Leadership Experience and Reflection

Introduction

Within this reflective treatise, I intend to explicitly evaluate my leadership skills and behaviors. Specifically, I will concentrate on my strengths such as being a good participator and action-oriented leader. I will also reflect on the best strategies I should employ to improve my situational leadership abilities by balancing path and goal areas of my behavior and thinking. In the end, I will present an action plan of how I will endeavor to develop the areas I noticed needed some adjustments.

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Leadership experience

I am a friendly person and I enjoy hearing about the interests of other people by encouraging them to speak. I ask questions about myself and I enjoy creating a lively interaction environment. I have always enjoyed talking with people but I find myself interested in what they have to say when faced with a situation. I have found myself to be a good listener because I don’t interrupt people when they are speaking. Apparently, this has become one of my greatest strengths as a proactive participator. In several circumstances, I have tested my listening skills through continuous personal engagement in different leadership application environments.

For instance, as an aspiring leader, I have always found myself in different situations that require proactive participation in decision making to ensure that the end result is ideal. In one of such situations, I was able to guide a charged interactive meeting into an objective and result-oriented forum. In the end, I realized that my inner ability to accommodate different opinions without prejudice was very consistent.

In the Leadership Assessment Competency, my main weaknesses are coaching and instructing, developing external contacts, and helping the community. I haven’t had much experience with coaching and I need to work on being better at coaching. When it comes to developing external contacts, I am very friendly to others but I have some trouble with networking and staying in contact with people within my social cycle. Specifically, Tyson (2008) opined that the elements of dependency within conscious and unconscious tenets are critical towards understanding expectations and possible challenges (Tyson 2008).

I have discovered from Tyson’s theory that I am an abstract conceptualizer. This means that I learn by thinking, analyzing, and planning before I do anything. For example, when I was faced with the challenge of making a decision on whether to attend a certain peer group meeting or not, I had to think about it, analyze it, and then I felt comfortable to attend since the organizers were people I liked. This means that I am a very analytical person. My strongest skills are interpersonal; I am a good listener, I build strong alliances, and I am concerned about people (Devito 2006).

I identify with the path goal theory proposed by Tyson. This is a leadership theory that I want to continue to improve on and use as a leader in the future. The path-goal theory is about how leaders motivate subordinates to accomplish goals (Tyson, 2004). It is based upon the expectancy theory, using the expectancy beliefs such as, “if I try harder I will perform better”, “if I perform better rewards will follow”; instrumentality belief, and “I value the rewards available”.

According to Payne (2006), leadership motivates when it makes the path to the goal clear, easy to reach, provide coaching, remove obstacles, and make the work itself personally satisfying. I have used this leadership theory in the past as a leader at my church by rewarding youths in my bible class who have studied the passages assigned to them. I have rewarded them with food, gift cards, and used positive reinforcement. I have found these rewards to work well. The strength of this theory is that it “reminds leaders of their purpose, which is to guide and coach employees as they move along the path to achieve a goal” (Devito 2006, p. 34).

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Basing on the leadership practice inventory (LPI) assessment that I have undergone during the performance of different duties on a daily basis, the practice enabled me to develop the following three personal competencies. First, I should be a role model. I need to develop self-confidence by elucidating my own individual values. I should set good examples by conforming to the shared values of the community. Secondly, I need to enliven a common vision.

Indeed, I should visualize the future through perceiving to achieve pleasant and excellent possibilities (Tyson 2004). In addition, I should interact with various people to achieve common objectives that are important in group activities. Thirdly, I should learn through challenging inspirations. In fact, I should struggle to get opportunities and whatever I need in life as a way to develop and grow positively.

Moreover, other people like to take risks in order to learn through experimentation. According to McShane and Travaglione (2005), learning is made possible by making mistakes. These elements were possible since I was able to balance my Psyche ID and Superego as discussed by Bass (2008). As an aspiring leader, I found this experience very instrumental in balancing the expectations and my private thoughts into a pattern of continuous ability to remain focused.

The series of dynamics that interacted between my inner self and the environment in the phase leadership mode experienced a metamorphosis as the unconscious choices began to take shape when I started the process of learning how to practice change a tire. Since I was the leader, there were a lot of expectations from my family members to provide motivation and inspiration (Tyson 2008). As a result, my role was firmly established and I was able to connect the vision, mission, and values of the family members to the individual values and needs. This gave us a better picture of the purpose and how each member can contribute to that purpose (Burns 2008).

Expressing loyalty is a noble act showing a sense of worth and gives meaning to life. However, it is not an easy task; it comes with lots of challenges as some people are naturally rebellious. I learned that in spite of the prodigious challenges leaders go through; they can still inspire loyalty and effort in their team since they trust that the decision made by the leader is in the best interest of the group at heart (McShane & Travaglione 2005). This motivates the followers to work hard knowing that the achievement will be bigger than them. It also creates a culture in the group because members feel they have shared values and beliefs (Tyson 2008).

The knowledge is promoted by the ART model proposed by Tyson (2004) to explicitly review the link between task and role as enshrined in the tenet of authority. To inspire loyalty and effort, I learned that I have to be a good communicator. I have to seek opportunities to communicate. At the same time, I attempted to increase the volume and frequency of communication. Having in mind that 90% of communication is not about what you say but how you say it; I was able to communicate with passion, humility, and enthusiasm in line with leadership aspirations (Bennis and Goldsmith 2003).

Being in a position to offer personal authority is often motivated by past and present experiences, situational factors, and skills within the structure of a group. Using simple words such as ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ has a great impact to inspire the team. Maintaining eye contact, having a relaxed body, and using a warm tone of voice does have an immense impact on the team members. As a leader, I can never be egocentric since it is not about me but about others.

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I have to listen to everyone since this encourages them and I also gain great ideas and insight as well (Feist and Feist 2006). In expectations management, I learned that one has to remain consistent by matching his or her words and actions. As opined by Nelson-Jones (2005), beliefs should match with actions as well as my results. With consistency, everyone will see what you believe in. Every person has to be clear about his or her beliefs and make them known. At the same time, they have to remain disciplined and accountable to their own values and guiding principles (Nelson-Jones 2005). This aspect has greatly inspired my ability as a good listener.

I discovered that leadership has to be clear in the job description so that every subject knows the expectations for every day. In order to be successful, I have to proactively prepare personal insight to ensure that the outcome matches any expectations. These should then be communicated with regards to what is supposed to be done and setting out clear guidelines to be followed in order to limit space for vagueness or the contradiction of roles. This would show that the rules and regulations set down apply to everybody including me. This indicates that a good leader is consistent (Nelson-Jones 2005).

LPI assessment is important because it enables a person to perceive how people evaluate his or her leadership skills. Actually, LPI has helped me to be an effective team player. This is a self-assessment strategy that enabled me to inquire about people’s opinions in order to compare their suggestions with my perspectives as a way to improve my personality and leadership skills (Hellriegel & Slocum 2011). For instance, during the role allocation stage, I managed to control the tension and possible conflict that was growing within me since I am rarely interested in the technical parts of any task. I decided to take this part since the conscious and subconscious choices within my personality were well balanced (Sockeley-Zalabak 2011).

As opined by Tyson (2004), past experiences may have a direct influence on the roles of an individual. I learned that LPI assesses human acts that people utilize when interacting with different peoples (Tyson 2004). This assessment is helpful especially for leaders who intend to know how they influence people and how to communicate effectively. In addition, leadership skills are normally influenced by situational and personal experiences. First, I have to build an attitude of encouragement is important in a group (Tyson 2008). Actually, people should appreciate and encourage positive contributions. Secondly, I have to share objectives since they guide a person to embrace desired outcomes while discouraging unfavorable attitudes.

Personal experiences are based on three aspects. First, my past experiences influence people to be aware of which human acts have a positive outcome. Secondly, my personal attitude usually influences people on how to interact with me. Lastly, my self-esteem enabled me to develop inner strength in carrying out various actions (Arslan & Staub 2013). I was able to apply the principle of self-assessment when making general statements to minimize ideological variances. As the weeks progressed, my management approach was maturing at a slower rate than my participatory leadership style since my subconscious mind had placed the management approach within the tenet of experimentation (West 2006; Nelson-Jones 2005).

As opined by Greenleaf (2002), a challenging experience normally compels a person to examine his attitude. Indeed, an individual will attempt to improve his approach to resolve a challenge (Greenleaf 2002). I only realized the steady consequence of my leadership approach in the stage of accomplishing the unit synergy testing exercise. I discovered that it is possible to change toxic followers through interpersonal assessment. The interpersonal assessment examines human acts that people utilize when interacting with different peoples. This assessment is helpful especially for leaders who intend to know how they influence people and how to communicate effectively (Wren 2005).

Self-leadership psychology theorists overtly argue that cognition alters task orientation behavior. Specifically, the discursive approach in explaining and exploring shared and coordinated actions on roles and channels through which an individual’s framework functions in the exchange of information formally is of great essence towards understanding task orientation level (Hacker & Tammy 2004). Despite task orientation being rated as a high self-leadership assessment strategy, my action planning is of the essence to create a solution-oriented task and strategy implementation secession for quantifying task orientation levels as I discovered during the assignment activity review (Fishbein 2007). Thus, I was able to achieve synergy since I offered efficient leadership.

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Adopting the model of development processes, my task orientation leadership skills on an individual task management level encompassed actual and expected outcomes. Through designing personal task management model levels, my task orientation module was activated towards developing dependence of interest attached to an activity, creating proactive relationships, and monitoring their interaction with physical and psychological health.

Eventually, this paid off since I learned to appreciate the essence of tolerance and the need to stay active when interacting with other people consisting of different personalities (West 2006). I should improve on excessive independence and intra and interpersonal communication since the two influence the level of task orientation with the third party (Kidd 2006). In fact, I find it difficult to challenge some people for their habit of showing up late for appointments due to the fear of being rejected.

As the weeks progressed, my basic assumptions of people were replaced by an interactive process which was characterized by a mature exchange between the containers (members) and the projector (leader) to steer the valence in line with Bion’s work group model (Tyson 2004). In order to achieve transformational leadership, it was vital for me to recognize the presence of the vice of postponing activities. This should be followed by creating a strategy to address the possible causes of indecisiveness. Through prioritizing and proper scheduling of activities, it was easy for me to manage this leadership module (Eriksen 2009).

At present, I am implementing transformational leadership strategies and have been successful in time management and limiting unpleasant detractors such as lateness, diverted attention, and discussion of private issues during meetings. I have been successful in self-reward creation (Wren 2005). However, the main challenge was to identify an independent reviewer of personal transformational leadership initiatives since I sometimes failed to make sure that other people are committed to a course of action.

I discovered that situational leadership engages in an active process of learning through promotion, facilitation, and rewarding collective learning results in the practical arena. The three building blocks of situational leadership include learning intrapersonal performance; supportive learning environment, concrete learning processes, and practice leadership that reinforces performance (Baxter 2014). Through using the diagnostic tools, I was able to assess the areas of personal situational leadership that require urgent improvement moving the person closer to an ideal leadership sphere (West 2006).

Self-initiative in situational leadership plays a significant role in setting up the leadership environment for situational occurrence management from external factors (Hui-Wen et al. 2010). My self guided approach is based on collaborative procedures that involve designing specific leadership experiences to organize situational management goals on how to monitor automatic response; recognize the relationship between these responses and cognition ways to test the validity of the relationships, and measures to apply to substitute the distorted thoughts with more realistic situational redress (Andreadis 2009).

Since research methods focus on the development of a range of skills that are designed to help the individual to cope with a variety of life situations, they remain indispensable to the personal initiatives I had internalized in practicing a proactive balance in self situational leadership management within the conscious decision-making process to remain active (West 2006). Despite the commitment to direct my skills towards proactive leadership, I had to deal with the challenge of balancing personal perceptions and realities that exist in task management. I have realized that I have the valence of leadership in LPI since I was able to handle personal fears.

I have been successful in applying the three types of leadership styles involving a realization that a challenge exists, the transformation of this challenge into a development goal after which implementation step concludes by developing a solution to the challenge. However, there is a need for improvement in keeping my situational management parameters within the goals and duties at hand (Avolio 2010). Common hurdles in leadership management include internal and external influences that slow down productivity and the ability to proactively handle challenges of the assignment (West 2006).

Therefore, it is factual that productive leadership is directly and positively proportional to the productivity level exhibited in an individual. In my view, it is important to minimize these hurdles to promote and encourages goal achievement within a set plan. I am currently monitoring counterproductive behavior as the negative parameter which limits leadership productivity as a result of these hurdles. Generally, this unsolicited behavior is often associated with ineffective performance (West 2006).

In order to understand the impacts of productive and counterproductive leadership on performance and productivity, my strength has been the ability to establish the scope and characteristics of each behavior module associate with leadership huddles (Casimir & Waldman 2007). However, the strategy requires a systematic and periodic review of the parameters of professionalism, organization, respect, optimal performance, and discipline.

Unfortunately, these indicators are difficult to quantify. Therefore, my productive leadership behavior stresses the need for active cooperation between personality and the roles assigned in the planning and execution of the set targets for the assigned roles within the parameters of situational leadership, task-person orientation, and transformational leadership (Chen, Tsui, & Farh 2002).

Personal reflection

Despite task orientation being rated as a high self-leadership assessment strategy, my action planning is of importance to create a solution-oriented task and strategy implementation secession for quantifying task orientation levels (Powell 2005).

Through designing personal task management model levels, my task orientation module has remained active in developing dependence of interest attached to an activity, creating proactive relationships, and monitoring their interaction with physical and psychological health. Eventually, it has paid off since I have learned to appreciate the essence of tolerance and the necessity to stay active. However, I should improve on excessive independence, intra, and interpersonal communication since the two influence the level of task orientation with the third party (Lipgar 2006).

Specifically, transformational leadership identifies a range of problematic situations an individual faces in his or her social environment and generates multiple alternative solutions to those problems. I had to lay a series of procedures that are necessary to achieve desired results rather than postponing response strategies. I have been successful in time management and reducing unpleasant distractions. I have been successful in self-reward creation.

However, the main challenge was to identify an independent reviewer of personal transformational leadership initiatives (Cardenas & Crabtree 2009). I would suggest an improvement in the urgent matrix for duties since it doesn’t remain constant in different situations (Kouzes and Posner 2002). My situational leadership has engaged an active process of learning remaining active, focused, and result-oriented in accomplishing different duties. I am a motivator towards situational leadership management (Wren 2005).

Conclusion

Conclusively, the learning experience and group assignment reaffirmed my leadership skills and ability to manage group dynamics. Apparently, the theories discussed confirm that I am a focused, task-oriented, and participatory leader. However, I need to make adjustments in my situational management parameters within goals and duties at hand since reflection reveals that I not consistent in this area.

I need to be more realistic and accommodative to ensure that I remain sober when handling different situations related to leadership development. In order to make this improvement, I have proposed to enroll in a self-awareness class to acquire the basic skills required to make decisions under pressure and in dynamic environments.

The class will run for the fourth month. During this period, I will create a successful benchmarking blueprint by evaluating my performance through the creation of controlled experiments for testing my performance under pressure. I expect to improve the parameter of situational leadership management after four months of training. I will determine the success of training upon the results at the beginning and the end of the fourth month period. I am hopeful that the adjustment progress will be satisfactory.

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