Leadership is a process where a leader influences a group of people towards achieving certain goals. An effective leader is someone who motivates a person or a group of people to accomplish more than they would have otherwise accomplished. Not all managers are leaders; however, they share with them the desire to achieve the goals of organizations[i].
Leadership is associated with certain qualities or characteristics. These leaders’ qualities include self-reliance, independence, assertiveness, risk-taking, dominance, ambitiousness, and self-sufficiency. People who possess these attributes are often labeled as “leaders”. Understanding one’s leadership style is a necessary first step in leadership development. The following is a SWOT analysis of my leadership potential and personality profile using selected self-assessments from the Leadership textbook.
Leadership Potential Profile
A leader is like a coach in the sports arena. In the sports arena, a team consists of individual players; each with certain skills, but the team as a whole forms a well tuned instrument by the coach who is hopefully arranging them into a cohesive unit. One of the most important tasks in an organization is identifying and developing the next generation of leaders. There are certainly a number of signs that may indicate the potential for leadership. My Leadership Potential Profile assessment indicates that I have a high leadership potential with a score of 33 out of a possible 35.
Strength - Influence
Many believe that leadership is the foundation of influence and that great leadership ability comes from the ability to influence those around them. In one of my recent job reviews it was written that “Michelle is a natural leader with a hearty and frankly style that seems to positively influence her colleagues and project team”. I readily accept authority and display a high level of energy when doing so. I am normally action-oriented, preferring to rise to the challenge. I tend to take initiative, drive things around me, and thrive in situations where I can use my influence to resolve problems. I work on Capitol Hill, as with many new hires here, your resume and list of accomplishments precede your arrival. I was no exception. As a former Wall Street and dot com technology manager, it was assumed that I would bring a certain business savvy to my division. Therefore, during my first few months, I had a level of influence based on my past experience.
Weakness – People Interactions
It is important to those with high leadership potential to work well with others, appreciate critical comments about the work, and value the work and needs of others. Unfortunately, I sometimes find myself in situations where I am overly critical of what I believe is the lack of hard work by other team members. Since I am highly organized, I am impatient with disorganized individuals especially when that disorganization contributes to missed deadlines. I am not always accepting of critical observations of my work especially when it may require rework that adds more time to the project schedule. This was evident recently when a Project Management Officer who reviews all projects over a certain budget, asked me to delay closing a project because of a document they believed was important to the project. However, delaying the closure would also mean that my project would not be considered as “completing on-time”. I defended my project to numerous senior managers explaining why I thought the requested document unnecessary. Although, I was able to successfully argue my point and the project ultimately was closed (without the new requirement). It was certainly not the best way to handle my disagreement with the Project Management Officer—someone that I certainly need in my project team’s corner going forward.
Opportunity - Organizational Objectives
Effective leadership is required to achieve organizational objectives. Since effective...