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Assessing Leadership Skills Essay

This paper will provide information about the theoretical approaches that I will use to enhance my leadership effectiveness, it will discuss my leadership style and the reason I choose the style. This paper will also explain the leadership skills and qualities I already possess, with the skills and qualities that need improvement, along with how to implement the leadership/follower interaction to improve the organization where I would like to work, and finally describe one point of action that I’ve learned from my Self Insight papers, that will include a description of how each point will be implemented. Let’s begin by defining leadership; leadership is the influence relationship among leaders and followers who intend real changes and outcomes that reflect their shared purposes. (Draft, 2011, p.5) Leadership is a people activity and is different from administrative paper work or planning activities. Leadership happens with people, it is not something done to people. (Draft, 2011, p.6)

The theoretical approaches that I will use to enhance my leadership effectiveness will be to incorporate the democratic leadership style; along with the Fiedler’s Contingency Model. The democratic style of leadership delegate’s authority to others encourages participation, relies on subordinates’ knowledge for completion of tasks and depends on subordinates respect for others. (Draft, 2011, p.44) Democratic leadership style is similar to Theory Y Democratic leaders treat subordinates as fully capable of doing the work on their own. Democratic leaders work with subordinates they encourage, they treat each one fairly. They don’t put anyone down, they see themselves as guides. They give suggestions, rather than trying to change them. Democratic leaders provide information, in their evaluation they give objective praise and criticism. (Northouse, 2009) Although a Democratic leader will make the final decision, he/she encourage other members of the team to have a say in the decision making process.

This not only boost job satisfaction by connecting employees or team members in what’s going on, but it also help to develop people’s skills. Employees and team members feel in control of their own destiny, such as the promotion they deserve and so are motivated to work hard by more than just a financial reward. As participation takes time, this approach can lead to things happening more slowly but often the end result is better. The approach can be most suitable where team work is essential and quality is more important than speed to market productivity. (Bhatti, N, et, al.2012) The outcomes of democratic leaders are mostly positive, first it results in greater group member satisfaction, commitment, and cohesiveness. Second, there is more friendliness, mutual prates, and group mindedness. The teams members interact with each other in a positive manner, and the goal is has the group in mind with making we statements opposed to I statements.

Lastly, democratic leaders result in stronger worker motivation and greater creativity, and under a democratic leader group members participate more and are more committed to group decisions Fiedler’s Contingency Model; this model was designed to enable leaders to diagnose both leadership style and organizational situation. (Draft, 2011, p.68) This model was also designed to diagnose whether or not the leader is task oriented or relationship oriented and match the leader style to the situation. The Tasks oriented people are goal oriented. They want to achieve. Their work in meaningful, they are doers. Then we have Relationship oriented people they find meaning in being rather than doing. Like the democratic style, relationship oriented people they want to be connected to people. There is also Task leadership and Relationship leadership. Task relationship behaviors facilitate goals accomplishments; they are behaviors that help group members to achieve their objectives, while relationship leadership behavior help subordinates feel comfortable with themselves, with each other, and with the situation which they find themselves.

The reason why I choose these models is because they best fit my leadership style, and I think it’s a productive way of leadership. In utilizing this skill I‘m ale to listen to other perspective, and welcome an assortment of resolutions. My best leadership qualities are in the category of a transformational leader. Transformational leaders are a leader that influences, inspire, move and literally transform followers to achieve organizational goals beyond their self-interests thus initiating about positive change. They also introduce new business models, products and services because of their ability to create new organizational visions, strategies, cultures, and structures through committed followers. Transformational leaders positively change follower’s lives, lifting spirits and even the commitment to ethics and morality (Weiss, J. (2011)

My preference would be a transformational leader because they deal more with the person rather than the task. They build relationships with their team members, they encourage and motivate, and I think that their followers will get more work done because of the rapport that is made with the team. Another quality that I posses is “Stewardship” stewardship involves the support and belief that leaders are deeply accountable to others as well as to the organization, without trying to control others, define meaning and purpose for others, or take care of others. I’m in favor of this type of leadership because it allows the people to do the work without being micro managed. There are four components to this style of leadership, reorient towards partnership assumptions, localize decisions and power to those closest to the work and the customer, recognize and reward the value of labor, and expect core work teams to build the organization. (Draft, 2011, p.176)

By using these methods the leader is to lead the organization taking control of the follower. They are able to work together in harmony with team members. By using the stewardship method you are able to treat team members as partners, by sharing power, and maintaining control over their own work. This model also allows relationships to form between leaders and followers that will contribute to the organizations success. Independent thinking refers to thinking, questioning assumptions, and interpreting data and events, according to one’s own beliefs, ideas, not according to prestablished rules, routines or categories defined by others. (Draft, 2011, p.138) I’ve always been an independent thinker. I’m not the type of person that agrees with people for acceptance, or just to go along with the most popular answer. I’m very opinionated, and I’m able to get my views across without being rude or mean.

In my current position, I have to always be alert, and able to think critically because systems are always changing Although I fell that I’m a good overall leader my weakest skills falls under administration skills, administration skills. Administrative skills are those competencies a leader needs to run an organization in order to carry out the organizations purpose and goals. Administrative skills are divided into three categories: managing people, managing resources, and showing technical competence. (Northouse, 2009) I work well with people but dealing with administrative task has always been an issue for me. I’m not the best typist, nor am I well organized. Since becoming a student at AU I’ve become more organized. Another quality in need of improvement deals with system thinking, System thinking means the ability to see the synergy of the whole rather than just the separate elements of a system and learn to reinforce or change whole system patterns. (Draft, 2011, p.142)

The leadership/follower interaction that I would implement to improve the organization where I would like to work is leader follower collaboration. In the leader follower collaboration leaders and followers have more in common than they think. In my ideal work place I would use this model as the blueprint for my company. Beginning stages of a project or assignment.

The leader and follower roles differ significantly in the initial stages of a project. The leader should provide direction in the form of scope, objective, expectations, limitations and guidelines while the follower should ask questions to ensure understanding and should contribute to the project or assignment definition as appropriate. Middle stages of a project or assignment.

The leader and follower roles exhibit greater similarities during the middle stages of a project. This is where the bulk of work occurs. Leadership should shift, based upon who possesses the appropriate knowledge or expertise. With egos in check, leaders should permit, and even encourage, followers to initiate ideas and opinions. With cowardice in check, followers should exert leadership by offering ideas and opinions. If leader and follower can fulfill these new roles, a high degree of collaboration will occur and project success will increase. Final stages of a project or assignment In this stage, leader and follower roles again differ. It is up to the leader to define the end of one project and the beginning of the next. For optimal learning, leader and follower might collaboratively engage in a “lessons learned” dialogue. (Don Grayson & Ryan Speckhart)

What I’ve learned from my Self Insight Papers is that I might be a bit timid in my leadership ability. I thought that I was a good leader but it seems as though that I still have some work to do. Prior to taking this course I thought that I was a very good leader, but it seems as though I have a lot to work to do to improve my leadership skills. In doing an assessment of my strengths and weaknesses, I realized that in order to become a more effective leader I will have to become much more confident in certain areas. The areas that improvement is needed is in my motivation techniques, I thought that I encouraged my team in a positive manner, but what I realized is that I’m doing the bulk of the work while encouraging, what sense does that make? I have to set outlines and allow my team members to make mistakes, and learn from them.

Because we get paid by performance is probably why I do that. As a leader, you can develop backbone to accept personal responsibility for achieving the desired outcomes, going against the status quo, and standing up for what you believe. You can learn to push beyond your comfort zone and break through the fears that limit you. (Draft, 2011, p.182) That statement sums it up for me. If a leader can live by that statement everyone will benefit in the end. In conclusion this paper has defined leadership, identified the skills and qualities I possess, in addition to the qualities that need improvement, as well as how to implement the leadership/follower interaction to improve the organization where I would like to work, and finally describe one point of action that I’ve learned from my Self Insight papers, that will include a description of how each point will be implemented.

References
Bhatti, N., Maitlo, G. M., Shaikh, N., Hashmi, M. A., & Shaikh, F. M. (2012). The impact of autocratic and democratic leadership style on job satisfaction. International Business Research, 5(2), 192-201. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/963357720?accountid=32521 Daft, R. L. (2011, 2008). The leadership experience (5/e). Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning. Northouse, P.G. (2009). Introduction to Leadership: Concepts and Practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications Weiss, J. (2011) An Introduction to Leadership. Bridgepoint Education, Inc. www.regent.edu/acad/global/publications/…/grayson_speckhar


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