What Leadership Means to Me

1 January 2017

There were four theories that I found especially helpful for understanding leadership. They include the major leadership traits for leadership, Psychodynamic Approach and Team Leadership, Leader Member Exchange Theory, and Women in Leadership. What follows is a definition of major traits that you need in leadership, how it differs from management, and a description of each of the above theories and the Psychodynamic Approach theory, which I improved based on what I learned in the course. I will relate some examples of important theories from my own personal and professional life.

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In the last section before the conclusion, I will include insights from the George article on authentic leadership reading in week eight and an incident, a defining moment from my life, that has helped me find my ‘voice’ as a leader. Major Leadership Traits There are many traits and characteristics that are identified and related to leadership, however, I am going to discuss the 5 major traits. The important traits that contribute to leadership are intelligence, the ability to have a higher IQ then their followers.

However, if they are having difficulty in communicating to the level of their followers to accept, that could be a problem, and that is where your leadership skills would take place. Self Confidence is another important trait, to have the ability to be certain about your competencies and skills. Determination, have the desire to complete the task at hand, high energy and the will to assert yourself. Integrity, is more trustworthiness and honest and you will confide and be more willing to perform work for that leader.

Lastly, Sociability is also considered and important trait to consider to leadership, having the ability to pick out friendly, ongoing, good manners and pleasant interpersonal skills is one of my favorite traits that I think is important in leadership. As discussed above are the five major traits necessary to have to become a powerful leader, and their definitions, (Northouse, 2004, pp. 19-22). I am going to discuss in my personnel everyday work experience, on just how these different traits are so necessary to perform in a corporate world.

I have only every worked at Goodrich, located in Vergennes, so its hard for me to compare with other leadership areas. As I read in this chapter, that there are many other traits that are associated with effective leadership, however, I am going to discuss that one trait that was the most effective and important to me. Sociability is such a strong and powerful trait, and it so needed to have in Leadership. I know this from experience with the different jobs and management that I have had in the pass years of service.

As I get older, and knowledgeable, is when I realize just how important certain skills are important and necessary it is to perform certain tasks. Being social, friendly, civil, and sensitive, will help you to create relationships with your followers, and that is just so important to me and so necessary in a large corporate business. To be able to have a relationship with your leader, just makes you feel so much needed and wanted. Sociability is one of the five traits that I think is very much necessary in becoming an effective leader. Defining Leadership

The difference between leadership and management, they have a lot of the same concepts that overlap with both leadership and management. They both have to influence individuals of their team, they both have to work with people, and they both are working towards accomplishing a common. Leadership in my mind and how the books explain the roles of a leader is that you must have the knowledge and the skills to be a effective leader. Defining leadership can have different meanings for different people. Leadership occurs in groups and the groups become the followers of the leader.

Leaders need to initiate the relationship, create the communication and carry the burden of maintaining the relationships , (pp. 2-3). Management in my mind and as the book reinforces the definition to be, to plan, to organize, to staff for the process, and to control the process to the end. These are consider the primary functions of the management role (p. 8). The differences between the two are; management you are to provide order and consistency to organizations, and leadership is to produce change and movement.

A good example the difference between the two is shown on figure 1. 2, where is strictly labels the difference between the management functions and leadership roles. Like mentioned above, management is to plan, organize, staffing and control, and leadership is to establish, align and motivate individuals. Again, they both overlap with having to work with people and working toward a common goal (p. 9). This article was very fractural to me; it is definitely an issue that I see happens at Goodrich today, Why Many Leaders Land in the Rough. A new survey reveals that many of today’s leaders have personality traits that leave them in the corporate equivalent of a deep sand trap. Fortunately, there is a cure: leaders can overcome behaviors and habits that derail their careers if companies offer high-quality development programs. That is the lesson of a survey from Development Dimensions International (DDI), a global human resource (HR) consulting firm specializing in leadership development and selection system design.

Effective leadership is supreme to success today, but unfortunately investment in crucial HR systems, from selection to succession management, is falling short at all levels”. This is so true in the company that I am employed with, Goodrich, its lack of having the correct tools available for management to use, (The Canadian Manager. Toronto: Winter 2001. Vol. 26, Iss. 4; pg. 15, 2 pgs). . Psychodynamic Approach and Team Leadership Determining your psychodynamic approach was very interesting out come for me.

I can see where this approach could benefit for both the leader and the follower depending of the personality at that moment. Below I will describe the psychodynamic type that I am and relate it myself in the workplace. Psychodynamic approach expresses to leaders personality characteristics and the understanding the responses from their subordinates, based on their personalities. They could understand their reactions to the leader and each other. Important concepts in psychodynamic approach that I took away mostly were figuring out what others personalities are, so I could better relate to them.

Especially the introvert and extrovert preferences, just knowing that you are talking to a introvert and you are a extrovert, can make the conversation flow in a whole different pattern, very interesting. The psychodynamic approach that I am, according to the leadership instrument questionnaire, it turns out that I am a Extravert, Sensor, Feeler, and Perceiver. Extravert, energizing, cooperative and open, I totally am all of these; so I guess I am a extravert person. Sensor, a Practical, action oriented person, I am practical but however, action oriented not so much.

Feeler, Empathic, Cooperative and Loyal, I am definitely all of these as well, very interesting. Perceiver, Flexible, Curious, and Informal, again hit them all right on the noise, it’s amazing how this model can be so accurate, and I like it. Again, what I most like about the psychological concept is using it with the people that you mostly interact with so that you can work with them more effectively, Leader Member Exchange Theory Here you would define the theory and explain why it is so important, reminding leadership about minimizing the natural tendency to create in-groups and out-groups.

Why is it important to use Leaders-Memory Exchange (LMX) theory in a organization workforce? Descriptive and Prescriptive aspects is a major part of the LMX theory, and I am going to explain the difference between both descriptive and prescriptive theories, and how and why it’s such an important part of the LMX theory. LMX theory is a method that is focused on the relations between leaders and each of their followers. The two concepts used to define in the LMS theory, is Descriptive theory, which recognizes the in groups and the out groups, within an organization.

The in groups are generally people in a group, that takes on more responsibilities and have stronger strengths of the situations happening within a project, people who go the extra effort to get the job done. The out groups people, are those who just do what they are asked to do, nothing extra, nothing to progress the task. The second concept using the LMS theory is Prescriptively, which narrows down the relationships will all the subordinates, to a relationship similar to the in group relationships.

The LMS theory works by focusing our attentions on the different relationships that leaders can establish with others, (Anonymous, 2010, pp. 147-155). The LMS theory is so important for a leader to understand and to have the knowledge of both concepts, descriptive and prescriptive. The leader needs to know how to recognize the in groups and the out groups in an organization and try to make everyone similar to the in-group organization. By using the LMX theory it has been proven that these relationships are at high quality that the organization are all advanced, (p. 154).

In Case 8. 2, Jenny is using the prescriptive theory model of the LMS theory; she is making sure that everyone is considered in the in-group organization. Jenny treats everyone the same and does not play any favorites. Jenny’s leadership skills are highly noticed due to the success of City Mortgage. I do like Jenny’s leaderships skills and I would consider trying to use the in group concept, to me that is fair concept for everyone and I believe in communication, is a big benefit and by using this concept it takes a lot of communication to make it work, (pp. 161-162).

By taking the Leadership instrument questionnaire, has proven to me exactly what I that of the range that my leader would fall into. My supervisor fell in the low (17) range, which indicates that he has lesser quality of a leader, (pp. 164- 166). As I mention above I think as a strong leader, it is important to use the LMS theory and to understand the two concepts of descriptive and prescription theories. It is important to the know the differentness between the two, and to lean towards the prescriptive theory, in making everyone an in-group organization if of all possible. In this article, we propose and test an integrative theory of leader-member exchange (LMX) that extends our understanding of the mechanisms affecting LMX and important organizational outcomes. We argue that LMX enhances job performance and organizational citizenship behaviors (OCBs) through 2 sets of processes. As a result of a social exchange process, high LMX managers encourage reciprocal obligations. These obligations are manifested as subordinate commitment to their supervisors. This commitment, in turn, prompts more OCBs and higher job performance.

Through a second process, high LMX supervisors enhance their subordinates’ self-efficacy and means efficacy, thereby improving job performance. Results of a field study support our predictions. Theoretical and practical implications and directions for future research are discussed”, (Personnel Psychology. Durham: Autumn 2011. Vol. 64, Iss. 3;  pg. 739). Women in Leadership Here you might explain each pair of styles, why they each are important to the vitality of a business, especially the S-N and T-F pairs. Include your own style and insights about your self and instances of interacting with people with different styles.

Why is it so hard for women to climb the ladder in the corporate world? Women in Leadership chapter 13, describes in detail why this is so difficult in todays world of women in the work place. It is all-true factual of why it’s so difficult for women in the leadership roles in a corporate world, but why is it taking so long for the women career progression to occur. As this chapter explains its prejudice and discrimination against female leaders. Women have less human capital investments in education, training and work experience then men. It’s a proven fact, due to child rearing and their domestic duties, that his has put them behind in trying to grow their career paths, therefore they have less knowledge and experience in the leadership roles. Women’s’ career growth is becoming better and better in todays world then it has in the pass, women have learned how to jungle childcare and house work over time. They learned how in involve their spouses and contributing their efforts at home by helping them with their housework etc. I personally do not think its fair, women have so much more to do in the house hold then men, and it’s a proven fact especially if you have children in the school.

There always are projects, sports and school meetings that take you away from your work, and it always seems that the majority of the attendance on these school functions, are the mothers. So, that would explain why the women do not have the experience that men do, because of lack of time that they have to put into their jobs, because to the children. I just hope that the women continue to work to climb the leadership roles, as this chapter is saying as of year 2006, and in the figure 13. 1, that the women have the education now, they just to get the experience by working the workplace as a leader.

This was a positive feeling that I took away from this chapter, (Anonymous, 2010, pp. 301-317). I have experienced a female leadership situation right at Goodrich, where they hired a female on the executive staff organization. She was defiantly leadership material, but I could tell from comments and seeing her in meetings that she was being challenged by the males that were on the staff origination as. I don’t know for sure, but she only lasted for a couple of years and then she put in for a transfer and I just think it was due to the males roles of her team. I am not positive of why she departed, but that was the feeling that I think happen.

I think that the leadership team at Goodrich was in shock when our general manager hired a female for a position, this is something that I cannot remember ever happening before, and I have been with the company for 28 years. I mentioned above its tough trying to work (as it seems) in a male’s world, as it explains the difficulty in understanding the leadership labyrinth (confusing network). There are a lot of challenges out there for women and I just hope that it become better and easier for women as life goes on, I don’t think it fair how women are treated in the work place.

It was been proven that women has just as much education now as men, and that they just need to get the experience, and we all know that the only way to get experience, is by learning from your own job experience. So, I am hoping and praying that it will continue to turn more positive for the women that are growing up in today’s society. As described in this article, I am thinking that maybe women do have a different views on leadership and how to achieve the role leadership. “In an era that leadership is a key to organizational success, several researchers have tried to identify the ‘best style. This study aims to make a contribution toward this direction by examining followers’ perceptions of the preferred leader profile from a gendered perspective. Evidence from 2008 individuals employed in the Greek public sector revealed that men and women do hold different views of how the ideal leader behaves. Furthermore, the need for achievement is responsible for greater variations in perceptions of the preferred leader profile, confirming the fact that men and women cannot be considered as uniform groups when examining leadership preferences” (The International Journal of Human Resource Management.

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