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Part of leadership is to continue to pursue knowledge that underlines excellence in service, mentoring others, and continuously display integrity. It should not matter if you are a CIO or a team lead, to be effective leaders should have confidence, courage, and compassion to move people towards business or personal objectives. This is important because it encourages getting results while fostering productive relationships and investing in others. Being a leader should be underlined with inspiration, influence, and the ability to instill in others the motivation, enthusiasm and the drive to achieve and be successful.
The results of the Clifton Strengths Assessment revealed that my top five categorial strengths are Strategic, Learner, Ideation, Restorative, and Achiever. After reviewing each category, and I am in overall agreement with the assessment results. I have taken similar tests (Real Colors® and Standout®) administered by my employer. Both results of those tests align with the outcomes of the Clifton Strengths Assessment.
How it works
My strongest categorial strength is Strategic which is in the Strategic Thinking domain. I think I have always been looking for the best way to move forward. Whether I was determining what was the safest way to pack in eight people into a five passenger car to go to the drive-in, or figuring out the most efficient and safe way for a provider to document their office note in the electronic medical record (EMR). I look for the patterns and issues for various situations and work to help develop a plan or create new ideas for solving a problem. This strategic strength aligns with my desire to be innovative. Being organized and creative lets me quickly analyze the different pathways and decide which one will provide the best outcome. I am excited by the various possible scenarios whether it’s thinking into a current problem, or looking to the challenges of tomorrow’s, discovering how to take a thought or idea and look for the best way to move forward on it.
I love to learn, whether it is my personal experiences or professional. The thought of being able to engage on something new and adding it to my toolbelt is a thrill. I seem to start out with the feelings of being overwhelmed but as the process of learning progresses, it is the steps and challenges to get to the needed understanding that excites me. I work in healthcare which is dynamic, and we are always challenged to be flexible and grow. It is important as a leader to want to always be learning in order to set an example and be able to have thoughtful and productive conversations with staff.
To ensure that source information for all quoted, paraphrased, and summarized content is accurately and completely acknowledged, a variety of examples are given both on the reference page and within the narrative of this sample paper that include the author, date, title, and location of the referenced material. Here is an example of how to cite information from a WGU-required resource. The Clifton Strengths assessment provides a report of individual signature themes or traits. Intellection is one theme identified by the assessment (Gallup, Inc., n.d.). On the reference
I can say that I am a “fixer”. I enjoy continuous process improvement and finding ways to improve upon something. Regardless if it is a personal problem or a challenge at work, I like to analyze situations and see if I can “make it better”. In my previous role I was hired as the quality manager for the project management office. From the moment I walked into my office, I immediately started to analyze the current processes and looked for ways to improve. As a leader, I want to encourage to not only find problems but to find excitement in solving them. The great thing about being restorative is when I do solve an issue or improve something, the result leads into my other strength of Achiever.
I don’t remember being an achiever in my younger years. Not to say I didn’t want to “achieve” but I had two brothers and two sisters growing up and staying out of trouble was my focus. As I got older and created my own family, I became determined to achieve a lot of things. An education, a home, financial stability, and a career. These milestones pushed me to be successful and have a sense of pride. I absolutely agree that every day starts at zero – I like to get up and determine what is something that I can knock out and feel accomplished. It doesn’t matter how big or small the accomplishments are, if there is at least one during the day then that day was productive which again in turn makes me feel that I have achieved something which is very satisfying. Recently I was promoted to a manager position at my workplace so I’ve set sight on achieving to be the best leader I can possibly be. As a leader, I believe that if my staff are achieving then I am achieving. Every day I set out to determine what tasks I can help them with or set them on with a high degree of success indicated – a win-win solution all the way around.
According to Derue, Nahrgang, Wellman, and Humprey (2011), leadership behaviors are composed of task-oriented behaviors, relational-oriented behaviors, and change-oriented behaviors. Task-oriented behaviors consist of contingent reward, directives, and initiating structure. Relational-oriented behaviors are comprised of consideration, empowerment, developing and enabling others. Change-oriented behaviors are transformational and exhibit charisma (p. 10). As I read that description and reflected, I found that I related to the traits described. I do try to clearly define roles, assign specific tasks, communicate work expectations all the while being empathetic, showing concern for the needs, feelings, attitudes, and input of my team. It is important to get the job done as defined by the customer and it is just as important to ensure the staff are satisfied with their jobs. This type of leadership style reminds me that my impact on others occurs through the task I perform and the relationships I create.
The behavioral theory has several positive strengths. First, the behavioral approach is heuristic. This allows me to be able to learn a lot about myself and how I come across to others by reviewing my own behaviors in reference to task and relationship aspects. Based on the behavioral approach, I can assess my actions and determine how I may want to change them in order to improve my leadership behaviors. I review our weekly “Stand Out” results, which is a weekly check in between myself and my staff. Dependent upon the work that needs to be done and the staff member I am working with, my behaviors may be modified somewhat to ensure that I am addressing the staff member in a way that is respectful of their needs and wants but encourages that the tasks they are reporting are being completed. The second strength was described by Peter G. Northhouse in “Leadership: theory and practice” as a new process, “the behavioral approach marked a major shift in the general focus of leadership research. Before the inception of this approach, researchers hers treated leadership exclusively as a trait.” Being able to have a broader scope means that the focus on leaders isn’t solely on personal characteristics, the focus will now also include what leaders did and how they acted. I have exhibited this strength through the relationships I built and how I have conducted myself through my work. A third strength of the behavior theory is that leadership traits can be learned through training and experience. This is different from the “Great Man” theory and Trait theory (Leadership and Personality: Trait Perspectives and “Great Man” Theory. (2020)) by arguing that leaders can be made and are not necessarily born with innate traits. This allows more opportunity for developing the leaders to produce intended results. I have worked very hard on developing my leadership skills through education, personal development, and mentorship. Without these tools I am not confident that my strengths would have been able to help me become a leader. Having the ability to learn and apply gained skills has allowed me to rise within the organization that I work for and be recognized for potential and growth.
The behavioral theory also has several weaknesses. First, a large constraint to behavioral theory is that just because people learn the practices and behaviors does not mean they will be able to enact the theory properly. It is easy to learn why or how to do these behaviors, but knowing when to behave one way or another, and becoming adept in these behaviors is a far more challenging task. In my first attempt at managing people I had no experience and enrolled into management development courses. I learned about communication, motivation, growth, etc, but when I went to implement some of the processes, I discovered that I did not know when I should or how to communicate them. I was trying to manage staff with my new knowledge, but I didn’t change my behaviors to support the change. I was still trying to be the friends instead of the leader. I didn’t change the way I talked to staff or adjust my view on relationships, I wasn’t giving the needed regular feedback in fear of hurting their feelings, and this created issues me being an effective leader. A second weakness is adaptability. There is a lack of knowledge on how behavior theory can be used in various situations. One behavior that works in one situation may not work in another situation. In my day to day management I am dealing with ten staff of varying backgrounds, ages, educations, etc. Although expectations are set, trying to use a standard approach to all is not typically effective. And trying to combine this approach with emotional intelligence is a challenge as well. What works well for one may not work well for another. For instance, I have one staff that prefers conversations to be facts only and to the point. No niceties or social conversations. However, another staff member prefers to discuss personal things happening in their life and then talk about work items and the impact on them. A lot of trial and error and time spent on determining who each person functions, and if not done appropriately the outcome translates sometimes into “misses” or delayed productivity. A third weakness is the application of the Blake and Mouton Managerial grid. The grid was developed in the 1960’s and shows a leader’s concern for people and concern for results. The theory indicates that the best way to have the most optimal outcomes is to increase employee’s satisfaction as much as possible at the same time increases the actions that create the most production. Blake and Mouton asserted that their (9,9) team manager – high on production and high on people – will always be the most effective type of leader regardless of the situation, and in fact a 9,9 orientation applied to the organization as a whole will foster a kind of corporate Darwinism (Blake and Mouton, 1966). This is something I strive for but find very hard to achieve and when achieved, as exhibited in the results of further study by Bernardin and Alvares (1976), the outcome still was not consistent because of the various situations. This past holiday everyone was working additional hours for a facility implementation. I remained cheerful, brought in food, gave everyone a small gift, and gave them additional time off without PTO. In addition, I streamlined some of the workload to hired contractors so that staff could have lighter workloads while there were in the office during the holiday. In the end some folks were still unhappy that it “wasn’t enough time”, “still in the office”, “preferred to eat alone”, and “didn’t need to give their work to someone else”. Or another example is those who are super happy and super productive but are on a course with burnout because they don’t know how to be otherwise. More research would need to be conducted in order to fully understand the Blake and Mouton grid and its application to leadership.
To be a better leader I will need to determine how to find the right balance of concern for employee feelings and treating them with respect with consideration of honing the role structures of staff, providing them direction and behaving in ways that will increase their performance. (Blake and Mouton, 1966). I also will need to further my exposure to mentorship so I may utilize the knowledge that I have with context. This would allow me to have a better understanding of how to apply different behaviors to various staff and situations. I see that I can improve on how to work with and motivate staff to identify challenges and come up with solutions by continuing to solicit and use the ideas and opinions of others to help form relationships and new ways of achieving results. I need to determine how to drive efficiencies and knowledge sharing along with trying to set examples by taking the lead on efforts.
A goal I would like to accomplish is to complete a mentorship that focuses on how to give and receive effective feedback to team members. It is important to provide valuable insight into each members’ performance. This can help improve my standing as a manager because people respect someone who provides sincere and actionable feedback based on their particular personality and tasks. To complete this goal of completing a mentorship I will enlist a senior level leader into one semiweekly meeting with me every six months. I’ll measure the progress of my improvement by having my director grade my performance weekly. Another goal I would like to accomplish in order to become a better leader is improving my ability to give regular, constructive feedback to my team. It is critical that I am clear in my expectations and evaluation of their work so that my group may be successful. In order to complete this goal of becoming a better leader I will give three pieces of feedback to each employee weekly for the next six months. I’ll measure the progress of improving my efforts by launching an engagement pulse through Standout (our engagement evaluation tool) to each employee once every six months. Both these goals are relevant to my career as a Manager of Physician Services Support and relationship to my team and the efforts of our organization.?
Derue, D. S., Nahrgang, J. D., Wellman, N., & Humphrey, S. E. (2011). Trait And Behavioral Theories Of Leadership: An Integration And Meta-Analytic Test Of Their Relative Validity. Personnel Psychology, 64(1), 7–52. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-6570.2010.01201.x
Northouse, P. G. (2019). Leadership: theory and practice. Los Angeles: SAGE Publications.
Leadership and Personality: Trait Perspectives and “Great Man” Theory. (2020). doi: 10.4135/9781529724929
Blake, R. R., & Mouton, J. S. (1982). Theory and Research for Developing a Science of Leadership. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 18(3), 275–291. https://doi.org/10.1177/002188638201800304
Bernardin, H. J., & Alvares, K. M. (1976). The Managerial Grid as a Predictor of Conflict Resolution Method and Managerial Effectiveness. Administrative Science Quarterly, 21(1), 84–92. https://doi.org/10.2307/2391879
Kouzes, J. M., & Posner, B. Z. (2014). The five practices of exemplary leadership – united kingdom. Retrieved from https://ebookcentral.proquest.com
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