The importance of self-assessment in leadership development may not be specifically what Socrates (attributed by Plato) was referring to when he stated that “the unexamined life is not worth living”, but the observation seems very relevant (Baggini ,2005). As noted by Watson (2004), the development of organizational leaders requires a culture that promotes self-evaluation, lifelong learning, and nurturing. The author discusses the importance of self-leadership which utilizes introspective investigation to discover and develop leadership skills. This self-leadership provides a foundation on which to identify values and beliefs, motivations, their impacts on behaviour, and strengths and weaknesses, to develop a plan to enhance leadership effectiveness.
The self assessment of my leadership style includes reflection on leadership situations, colleague feedback, the use of self-assessment tools, and analysis of my findings within the context of leadership theories.
One of the first self assessment tools completed shortly after taking on the clinical manager role was the Majors PTI Personality instrument which was done in conjunction with a Dorothy Wylie Nursing/Health Leaders Institute program. The tool is an instrument designed to promote self awareness in relation to how your personality contributes to aspects of your life including your style of learning, work/activity and leadership (Majors PTI, 2011). The results of this self assessment indicated a preference for introversion, sensing, feeling and judging-ISFJ. Characteristics associated with this preference include; practical actions to serve others, warm caring style, value and appreciate structure and hard work, and when experiencing stress become pessimistic. When applied to leadership methods, my report indicates that; I would be a reluctant leader, cautiously use influence behind the scenes, have an expectation of similar conscientiousness in others, am talented at catching details that complete a project, and that my need for harmony can result in others taking advantage and undermining my leadership position.
In applying these preferences to a leadership situation, I am reminded of a recent call I received during the weekend from members of my staff who were overwhelmed with presentations of patients requiring unfamiliar immune globulin therapy post measles exposure within the context of an overcrowded emergency department. On arrival to the department I worked with emergency and laboratory staff to ensure availability of product information and administration guidelines and in addition, facilitated increased flow out of the department for a portion of our no bed admits to assist with staff workload. In the interest of internal and external harmony, I requested our on-call infection control nurse liaise with public health as sole point of contact as front line nurses from both the emergency department and public health were having difficulty appreciating each other’s challenges and roles...