30 August 2010
Determining Leadership Styles
One of the most important tasks any business leader must undertake is a personal assessment. An honest inventory of skills, strengths and weaknesses of a business leader can give insight into those areas that need improvement as well as those that can be accepted and learned to work around. A personal inventory also give the business leader the power of information, which a business leader can then use to create situations that emphasize strengths for more consistently positive outcomes. As a business leader, it is important to adopt a positive attitude throughout the task of skill, strength, and weakness inventory. The inventory will need to be recorded without any personal judgments. In this essay, we will identify strengths and weaknesses of a leadership style via leadership assessments, then we will compare and contrast leadership theories and apply relevant theories to leadership approach.
In reality, people and businesses want results. As a leader, we have to influence and move others to produce results. When we lead, others follow. It does not matter what title is on the business card, the question is whether you can lead (Coutts, 2000). With so much at stake, it is unaffordable for a business leader to fail in his or her leadership. Leadership of a leader must be continually and diligently worked on. As a business leader, he or she must identify his or her skills, strengths and weaknesses so that leadership can be used to its potential. First, business leader has to think about what attracts him or her. What often attract him or her are strengths. Strengths are often more difficult to identify than weaknesses (eHow, 2010). Things that one likes to do is often be strengths simply because one spends more time focusing on practicing them. One must also test his or her abilities by trying different activities, and giving the best effort put forward at each time. Activities reveal personality types. Personality graphing test can give insight into positive and negative abilities of a leader. The broader the spectrum of new activities attempted, the more data gained. One can gain conclusion on his or her ability based on the information gained from this personality test. When graphing personality test, one must do it honestly without any propensity of biases. After graphing, one needs to write down what he or she enjoys doing. While these strengths are recorded, weaknesses must also be noted. Personal experience associated with the strengths and weaknesses may be drawn to reinforce the application of strength and mitigate the detriment of weaknesses. It is also recommended that one should review personal accomplishment often to reinforce the strengths (eHow, 2010).
The next step in identifying strengths and weaknesses is analyzing them. One should ask specific questions regarding which tasks will yield more information about strength and weaknesses. Then one can categorize, group them and think of how to make a leap of improvement in a short period of time. If putting in consistent efforts and not much improvement is seen, then this is the area of weaknesses. Ask the boss or supervisor on how you can excel and improve in these areas.
When strengths and weaknesses have been identified, how does one apply these strengths and weaknesses into business setting to gain maximal output of leaderships? There are many leadership styles that have been analyzed and theorized - from LPC Contingency model, to Path-Goal theory of leadership to Situational and Multiple Linkage theory of leadership. Among these theories, the one that I identify with the most is the Multiple Linkage theory of leadership. The multiple-linkage model (Yulk, 2006) builds upon...