The leadership development happens through relationships with others or community service. Experiences other than classroom and job also added to my development of leadership profile. However, after studying Browning, Henry (2000) in pages 7 to 12, I understand the basic aspects that help in development of leadership as assessment, challenge and support. In the course of assessment, I feel that it is important to me know my current strengths to have an idea about needs of development.
This in turn helps to know the effectiveness of one’s qualities on others. In the next step of challenge, it is important to know the development of skills and perspectives as well as the elements that create imbalance in one’s self. Hence, in the above-mentioned context, support is necessary, which is possible from elements of experience and self confidence. Support can provide reassurance regarding strengths and skills of me and I want to develop as a leader. However, I found the need of established ways of thinking and acting.
In the course of self assessment, it is important to define what I need and what I have to develop as a leader. Then it is important to know about the perceptions of others about me and to change the activities in order to have good relationship with them. However, when the perceptions of others regarding a person are surprising, it is a challenge to transform them according to the need. In the above context, support is necessary by having information about one’s self as well as skills. After getting or extracting information about nature and skills, it is necessary to change or transform them according to the challenges identified (Browning, Henry, 2000, pages 7-12).
Behavioral and Contingent Theories
The contingency leadership theories attempt to find the best leadership style in all situations. The above type requires adopting different leadership styles to meet the situation. Hence, the leadership theories used in contingency leadership models are dependent on behavioral leadership models. After reading Lussier, Robert N. and Achua, Christopher F. (2006) in page no. 152, I understand that the leading theory explaining aspects of leadership qualities. The theory can have practical value, if it is used to understand better, predict as well as controlling the situations. In this context, Lussier, Robert N. et al. (2006) quote Fiedler (1951) in page 154 about the effectiveness of contingency theory. According to that aspect, instead of changing style, I opine that it is necessary for a leader to change the situation according to behavior of the subjects.
The above aspect is useful in an organization to maximize the performance. The importance of situational favorableness is found in page no. 156, which is in degree with the situation favored by the leader enables him/her to exert influence over others. However, it is important to choose situation according to the behavior of the subjects or the number of people on whom the leader wants to exert influence. If the influence is not up to the mark, instead of changing the leadership style, I found that the authors favor the Fiedler’s advice of changing the situation and training the people accordingly. However, while doing this, it is important to take care that the relationships between leader and subjects do not deteriorate. Moreover, I feel the need of making a task with a reasonable structure that gives clear instructions in the form of suggestions. Regarding a situational change I take example of Pepsi and Pepsi Co companies entering into non-carbonated drinks market, to have more market share than their competitor Coca Cola as that amounts to change situation up to some extent (Lussier, Robert N. and Achua, Christopher F. 2006. Pages 151-156).
Self Leadership Theory
The performance of a group depends on the approach of the leader that exhibits cognitive ability. Hence, I want to emphasize the self leadership theory, which is a process in which individuals control their own behavior. For that purpose some specific sets of behavioral and cognitive strategies are necessary. That aspect influences the individuals as well as their team. In this theory, leadership is an expansion of self-management that has its roots in clinical self-control theory. In the above context, Christopher, P. Neck, Jeffrey D. Houghton (2006), quotes Kerr and Jermier’s notion of “substitutes for leadership” in pages 270 to 274. The self leadership theory concentrates on skills and behaviors in the workplace in contrast and similar to the change of situation in the previous theory. Though there is no change in situation in this theory you can apply this in the context of change of situation by a leader also. As change of situation often demands change or development of skills and behavior it is important to combine contingency theory with self leadership theory to obtain good results.
The important aspects like self-regulation, self-management, conscientiousness and emotional intelligence in self leadership theory is capable of avoiding the change in situation. However, I can suggest to you that the aspects of self leadership theory are applicable even in case of change of situation in contingency theory. The above aspect finds strength in overview and definition of self-leadership as it achieves self-direction and self-motivation that is necessary to perform. Moreover to attain optimum results, you can classify the strategies into three primary categories of strategies that focus on behavior. As a result the behavior focused strategies heighten your self-awareness and enables you to achieve the goal as a leader (Christopher, P. Neck, Jeffrey D. Houghton, 2006, pages. 270-295).
If you feel that it is necessary to explain the cause of events around us to your team or the people around you, by doing that you can have a greater control on them. This links your competencies of you to your form of attribution that creates a halo effect. In this context, Zenger, Johh, (2002), quotes in pages 40-41, that the above linkup is perceived as being highly effective in working with people. However, in this context, I suggest you to have your own personal style as the style depends on situation, context and one’s attributes. If you are a builder of coalitions, you have to be self effacing and if you are a strategist, it is necessary to have sensitivity to the culture of the enemy. Hence, your leadership style is a choice of you as the effective leadership is complex and diverse. However, style is not a key to leadership development. You can find that your ability is being increased when the universal issues are being recognized and addressed by you. Hence, as part of attribution theory it is necessary to develop competencies to control diversified teams in the era of globalization.
The standard of competencies in you decides the maximization of collective influence on the team. After reading Zenger John (2002), I suggest you that the success of a leader depends on organization also and the change of organization may bring out a failure as there may be a change in situation. Hence, by reminding the contingency theory the attribution theory teaches you that it is important to have a situation or change it according to your competencies and styles as well as the chemistry with co-workers and seniors (Zenger, John, 2002, page. 40-41).
When I compared the above theories I feel that self leadership theory is more suitable to any person particularly to me as self assessment and control are parts of the theory. Though contingency theory offers the change of situation, it is important to have control on me as well as the situation. However, if my assessment is correct I can select the right situation. Hence, self leadership style is the one best suited to me out of the three theories discussed above. Moreover, the self-confidence comes from self assessment, self development as well as self control and even helps in developing communication skills to influence others. However, the above mentioned aspect does not find emphasis in contingency theory or attribution theory.
However, the self leadership theory can use the aspects from contingency theory as well as the attribution theory as self assessment, self control and self development results in contingency and attribution. However, when compared with each other the contingency concentrates on changing the situation according to the leader and group. The attribution offers the selection of leadership style as well as the link between competencies and attributions. However, self leadership theory emphasizes the self development to be a leader. Moreover, another aspect that is important in self leadership theory and which gives advantage over other two theories is about self management aspect that is absent in other two theories. Hence after studying Clark, Kenneth E, (1996) in pages 82-85, my opinion is that the other two theories can be followed by attaining the aspect of self management. However, self leadership emphasizes on self management and hence it prevails over other two in developing a leadership profile by (Clark, Kenneth E. 1996 page. 82-85).
In addition to above-mentioned activities I stress upon personal values by a leader to have command over the team. Hence, it is important to have self assessment, which in turn helps in attaining self control if the faults in our personality are known. Attribution theory suggests to have own style of leadership as it is important in making decisions regarding my job. However, by following self leadership theory I can follow a series of steps to develop myself and the style follows automatically from the competencies and skills I possess. I feel that there is no need of selecting a style as it depends on our job, model of work as well as our standards of communication skills. Hence, I consider attribution theory and contingency theory are the ones that are applicable when a leader attains a status after self development and self management by self leadership theory.
As a result I opine that the self leadership theory prevails over other two selected in this paper regarding the basic aspects, attributes and competencies of a leader. Attribution theory talks about the recognition of universal issues and that is also a part of self development theory as I have to develop my personality according to the needs of my team or the organization in the course development of leadership profile. Hence, both contingency theory and attribution theory are the ones that suggest me crucial points after the development as a leader, but not in the course of development. However, the self leadership theory is useful for me even in the course of development as well as after the development attains a certain stage. Hence, when compared to each other the self leadership theory is most suitable one for me while in the course of development of as a leader as well as after the development.
After comparison I concentrate on personal analysis that is most suitable to self development theory. After studying About.com: Human Resources. (2009), I understand that self assessment is part of the theory I chose and the self analysis follows assessment. As part of analysis I consider substitutes of leadership and develop behavior as well as skills that are suitable to the nature and competencies I have and I am interested in. As this is a part of the self development theory, motivation to have different skills and competencies comes to the fore. When I know the faults in me through self assessment I have to analyze the consequences and have to motivate myself to develop cognitive ability.
It is important for me to understand subconscious inner drives and motivations to understand my emotions as well as mental habits. By understanding subconscious, I can understand my personality and the way it impresses others. Moreover, a leader should learn from others continuously and I fell that it is possible by following self leadership style that moulds me according to the needs. The next stage is ethics in leadership. I feel that it is important for me to exhibit values and ethics in leadership style as well as in actions as it shows impact on my team. In addition to that, the ethics and values develop trust in workplace and that is fortified when leaders identify themselves with ethics and values and it is possible with continuous self assessment and development. Hence, I feel that it is important to choose the leadership values or to follow the values set forth by the organization. Developing the values and living according to them is a powerful tool to lead the people and is possible by self development (About.com: Human Resources. 2009).
I understand the importance of listening while leading and according to Carmine Gallo in Business Week. (2007); leaders listen to opinions of their subjects and team and act on their intelligence. Hence, I understand the importance of listening skills in leadership style and treat them as part of self development. I feel that communication skills are also a part of that listening as it enables the leader to ask questions in response to a question and develop cordial relations with staff. A manager can ask questions about the staff members’ weekend on Monday and can answer same questions. The above incident makes staff to be in tandem with their manager’s words and they respond positively. However, I understand that the above situation may make the atmosphere lighter, but I have to be ready for tough questions a head, when I am listening to them. Hence listening is not only receiving the feedback but responding to tough questions also (Business Week. 2007).
In addition to above aspects, I opine that the modern leader needs transformational style of leadership as leading is not just like a business in transactional leadership style. I want to develop vision and view in my team instead of imposing my view on them. Moreover, I want to inculcate values and ethics that make them think in my way or the way the organization needs, which is the essence of transformational leadership style. However, I understand that the job of transformational leader is difficult than that of transactional leader as I have to take every opportunity and use it to convince others according to the needs of the organization.
It is important for me as a transformational leader to show the attitudes as well as actions and indicate the behavior I want from the staff. Hence, it is important to transform the followers to transform an organization in transformational leadership style. Hence, my opinion is that the values, ethics and standards the transformational leaders maintain develop a charisma in them. They indicate the route for the followers (ChangingMinds.org, 2009).
Development Plan for Leadership Profile
I chose transformational leadership style and hereby set 3 S.M.A.R.T goals to attain that. They are
- Attaining control over my organization (similar to self control) in three months.
- To adjust me according to situation.
- To develop ethics and values in the staff.
Regarding first goal, I need assessment of myself and the organization to tune me according to the needs of organization. It may take one month. The next step in that goal is to develop rapport with the staff to understand what they are. It may take another 15 days. In another 15 days I want to share my thoughts and want to listen to my staff’s thoughts about company’s goals and the ways to achieve them. By now, two months are completed and in the next 15 days I want to develop a shared vision between me and the staff members as well as in between them. I will use the last 15 days to assess the control I have on the organization.
The next goal I set is adjusting me to the situation. Though there is an opportunity to choose the situation, often there may be some instances that force us to work with a situation that is unexpected. Hence, I feel that it is important to make the staff connected to the network of the organization to understand the situation better and work accordingly. I want to do this in first 15 days. In the next 15 days, I want to develop a dialogue process in the activities of the company to adjust me and my staff to work according to the situation.
The next one month will see the application of shared vision developed by dialogue process in the situation to speed up the activities. The last month I make me and my staff to remove mental and physical barriers that impede our thought regarding the working in a new situation.
In the next S.M.A.R.T goal, I want to develop ethics and values in staff. As I have mentioned in earlier chapters, I use the first 45 days period to express me through values and ethics to the staff. In the next 45 days, I interact with the staff and encourage interactions between them as well as arranging activities to inculcate the values and ethics that are necessary for the organization.
About. Human Resources. (2009). Leadership Values and Ethics. Web.
Browning Henry (Author). (2000). Three Keys to Development: Defining and Meeting Your Leadership Challenges. Greensboro, NC, USA: Center for Creative Leadership.
Business Week. (2007). Why Leadership Means Listening?. Web.
ChangingMinds. (2009). Transformational Leadership. Web.
Christopher, P. Neck., Jeffrey, D. Houghton. (2006). Two Decades of Self-Leadership Theory and Research. Journal of Managerial Psychology Vol. 21, issue. 4, page numbers. 270-295.
Clark Kenneth, E. (1996). Choosing to Lead (2nd Edition). Greensboro, NC, USA: Center for Creative Leadership.
Lussier, Robert. N. and Achua, Christopher. F. (2006), Leadership: Theory, Application, & Skill Development. KY, USA: Cengage Learning.
Zenger, John. (2002). Extraordinary Leader. Blacklick, OH, USA: McGraw-Hill Professional.