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Personal Leadership Readiness

Essay by   •  August 12, 2013  •  Research Paper  •  1,736 Words (7 Pages)  •  760 Views

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Personal Leadership Readiness Assessment

As a current leader or one who is preparing for leadership it is important to have a clear understanding of what it takes to be successful in leadership. Each leader is an individual with their own set of personality traits, behaviors and attitudes. By focusing in on their own characteristics, a leader can enhance and improve behaviors and attitudes in order to advance their leadership skills. This paper will review a variety of personality traits as well as behaviors and attitudes that are most commonly found in effective leaders. Additionally, a personal leadership readiness assessment will be given along with recommendations for improving personal leadership skills.

Leadership Research

Effective leadership is defined by DuBrin (2013) as, "the ability to inspire confidence and support among the people who are needed to achieve organizational goals" (p. 2). For a leader to fulfill this he or she must possess certain traits, behaviors and attitudes that, based on research, are most commonly found in highly effective and successful leaders.

Traits

Every leader is characterized by their personality traits. Personality traits are part of who the individual is whether on the job or not. However, on the job, these same traits help to determine how effective the individual will be as a leader and in what capacity he or she will be most beneficial (DuBrin, 2013). Although there are a wide variety of personality traits, there are a select few that are most common among effective leaders.

One of the most common is self-confidence. An effective leader must be confident in decision making as well as in communication with the group and upper management. If there is a lack of self-confidence, followers will soon lose respect for the leader and potentially lose interest in their job. Another important trait is humility. Humility does not mean to be weak, but rather be willing to admit to mistakes as well as ensuring that credit is given where credit is due. Working in conjunction with humility are honesty and integrity (DuBrin, 2013).

Additional personality traits that make up an effective leader are authenticity which means being real, not masking who you are and what you believe. Being authentic also pertains to one's enthusiasm. An effective leader will be genuinely enthusiastic and optimistic concerning their job, the group and the company (DuBrin, 2013). If the leader tries to fake enthusiasm it will be very evident to the team and will likely result in poor performances.

Behaviors

The behavior of a leader sets the standard for his or her followers. Mackey (2013) states that, "Our behavior, in large part, determines how our people will act and react" (para. 1). Therefore, it is imperative to understand the behaviors that reflect a positive attitude towards the job, the company and the employees.

One of the most important behaviors for a leader is that of not just telling employees what is expected of them, but showing them. A leader should show compassion for those around them and maintain a positive frame of mind even though uplanned and unpleasant situations occur. As part of this behavior, a leader should also be willing to share the vision of the group with the group members. Sharing the vision will give the group members a sense of ownership and boost morale. A good leader will also continually seek out new ways to improve processes as well as encourage and empower others to do the same (Mackey, 2013). Encouragement and empowerment from a leader to their followers can create an atmosphere for positive change and productivity.

One final behavior that is very important for a leader to be effective is being prepared. However, this is not just referring to preparing for a meeting or a class. Preparation for a leader means being prepared for whatever may happen. Keith Wyche uses the story about Humpty Dumpty to illustrate the importance of being prepared. In the nursery rhyme Humpty made it to the top, however, according to Wyche (2008), "he did not prepare for the possibility that an uncontrollable circumstance...could challenge his position" (p. 11). Because of this Humpty fell and was totally detstroyed (Wyche, 2008). It is imperative that leaders are prepared for the worst case scenario while working towards and expecting the best.

Attitudes

A leader's attitude will typically determine his or her behavior. An effective leader may not like or agree with everything that happens within the group or the company, but a positive attitude should still be maintained. Additionally, leaders should always be looking toward the future and not dwelling on the past, but rather using it as a stepping stone to move forward. A leader

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