Upon completing the LMX 7 Questionnaire, my scores fall on the moderate range, both as a leader and as a team member. According to Northouse (2019), my scores indicate moderate-to-high quality leader-member exchanges. I think the scores are fairly accurate in reflecting the quality of my working relationship with my team members and supervisors in respective settings.
During the time when I led the international student committee at the Student Government Association in my undergraduate study, I considered to have a high degree of reciprocity between me and my team members.
They respected me as a leader while I trusted them as dependable team players. I often emphasized the two-way communication during my team meetings where constructive feedbacks were strongly encouraged. However, the LMX 7 Questionnaire helps me to realize that my team members did not usually have a full understanding of my job problems as I tended to focus on the problems my team members were facing. Due to the lack of understanding in my job needs, my team members would not be able to use their power to help me solve my work problems even if they were willing to do so.
Therefore, the quality of leader-member exchange was lowered as I, as the leader, did not show enough trust to share more opportunities with my team members to allow them to advance the collective goals (Northouse, 2019).
During my time practicing nursing in the cardiothoracic ICU at Lynchburg General Hospital, I considered having an in-group relationship with my supervisor. My supervisor was very willing to listen to my feedbacks and trusted me enough to provide me with new challenges based on my progress.
I, on the other hand, felt more motivated to take on more responsibilities and find ways to contribute to our unit. As I continued to show my enthusiasm and participation, the reciprocal influence between me and my supervisor was greatly strengthened.
Nelson Mandela, my favorite transformational leader of all time, has not ceased to inspire me since I read his bibliography Long Walk to Freedom in high school.
Upon completing the Servant Leadership Questionnaire, my scores fall on the high range in the following servant leadership behaviors: emotional healing, creating value for the community, putting followers first, and behaving ethically; I score moderately on conceptual skills and helping followers grow and succeed; my score regarding the empowering behavior falls on the low range (Northouse, 2019). I think the scores are fairly accurate in reflecting my servant leadership behaviors.
Personally, I am most resonated with the servant leadership style. I deeply believe that leadership is not about controlling but sincerely caring for people and being a resource to the team. Whether at school, work, or home, I strive my best to make myself available to others and provide support and comfort when I recognize a need. Mentoring followers and helping them to achieve success gives me great joy. Moreover, I have consistently been involved in various domestic and overseas community services targeting homeless population and underprivileged children. Another prominent attribute of the servant leadership style that I truly value is being vulnerable to the team members by admitting my own fears, limitations, and doubts, which in turn encourages others to be honest and open with their feelings.
On the Servant Leadership Questionnaire, I scored low on empowering behavior. I reflected on my past leadership experiences and realized that I have been inclined to handle difficult situations by myself or influence my team members to make important decisions based on my opinions. My leadership behavior has suppressed team members’ creativity and decreased their confidence in making independent decisions. Therefore, to be a more effective servant leader, I need to learn to give my followers more freedom to handle situations by themselves and to encourage them to think on their own.