Leadership Self Evaluation
When I look at the Seven Habits profile, I am not entirely surprised. I work well with others. I have a background in theater and improv (teaching and preforming since 1997). That world is all about working with others toward a common goal. It is about reading other’s emotions and serving their needs to better tell the narrative. My father was an engineer with an oil company, consequently, I was born overseas, the youngest of three, and spent over half of my childhood moving and living around the world. My diverse childhood experiences taught me some amazing lessons about the realities of life and shaped my perspective on how to interact with a wide variety of people with a myriad of personalities and backgrounds.
Being the youngest child of three also afforded me a lot of leeway in responsibilities around the house. This was something that became a habit and I have had a hard time breaking it. I can be easily distracted by trying to help others but I just cannot seem to motivate myself to start projects I know I want to do. I have a backyard in need of attention and plans drawn up for improvements, but money and motivation have left it in a holding pattern. I know this about myself and find absolutely no problem admitting it. I do find it hard to change. This is ironic because my most recent job was as a behavioral change manager for a large oil company. I can effectively motivate others, but I find it nearly impossible to motivate myself.
Being an authentic leader feels right to me and I think my work on the seven habits worksheet shows that. I scored highest in “synergize”, followed by the “think win-win”, and “seek first to understand”. Gardner, et al (2005) posit that self-awareness and self-regulation are the core components of authentic leadership, and Avolio adds that positive psychological capacities, ethical standards, and a focus on developing personally/professionally are nearly as important. These are core values that I hold, the exception being self-regulation which, while I highly value it, I have an excruciatingly painful time actually executing it.
Through my life experiences I have learned that being open and honest is the most important thing for me. I know myself. I know my weaknesses. I do not constantly apologize for them but I own up to them. I make every attempt to be straightforward and speak directly and subsequently, I expect others to do the same. Subterfuge and ulterior motives are an infuriating part of the business world. I find this type of work environment to be counterproductive and ultimately doomed to fail. I always try to speak plainly and use exacting language, making sure that people know what I mean when I speak, what my perspective is and how I came to this conclusion. This is effective in alleviating communication errors and misunderstandings. The highest compliment I have ever received was being called “straightforward without fail”. This is a cornerstone...