This assignment comprised of five essays based on the completion of self-assessments on (1) Self-Confidence, (2) Leader-Member Exchange, (3) Trust in Leadership, (4) Job Affect, and (5) Motivation to Lead.
Self Confidence. The purpose of this assessment is to assess a leader’s generalized self-efficacy.
There are many reasons a leader needs self-confidence because being a leader is a very difficult job. According to Pierce and Newstrom (2008), leaders must know their worth and trust themselves without letting their ego, or image get in the way. To accomplish this, leaders must have self-confidence by acting confidently and acknowledge their fears, and avoid thinking in terms of perfection and imperfection.
The leadership self-assessment is to determine leadership styles and effectiveness. Many factors were taken into consideration in this self-assessment that allowed for positive and realistic perception when evaluating leadership abilities. This self-assessment was characterized by personal attributes such as assertiveness, optimism, enthusiasm, affection, pride, independence, trust, and the ability to handle criticism and emotional maturity.
The score on this self-assessment ranged from 1 through 7, with one indicating the statement is strongly disagreed, and 7 indicating that the statement is in strong agreement. An overall score of 6 or greater indicates a strong sense of self-efficacy with the highest score being a 7. There were seventeen questions on this self-assessment. On the question of making plans work, a score of seven out of a total score of 7 was achieved by this author. When faced with difficult situations, a score of 4 was achieved out of a total of 7 on this question. On this self-assessment this author achieved an overall score of 5.3 which is close to the high of six that is set for this assessment.
According to the criteria set for this assessment and in interpreting the scores, it was identified that the one area that needs improvement is with handling difficult situations. This area can be improved by building on self-confidence. According to Kirkpatrick and Locke (1991) self-confidence plays an important role in decision making and in gaining trust. There are two main things that contribute to self-confidence that can help, and they are self-efficacy, and self-esteem. Self-efficacy is gained when mastering skills and achieving goals that matter in the skilled areas. By learning and working hard in a particular area, success will be achieved. This is the type of confidence that leads people to accept difficult challenges, and persist in the face of setbacks.
This overlaps with the idea of self-esteem, which in a more general sense takes place when coping with what’s going on in a person’s life, and the right to be happy. In part, this comes from a feeling that the people around us approve of us, which we may or may not be able to control. It also comes from the sense that we are behaving virtuously, and are competent at what we do, and that we can compete successfully.
The action plan that is being set to address needed growth, to improve on this situation, is to take stock of the present, address and focus on the future. A commitment to starting this action plan and staying with it must be achieved so that the needed growth can be realized. In preparing for this journey, a look at what have already been achieved is necessary. To accomplish this, listing the ten best things that was achieved in an achievement log is needed. Among some of the things that should be noted in the achievement log are such things as whether a key role in an important team project was accomplished; whether an achievement was reached in producing the best sales figures in a period; whether something that made a key difference in someone else’s life took place, or whether delivery of a project that meant a lot for the company was accomplished. These are some of the things that should be listed. This list should then be reviewed often and time should be spent each week enjoying the success that was achieved, so that improvements will be built to further the growth of this success.
Another technique that should be used to address needed growth is to use the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis. The SWOT analysis can be used to take a look at strengths and weaknesses, and from this, consider the opportunities and threats that are being faced. This will lead to thinking about what’s important, and what direction to take. Once this is accomplished, goals must be set which must be measured by success. By hitting on the targeted goals that are set, and coupled with self-confidence, key factors in enhancing growth areas will eventually be achieved.
The leadership self-assessment is very helpful in identifying areas that are needed for improvement since these areas directly relate to leadership growth. Interpreting the scores provide an awareness of a leader’s worth because every leader must know their worth and trust them without letting their ego or image get in the way. This is one area that needs improvement because recognizing a leader’s strengths will help to compensate for any weaknesses. The need to have the capacity to distinguish between perceived skills, and what the job requires are important as well. The findings from the self-assessment will help in recognizing areas that need improvement to enhance a leader’s ability which will lead to becoming an outstanding leader. This will result in sound decision making, planning, organizing, directing, and controlling by the leader.
This self-assessment is to assess the leader-member exchange relationship. Seven statements were provided that required the follower in a group to think of a situation for which there is a leader and indicate the degree to which there is agreement, or disagreement.
The purpose of this assessment is to determine trust in leadership and team performance. There are three aspects of leadership that are explored in this assessment, fairness, trust, and ethical behavior.
A score of 6 or greater indicates that there is a high quality leader-member exchange relationship with the leader. A low score of two or less suggests that there is a low quality leader-member exchange relationship with the leader. On this self-assessment this author scored 6.5 out of a total of 7.
The score that was achieved on this self-assessment suggests that this author, the follower, has a high-quality leader-member exchange relationship with the leader. This score has connected to key concepts that are presented in the text. For example, recent evidence conducted by Wayne, Shore, & Linden, 1997, suggests that followers who experience a high quality leader-member evidence exchange relationship may help their leader by carrying out their required role activities and by engaging in good citizenship behaviors. The follower will go beyond their expected role requirements in exchange for the benefits provided by the leader in the exchange process.
The action plan that is set to address needed growth areas is to seek out probing questions, such as what makes a follower unique in the organization, and identify any accomplishments that will make the follower proud of. Reflecting on the most important work-related values, and figuring out values that are met, and those that are not met, will help improve needed growth areas. Probing questions that should be taken into consideration such as whether working with people, data, things, or ideas are satisfying, will help in identifying which mixture would be most satisfying for a follower and why when building growth areas.
Since performance reviews are based on past performance, and connected to a supervisor’s view on an employee, reflecting on the last performance review will help in improving on growth areas that need to be strengthened. To enhance on growth areas, asking good probing questions, and avoiding ones that give only yes, or no answers will assist. This will allow the best way to gain a deeper understanding of what really matters to an employer.
Practical application to individual leadership growth: The self-assessment focused on the leader-follower relationship. It introduces the concepts of fairness, trust, and ethical behavior. The self-assessment also focused on leadership as a relationship between leader and follower and extends the leader-member exchange theory to consider issues of organizational justice.
The findings on this self-assessment, based on the cores, showed whether trust affects team performance, and whether trust in leadership mediates the relationship between past and future team performance. A score of 6.5 shows that this author has a high quality leader-member exchange relationship with the leader.
The lesson learned from taking this self-assessment shows that part of leadership is observational learning done by the subordinates, and it is important that ethical values and conduct are demonstrated at all times. This will help with leadership growth because overall, leaders are expected to be honest, considerate of followers, fair in decisions, and make decisions based on ethics; but none of these aspects constitute ethical leadership by themselves. Gaining experience working in a highly ethical organization can help contribute to ethical leadership characteristics that are carried with the leader from one organization to another. This will be applied in any job that calls for leadership qualities.
Trust in Leadership:
The purpose of this self-assessment is to evaluate trust in leadership and team performance. Trust can be defined as an expectation or belief that one can rely on another person’s actions and words that the person has good intentions. Trust in leadership is meaningful because the leader typically has the most formal power on the team, causing others to be vulnerable to him or her.
The self-assessment was based on a score of 1 through 7 with one reflecting that there is strong disagreement with the statement and seven indicating strong agreement. A score of six and above reflects a high level of trust in leadership and team performance. There were nine questions. The overall score on this self-assessment was an 8.2 reflecting that most team members trust and respect their leader. This author scored an 8.
The interpretation of this self-assessment score shows that there is a high level of trust in leadership and team performance. This self-assessment provides an awareness that trust in leadership is important. This awareness allows the team to be willing to accept the leader’s activities, goals, and decisions, and working hard to achieve them will be their ultimate goal.
This self-assessment is connected to key concepts presented in the text because trust in leadership has a positive effect on team performance. Trust in leadership mediates the relationship between past team performance and future team performance. Trust in leadership allows the team members to suspend their questions, doubts, and personal motives and instead throw themselves into working toward team goals.
Specific plan of action that needs to be addressed is to identify and enhance growth areas by ascertaining one’s present position. This growth area can be enhanced by using a variety of tools including interviews, questionnaires, focus groups, and data that are already available inside the organization. Once the data is collected, it can be used as a benchmark from which to establish short-term, and long-term goals, and objectives for relationship, trust, and team performance.
The score, interpretation, and action plan on this self-assessment will be used to enhance and improve leadership skills because as a leader, one of the main priorities is to get the job done, whatever the job is. The findings on this self-assessment will be used to make things happen by knowing what the objectives are and having a plan of action on how to achieve them. This can be done by building a team committed to achieving the objectives and helping each team member give their best efforts. A leader must know their strengths and weaknesses, so that they can build the best team around them.
4. Job Affect: – The job affect evaluation is designed to measure mood at work.
The purpose of this assessment is to determine how people felt at work, while on the job during the past week. Mood at work, as assessed here is a state-based condition. Therefore, as a state-based condition, people can express different moods, depending upon the state to which they are exposed. On the other hand, mood can be relatively stable across emotional states and across time.
Achieving a sore of four and greater on this assessment implies a high level of affect and a score of two or less imply a low level of affect. This author’s overall score was a four.
The job affect assessment is designed to measure mood at work and to decipher how people felt at work while on the job during the past week. Since this evaluation is a state based condition, people can express different moods, depending upon their state to which they are exposed. Mood can be relatively stable across emotional situations and across time. According to Pierce and Newstrom (2007), leaders who have strong positive affect are characterized as possessing an air of confidence, competency, and optimism. Leaders with strong positive affect transfer their energy to others and to be characterized as leaders of cohesive, productive work groups.
The action plan to address needed growth areas specifically comes from confidence. Leaders are more likely to be assertive, decisive, and emotionally stable if they have self confidence. Confidence in self plays an important role in decision-making and in gaining others’ trust.
To enhance growth areas, leaders need to have cognitive ability to formulate suitable strategies, solve problems, and make correct decisions. Effective leaders must have great knowledge about the company, industry, and technical matters. Industry knowledge and aspects of self-confidence can be developed through experience and training.
Improvement of traits corresponding to leadership will be implemented. Traits such as drive that leads to achieve more, become ambitious, show and energy, tenacity and initiative are all qualities that need to be developed and nurtured to be a successful leader.
Interpreting and evaluating the scores on this job affect self-assessment will help and can be used to improve leadership growth in such areas as traits, skills, and behavior. Since effective leadership is essential in increasing organizational performance, leadership success in today’s competitive environment requires the combination of leadership traits, skills and behavior, and the understanding of how these elements interact in the leader’s role. Leadership development is not universal; instead, leadership development programs must be tailored to each organization. These findings can be used to invest in leadership training and development that will enhance the competencies and capabilities of existing leaders, ensure leaders have the ability to effectively resolve competitive and economic challenges, and help leaders inspire and engage the organization and its management team to enhance overall business performance.
5. Motivation to Lead – This self-assessment focuses on motivation to lead.
According to Kirpatick and Locke (1991), leadership motivation involves the desire to influence and lead others, and is often equated with the need for power. People with high leadership motivation think a lot about influencing other people, winning an argument, or being the greater authority. Many people prefer to be in a leadership rather than subordinate role, and this assessment will help leaders know whether they have the ability to be a good leader.
Achieving a score of 6 and above for each of the three motivations-to lead dimensions indicates a strong motivation to lead based on that factor. A sore of two or less indicates a weak motivation to lead based on the specified factor. The highest score is a 7 and the lowest a one. On this assessment, this author scored a 4.6 on the affective identify-based motivation to lead. On the non-calculative-based motivation to lead a score of 4 was achieved and a score of 4.8 was obtained on social normative based motivation to lead.
An average score of 4.5 was achieved indicating that this author has the traits necessary to become a leader. According to Kirkpatrick and Locke (1991), leadership traits are important preconditions giving an individual the potential to be an effective leader. Traits are an important part of the picture, although each trait accounted for a small portion of the criterion variance. Leadership is proactive rather than passive in nature and while a leader’s traits are important tools, the traits must fit the situation.
Specific action plan needed to address growth areas in motivating a leader, and key traits that need strengthening were identified in this self-evaluation. Traits such as drive, desire to lead, honesty/integrity, self-confidence, cognitive ability, and knowledge of the business are important traits that need to be strengthened. Other possible characteristics of effective leaders that should be considered for improvement will be charisma, creativity, originality, flexibility, and adaptiveness. Industry knowledge and aspects of self-confidence can be developed through experience and training. Honesty does not require skill-building because it is a virtue that one achieves or rejects by choice.
According to Kirkpatrick and Locke (1991), regardless if leaders are born or made or some combination of both, it is clear that leaders are not like other people. Leaders do not have to be great men, or intellectual geniuses. While a leader’s traits are important tools, the traits must fit the situation, for instance a strong relationship between intelligence and leadership exists because a person does not emerge as a leader simply by possessing key leadership traits.
Confidence in the self plays an important role in decision-making. By gaining others’ trust and developing self-confidence, leaders are more likely to be assertive, decisive, and emotionally stable. Effective leaders must be proactive. They must make choices and take action that will lead to change instead of reacting to events or waiting for things to happen. They must show a high level of initiative.