are the behaviors that will help achieve end value goals .
After completing my analysis, I found that my primary end values are personal. I also found that my instrumental values tend to focus on competence. While my results lean this way, I do feel that my instrumental values are well balanced between moral and competence. It isn’t worth doing, if you aren’t going to do it right. I would also prefer losing knowing I did it the right way, versus cheating to win. I know that I am a pretty selfish person. Whether it is donating to charity or helping someone face a life dilemma. I don’t do it for them, I do it for me, because it makes me feel good. Of course, I have sympathy and I can be empathetic to others situations, but again my ability to relate does not mean I am trying to solve everyone’s problems so they can move on living happier lives. All my decisions come back to me, what kind of person would I be if I ignored a situation where I could help. My ultimate goal is to continue to promote and move up within my company, of course that gives me more of an opportunity to help, which makes me feel good and complete. It also gives me the opportunity to make more money and that’s why I work.
4.4. What’s Your Thinking Style?
Quadrant A is the part of the brain that does analysis and the logical thinking and processing. Quadrant B handles the details, it organized and takes care of planning. Quadrant C is the emotional part of the brain, it is intuitive and handles interpersonal relationships. Quadrant D puts things together, it integrates and conceptualizes .
I am well balanced between A, C, and D. I don’t think the lights are on in quadrant B. This assessment, again, is spot on. I am not a detail oriented individual; I don’t plan and am not organized at all. This is a huge area of weakness for me. I must make a conscious effort to stay on top of those things. I believe that when I do, I slow down a little in the other quadrants. Like this presentation is a good example. The requirements of this assignment are more than any other I have had in all my time continuing my education. I am running out of time, but I can’t stop thinking about if I am meeting all the requirements. Did I get enough pictures, did I cite, and reference everything correctly? Those thoughts are definitely slowing me down.
4.5. Personality Assessment: Jung’s Typology
The Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a test that compares how different individuals collect and process information. There are sixteen different combination types that detail how an individual prefers handling situations and the decision-making process .
This was my third time taking this assessment. I actually just took it about two months ago for a work meeting. I am an ESTP and had the same results the two prior times I took it. The other version I took went into more detail when it came to how it scored. It actually gave a percentage with the letter, the closer you were to 0% the more balance you were between the two. There is also a Star Wars character for all sixteen types. I am Hans solo. ESTP is one of the rare combinations from what I understand.
This is by far my favorite assessment, so much so that I had my team take it. I was able to learn who everyone is on a deeper level. It will also help me prepare for one on one conversations and potential feedback situations. It makes it easy to understand why people are they way they are. There are definitely people that are harder for me to communicate with. But this help with emotional intelligence and self-awareness.
Self-Insight Activities and Personal Leadership Development
Self-insight activities are extremely important when it comes to personal growth and leadership development. While I wasn’t a fan of the majority of these activities or at least how they were portrayed in our book. I am sure that there are better resources when doing these activities that give you more detailed results and better-quality information.
As I highlighted earlier, these activities are not only good to learn more about yourself, they are also beneficial to share with followers, leaders and peers. I have even encouraged my wife to take the MBTI. There is a lot of insightful information that I have found very intriguing. It has helped me communicate with people I work with and complete strangers, I have done enough of these assessments, that I can often Identify where someone else and who they are. Absolutely a great tool to have in our leadership belts.
Leadership requires commitment to continued education, self-awareness, and emotional intelligence. Before we can properly lead, we must know who we are, learn about our strengths and identify our areas for opportunity. This simplifies the process of learning about others and what they need from us. The purpose of this presentation is to explain how I can grow by reflecting on the eight self-insight activities from our textbook and to explain how I can best utilize the information discovered within these assessments throughout my leadership development.