Leadership Reflection Questions

  1. The authors, Kouzes & Posner, identified five leadership practices (consistent behaviors) through years of extensive research with thousands of participants. Discuss the section “Credibility is the Foundation of Leadership” addressing the following questions:
    1. Do leaders really need to be honest – isn’t it OK to lie a little, cover-up facts, break promises because of circumstances?

Trust is considered very significant trait for anyone to have. Honesty is one of the utmost valued and treasured leadership value since it serves as a gate away of inspiration and trust. Considerably, many individuals decide on following leaders that they have confidence in and have a sense of elementary trust. A leader without trustworthiness cannot leader the group with honesty but lead to negative actions within the organization. For instance, when it comes to offering advice and feedback, leaders are always demanded to be honest with an individual since the information being offered plays a great role in the development of the individual. A leader that wants to he held with integrity has to show trust in their relationship with the team and organization. In the article, the most valuable quality that most of the people look for in a leader is trust.

  1. What are the social consequences of dishonest behavior? // What are the “natural” consequences (impact on self-concept, trust, confidence, etc.)?

Dishonest behavior destroys social networks and relationships since trust is an essential quality that every leader should have. This means that tarnishing that can lead to total destruction of social network between the individual and the group. Naturally, the outcomes will be that it will run into issues of losing trust from the people that have made a commitment to lead. Being dishonest opens a door for a leader to be looked as a poor leader. Considerably, the social outcomes will be that a leader will not be able to lead without being questioned. Therefore, the team will not value the teachings and directions of the leader anymore due to their dishonest behavior.

  1. Can leaders really inspire? Isn’t this a job for the individual (to inspire self)?

Inspiration is an individual responsibility despite the fact that a great leader helps one to channel deeper into inspiration. Ideally, leaders are in their positions since they are so confident of themselves as well as the things they believe in. Leaders that are considered effective are so positive and have such an important outlook on life that their energy gets contagious to the team. Leaders inspire others by reminding them about forward thinking and giving a bigger picture to the team. Every leader should be positive and inspiring to achieve the long term goals that the organization or the team has established. Generally, every individual appreciates a leader that has the ability of painting a bigger picture.

  1. Provide an example of an inspirational leader you have known. How did he/she affect your emotions, hope, views?

An example of an inspirational leader that I have known is a leader who my college professor thought would be a great leader to me. He connected me to the leader who became my supervisor and who we worked closely for about five years. She was very concern of my professional and personal development as a leader. She always ensured I feel valid and embraced all my dreams and hopes. Even if I made mistakes she always had ways of teaching and correcting me. Through this, he allowed me to learn from them while working while correcting my mistakes. She influenced me since she made me see that I have access to anything as long I set my mind on it.

  1. Review the outline for each of the five practices: Model the Way, Inspire a Shared Vision, Challenge the Process, Enable Others to Act, Encourage the Heart.
    1. Select one of the five practices and provide supporting evidence (e.g., experiences) for the practice. // Provide an example(s) of a leader who behaved in ways opposing the chosen practice.

Model the way is one of the most effective practices in a leader. Ideally, model the way entails leading others by encouraging them to follow by being an example. A leader breathes life into the shared goal or vision with positivity and optimism. Model the way is one of the effective practices since I believe that a leader should have strong communication skills, understanding and empathy thus be positive. As a leader one should be the perfect example of the followers through strong principles and values. Leaders that are able to model the way for others stand for something and are able to perfect their craft. Ideally, modelling the way for others makes a leader tap into what they should be as leaders and make the people and the organization better. My previous general manager opposed the practice of modelling the ways for others. He expected a lot from others than he gave out himself to lead and guide others. It was a struggle to work with a leader that expected me to give 100 percent of myself while he only gave 5o percent of himself.

Part 2: Traits, Relationships and Behaviors

In-Group/Out-Group Followers:

  1. Describe an example of a leader from your past experience who created an “out group” of followers through their behaviors and traits. (Please be sure to discuss someone who created an “out group”, which means there was also an “in group” of subordinates which this leader treated more favorably than the “out group”). This question is not asking about a poor leader who treats everyone badly.
  2. Identify and describe the specific behaviors this leader exhibited, as well as the leader’s personality characteristics.
  3. What were the consequences of this leader’s treatment of the “out group” to the department, other employees, and/or company?
  4. How could this leader change to avoid the “out group” and create a happier, honest work culture where people feel respected for their unique talents and views?

My Operational/senior manager created an out-group subordinate. The out-group was a part time stock associates and sales associates. While the in group consisted of all the managers that directly worked under the senior manager. There was a closer relationship between the senior manager and the in-group associates who greatly looked up to her in many ways.  The team has always felt that the senior manager is principled, cares for the professional development of the team and offers endless feedback to foster growth. However, the senior manager treated the outgroup associates slightly different. The out group felt the separation which had severe outcomes due to lack of efforts from the associates. This is because they felt as if they are not being valued and often at times failed to show up for their duties. The senior manager needs to change this to ensure that the outgroup associates feel valued and bring everyone in the team together and foster equal treatment.

  1. Leader-Member Exchange:
    1. In your own words, explain the concept of Leader-Member Exchange. Please avoid a simple textbook definition. // Identify and evaluate specific behaviors of a leader you have known who engaged in Leader-Member Exchange in the management of his/her subordinates by adapting/flexing their style and communication in order to create trust with each individual subordinate.

The leader member exchange develops between the members of the team and the managers. Ideally, leaders establish varying types of relationship with different groups of subordinates. A positive exchange between the leaders and the members leads to a healthy relationship where employees are more motivated when they are put at the center in the workplace. In my current workplace, the senior manager interacts with the employees on daily basis. This is essential in creating a flexible exchange with the subordinates which creates trust and strong relationship with the individuals.

  1. Personality, Behavior and Traits:
    1. First, identify what you believe are your own greatest strengths (behaviors and traits). Explain how they have helped you to succeed.
    2. Then please go to: https://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/home and complete the “Brief Strengths Test” questionnaire. You need to register before you can access the “Questionnaires”. After registering, click on Questionnaires and select “Brief Strengths Test.” Be sure to include the summary of your results from the test in your narrative for this question.
    3. Compare the results of the “Brief Strengths Test” questionnaire with your own perception of your strengths. Are they the same, or did the test reveal some differences?
    4. How will you use your strengths to be a more effective leader going forward?

I would say my strengths are persistence, nurturing spirit, and optimism. These traits have been essential in my professional development since people have more interest in my energy. Since am good at nurturing, people have found it easy to interact and share with me. I show deep care about people and so optimistic since I have a mental attitude that pays attention to favorable view in all situations. After taking the test, it opened my eyes on the traits that I never thought were my strengths. For instance, I realized am wise, honest and fair. The quiz summarized a very happy and energized individual. I will rely on my strengths to become a good leader by ensuring I maximize my full potential.

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