The Concepts of Leadership article outlined several different leadership models and explained some of the traits of leadership. Of the dozens of traits listed, the five that I feel are the most important are:
1. Be trust worthy – Lamb, McKee (2004) stated that workers that have a high level of “trust and confidence in top leadership” were most likely to be satisfied with their jobs.
2. Be able to communicate a vision – Lamb, McKee (2004) goes on to explain the three important parts of communicating a leaders vision: explain the organization’s high level goals, explain how workers help to achieve those high level goals, and be transparent with how the worker’s organizational group is doing relative to the company as a whole in meeting those goals.
3. Know yourself and seek self-improvement – According to the U.S. Army (1983) a leader must have a clear understanding of their strengths and weaknesses so they can continuously work to strengthen those traits.
4. Take responsibility for your actions – The U.S. Army (1983) also states that leaders need to take responsibility for the mistakes that they will inevitability make; they should never put the blame on someone else. By investigating the situation, they can fix what went wrong and put it behind them.
5. Keep your coworkers informed – It is critical for leaders to maintain an open path of communication with their peers, subordinates, and upper management. Having the ability to communicate with people in different level in the organization is a strong leadership trait.
I was able to relate the questions in the Leader Self-Assessment Activity to recent experiences in and out of the workplace. One question that stands out is “I am good at solving problems?” I gave myself a five on this question, the highest score possible, because I enjoy solving problems in all aspects of my life. I’ve realized that I have a strong interest in analyzing and solving efficiency problems related to complex systems and processes. An example of this would be my recent work to bring two organizational groups into alignment within the company. Both of the groups were considered successful in the context of their own business, but some of the inefficiencies built into the group-to-group hand-off required rework for one group’s work to be compliance with the others. I worked to analyze and learn the two different group’s structure and workflows, then implemented changes to bring the two groups into alignment. The result of this change was a 25% decrease in time to move a customer between the two groups, with only a minimal change in process.
Another question that I was able to relate to was “Can I delegate work to others?” I gave myself a lower score on this question because it’s something I have struggled with recently. I’ve found that sometimes when I spend a lot of time and effort on a project, I’m reluctant to hand the results of that...