Taking the Big Five Personality assessment was incredibly informative to me. I learned that my primary strengths are my openness to experience and conscientiousness. Openness-to-experience personality dimension includes traits of flexibility, intelligence, and internal locus of control. (Leadership: Theory, Application, & Skill Development, 2010, p41) I am an incredibly flexible individual and tend to go with the flow even in high stress situations. I need to be relaxed in my field of expertise otherwise I will go absolutely insane. I am a Graphic Designer and clients change their minds more than you would believe. Another great attribute about this strength in my field is the ability to solve problems such as how to create a high end product on a low budget. I also am a firm believer that one’s level of success is primarily based on the work that they put in to themselves, not on luck or other people. The conscientiousness personality dimension includes traits of dependability and integrity.(Leadership: Theory, Application, & Skill Development, 2010, p40) I am an incredibly dependable individual.
If I say that I will stay at work all night if I have to in order to complete a task to meet deadline, I will make it happen regardless. As far as my integrity goes, I am incredibly ethical and honest. If a coworker needs to speak with me about a personal matter they can do so without ever having to worry about me using it against them for personal gain. I want to create a trusting and supporting group to work with which is a product of integrity and dependability. The weaker traits for me were adjustment, surgency, and agreeableness. Although I scored decently high on adjustment, I’m still categorizing it as a weakness. The adjustment personality dimension includes traits of emotional stability and self-confidence. (Leadership: Theory, Application, & Skill Development, 2010, p39) I have issues with keeping my emotions in check. I need to work on my self-control and my confidence in my ideas and ability to make decisions. Unfortunately, I’m incredibly insecure about my work. I have untouchable work ethic and I’m really good at what I do, however, I will let the most unimportant comment about my work get under my skin.
That then and ruins all of the confidence that I recently managed to build up. On a positive note, I work incredibly well under pressure and I don’t criticize other people’s work. I rather praise them and lift them up. That goes back to the ideal environment that I seek. The last thing that I want to do is criticize my co-workers in turn creating a bad work environment for me and everyone else. Also, if the individual that I criticize has a hard time with the insecurities, saying something negative to them will not only create animosity it will also decrease productivity in the office. I scored fairly low on surgency. The surgency personality dimension includes dominance, extraversion, and high energy with determination. One of the main reason in which I scored so low in this area is that I don’t like to manipulate people in order to get my way.
I also am not really interested in climbing the corporate ladder. From what I’ve seen in my field, I’d rather be known as “just a designer.” Reason being, the higher up you are in my field, the less actual design you tend to do. I enjoy art directing and helping people out; however, I wouldn’t want to art-direct all day long. Lastly we have the trait in which I scored the lowest, agreeableness. The agreeableness personality dimension includes traits of sociability and emotional intelligence. (Leadership: Theory, Application, & Skill Development, 2010, p38) The reasons I scored so low in this area are I’m not too crazy about working with others and I’m not concerned about having a bunch of friends.
Theory, Concepts and Application
There are a few observations that I’ve made about myself over the course of this class. One of them is that I need to adjust my self-concept. Self-concept refers to the positive or negative attitudes people have about themselves. (Leadership: Theory, Application, & Skill Development, 2010, p51) I’ve learned throughout this course that my self-concept is incredibly negative. This is largely due to the fact that I’m afraid of my confidence appearing to be narcissism. In other words, the lack of confidence is more in other’s ability to perceive me in the correct manner. I have an innate and irrational fear that I’m going to come across the wrong way and people will dislike me if I show how proud of my work I am. . I have a rough time at balancing my confidence. I’m usually way below the level I should be. My new focus is to have more self-efficacy in order to not only benefit myself, but to also inspire my peers to do the same. My self-assessment showed that I had a moderately high number for adjustment personality dimension. If I’m able to work on my self-confidence, my overall adjustment personality will also improve.
Another thing that I’ve learned about myself is that I’m truly not what one would define as a powerful leader. I have little need for surgency. I scored the lowest on surgency on my personality profile. If someone is trying to get to the rung above my on the later, I’ll probably assist them. I’m just not competitive like that and I surely am not cutthroat. I scored the second worst on agreeableness. I get along with people okay; however, I am not equipped with the social mechanisms needed for a powerful leadership role. I am okay with that seeing as that a powerful leadership role isn’t what I seek. I simply want to teach and inspire people. I don’t care about the money or the power.
Lastly, I’ve learned that I would have more of a Theory Y attitude as a manager. Theory Y attitudes hold that employees like to work and do not need to be closely supervised in order to do their work. (Leadership: Theory, Application, & Skill Development, 2010, p.50) The reason the fits me is that I personally feel that a Theory Y manager would be the ideal leader for me. This also can relate to the incredibly high score I got for conscientiousness on my personality profile. I am a trusting and dependable individual and I will trust my employees to be the same. Everyone deserves an honest chance to prove themselves.
I’m also more insightful after speaking to my direct supervisor about the results of my leadership profile. She said that she views me as an incredibly dedicated worker indicating that I will do what is needed to get the job done and to get it done right. She also views me as a very honest individual. For example, she has seen me critique people’s work time and time again and she said that what she respects about me is that I won’t hold back anything and give my honest opinion. To me, honesty right up front saves a lot of time and money. I hate to see people trying to dance around the truth. Just say what needs to be said so everyone can keep moving in the right direction.
Her description of me fit the conscientiousness personality profile the most. She did agree that I could most definitely work on my confidence and that I’m way too insecure. People see me praising coworker s about their work. However, I will bash my work up and down and hardly give myself the credit that I deserve. I can see why outsiders would see my behavior as negative. In a nutshell, people would describe me as an inspirational leader to others and a hazard to myself. The reason people perceive me as having low confidence is the way that I speak about my own work. My goal is to begin to speak good about myself and my talents so people will follow suit.
I received another perspective on my personality profile from the Vice President of the company I work with. One thing that stood out to him about my profile was the openness-to-experience personality trait. He mentioned that our company has been through drastic changes over the past four years and that I’ve been flexible and resilient all along. He said that flexibility is unfortunately one of the traits he tends to struggle with in employees. However, he felt that flexibility is a very strong attribute of mine. I have been a pretty go with the flow kind of gal over the past four years regardless of the stressful environment. I’m elated that this behavior has been noticed. It makes me feel good about all of the sacrifices that I’ve made for the company.
Personal Leadership and Skill Development
In conclusion, I’ve learned a lot of valuable information throughout this course. First and foremost, I’m simply not made to be a powerful leader. I am more of an inspirational teacher who will probably be underpaid due to my lack of surgency. I couldn’t be more okay with this; As long as I stay true to myself. My conscientiousness is more important to me than power or money any day. Another thing that I’ve learned about myself is that I need to work on building up my self-confidence. In order to influence others, the first step is to show them that I have absolute faith and confidence in what I’m doing.
There’s no way that I will captivate a faithful audience if I’m questioning myself on the stage. One of the positive traits that I’ve learned about myself is that I’m flexible and dedicated. I will be open to working long hours and performing tasks that normally aren’t day to day for me in order to get the job done. I also am very honest and straight forward. The only goals that I truly plan to set are working on my confidence and possibly attempting to mingle a bit more in order to heighten my agreeableness. Overall, this has proven to be an incredibly informative class. I’m anxious to begin to apply the applications and theories on the job.
Lussier, R. N., & Achua, C. F. (2010). Leadership: Theory, Application, & Skill Development.(5th ed) Mason, Ohio: South-Western.