Module and DQs
M2. Q1. The leadership self-assessment I went through is quite appealing as it indicates that my type of leadership is team leadership. As Morgeson, DeRue & Karam (2010) state, it basically refers to some characteristics, including the ability to stimulate others to work harder by encouraging them to grow and develop further. Additionally, I am supposed to be a linking part for everyone inside the group and be able to manage various conflicts occurring within it. I consider that I possess diplomatic skills and it is not challenging for me to build healthy and trustworthy relations with others. Therefore, the scores of the test seem to be quite accurate and realistic. The awareness about my leadership style and traits would help me to benefit from my strengths that have been outlined during the test and develop those that are important for my future growth. Additionally, it indicates my leadership weaknesses which are to be eliminated.
M2.Q2. The skills inventory indicates that I possess many skills to make me a team leader, and it coincides with the reality. I can leverage this knowledge by enhancing my skills and developing the features of character that correspond more to the preferred style of leadership. For example, I might follow the advise of Steve Jobs (n.d.) and focus more on building relations with people who I can follow and then incorporate new practices in the working routine of my group. I can minimize the influence and traits of authority style that I possess as I do not consider that I should give orders and punish followers for their non-fulfillment. Additionally, I would like to develop some characteristics that are inherent in the servant leadership style as I believe that a leader should know how to play different roles within the community in order to reach the eventual goal.
M5. Q1. Transformational leadership is a style of leadership that can inspire others to bring positive changes. Bass and Riggio (2008) stress that, transformational leadership makes the leader and followers achieve more in terms of morale and motivation. It provides intellectual stimulation, inspirational motivation, idealized influence, and individualized consideration that result in significant power and drive of transformational leadership. In my opinion, each leader is more or less transformational as he or she influences others and changes them. The importance of transformational leadership and skills depends more on the field in which the leader operates as some of them might need more or less changes to be introduced. For example, education is more changes-awaiting than sporting activities. In order to influence others and to make them perceive me as a transformational leader, I have to explain my followers the importance of alterations, ongoing revisions, and checks-up for the sustainable growth and development of my personality.
M5.Q2. The perception of a leader by his/her followers affects the leadership style significantly due to the following. In case a leader is more of authoritarian style, the followers have two options: to obey or to oppose. Chong (2010) asserts that, The way they choose will impact the development of the traits of the leader, as he might harbor with more severe degree of authoritarian leadership or switch to being more of a team leader. The followers feedback, therefore, is extremely important. I presume that I am perceived more as a team leader as I always try to encourage everyone to speak and to provide feedback, support everyones views, and motivate them in case of failure. If the perceptions of the followers and leader do not coincide, one of these two components of the system should either change or leave. This assessment is crucial as it determines the scope of influence of the leader and determines the success of the project or organization.
M6. Q1. Servant leadership is one of the most debated, yet severely criticized leadership concepts. While some closely identify themselves with this concept, the others are extremely cynical and question the expectations of such leader. Servant leadership refers to several key characteristics. First, they are ready to sacrifice their interests for the sake of the group. Barbuto (2007) states that, These leaders indeed are interested about the ideas and thoughts of others. These leaders are not authoritarian; therefore, their subordinates can clearly communicate their ideas when they are around. In my opinion, servant leadership is not the best form of leadership as it provides servicing others and sacrificing. I believe that each side of communication process should be satisfied with the outcomes and no one would endure the eternal sacrifices. Eventually, the leader will claim the pay off for his efforts. Thus, as for me, it is not the best model of leadership.
M.6 Q2. The servant leadership concept is controversial as the leaders are presumed to exercise influence over others but not to serve them. However, Greenleaf (n.d.) asserts that, Under certain conditions such form of leadership is absolutely acceptable. For example, it could be used under the conditions of limited resources or within a short time period. The role of a leader is frequently to lead the process, to encourage others for growth as well as for fulfilling challenging tasks, and to motivate them in time of despair. All of these functions are performed by traditional and servant leaders in equal amount. Thus, servant leadership has all chances for existence. In realm of this theory, the leader always passes the final decision. However, it is born as a result of the synergy of thoughts generated by the members of the team and is frequently the best solution given under certain conditions.
M7.Q2. Personality is crucial for leadership as it determines the potential of the latter. Yet, one should not state that leadership is an in-born feature of character. It rather refers to the set of characteristics that transform a person to a leader. All of them could be cultivated if needed. I consider that there are no traits of character that could not be amendable; therefore, each person can suit any leadership style. However, all of it could be altered if needed. Ricketts (2009) considers that the followers could benefit from the traits of their leaders in any case, since all leadership concepts can provide traits that make this style beneficial as well as less advantageous. For example, in case of servant leadership, people are more encouraged to share their thoughts and views. The decisions are often passed as a result of massive brainstorming, whereas in case of authoritarian leaders the subordinates are simply assigned to the tasks given by the leader.
- Careers Service, Careers and Employability Service, University of Kent, CES