Table of Contents
Seven Habits Profile
The following figure shows the results of my ‘Seven Habits Profile.’
Figure 1: Seven habits profile
The figure shows that I am outstanding in the following five of the seven habits.
- Being proactive
- Beginning with the end in mind
- Putting first things first
- Sharpening the saw
The best score among the five, however, was on being proactive (17) while each of the remaining habits had scores of 16. The habits of thinking win-win and seeking first to understand had scores of 15 each, and this indicated a very good score. My habits, therefore, are strong for effectiveness in groups, such as in leadership roles. Some elements of my habit profile, however, are just average and need improvements. My score on ‘beginning each week with a clear plan of what I desire to accomplish’ was four out of six and the overall scoring guide identify the score as an average habit. I also have the average score on the value of my daily activities and their contributions to my overall goals and caring about the success of others. My scores on the emotional bank account and life balance also fell below the perfect scores but were very good, each having a score of 15.
My high score in being proactive (17) shows my ability to lead through setting examples and collaborating with others in initiatives. My high scores on ‘beginning with the end in mind’ that emanates from the recognition of desired goals, development of plans for realizing the goals, and organization for pursuing the goals also identify my ability develop goals and lead people towards set goals. The high scores in the conceptual habits of ‘seeking first to understand,’ synergizing, and ‘sharpening the saw’ identifies my ability to be ahead of people, in knowledge and competence, and to understand my environment. The scores also identify my ability to work with other people. The habits are consistent with the leadership practices modeling the way, inspiring a shared vision, and enabling others to work that Hood (2013) associated with effective leadership.
The evaluation results identify me with the leadership practices of modeling the way, inspiring a shared vision, and enabling others to work. The practices, further, identify with the democratic leadership style that the behavioral leadership theory defines. My proactive orientation that includes the abilities to control my life, focus my effort, and take responsibility, for example, establishes my position for directing others. Similarly, my ‘think win-win’ whose elements include the care for others’ success, cooperation with others, and care for the interest with others with the democratic behaviors of involving others and focusing on the ‘we’ (Marquis & Huston, 2015).
One of the strengths of my leadership practices, which are consistent with the democratic leadership style, is the ability to sustain high levels of quality and productivity in an organization (Lutchman, Maharaj, & Ghanem, 2016). In modeling the pathway while at the same time being sensitive to others and collaborating with others in the modeling, I can elicit support from people towards success. The democratic style allows me to develop insights from people for the development of high and achievable goals into realizations of quality outcomes. In addition, a democratic approach to goal development reduces resistance to set goals and the associated positive attitude yields effectiveness and efficiency towards optimal quality and productivity levels.
The democratic leadership style also promotes reciprocity from followers. Involving the followers through goal development and implementation, as well as cooperation with the followers in executing routine processes demonstrates a leader’s trust in the followers. The followers respond to the sense of trust through developing morale (Lutchman, Maharaj, & Ghanem, 2016) and team spirit and the result is increased outcomes. The response to a democratic leader’s trust can be inferred to other psychological reactions such as a positive attitude towards a democratic leader and the leader’s organization. Consequently, my leadership practice is likely to promote obedience of my followers and motivate the followers to stay under my leadership and my organization. In an organizational setup, the strength of the leadership practice can lead to low employee turnover that translates to reduced costs of the recruitment, hiring, and training aspects of human resource management.
The ability to acknowledge and encourage achievements is another strength of my leadership orientation, based on its consistency with the democratic leadership style (Lutchman, Maharaj, & Ghanem, 2016). I always know my goals, and I care about the success of others. Consequently, I can identify the realization of my goals and encourage others to achieve the goals. My sensitivity to the needs of others, including psychological and competency needs, moderates my assessment of people’s achievements and the encouragement to the people.
The leadership practice, despite the strengths, has weaknesses. The cooperation with others and the sensitivity to others in the leadership environment make the leadership approach time-consuming. The win-win perspective to solving conflicts in decision-making, which requires concessions from all involved parties mean longer periods for deliberations. Incorporating others’ feelings and seeking to understand the views of other stakeholders also require time and can undermine the effectiveness of the leadership practice, especially if time is a constraint (Lutchman, Maharaj, & Ghanem, 2016).
The cooperative leadership is also costly, economically, because of the involved process of making decisions (Lutchman, Maharaj, & Ghanem, 2016). Followers and other stakeholders have to stop their routine activities during consultative processes, and this translates to lost hours of operations, reduced productivity, and lower returns. The leadership practice can also lead to loss of opportunities, especially because of its need for longer periods (Lutchman, Maharaj, & Ghanem, 2016). Some situations require immediate decisions and actions and the need for consultations and accommodation of people, which the leadership practice require, may not be possible within the available time. Strict adherence to the democratic approach, under such circumstances, may lead to loss of opportunities for pursuing goals or preventing managing challenges to the goals.
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Recommended Theory Based Changes for Maximizing Success in Managing Organizations and Leading People
One of the recommendations improved success in management and leadership is the delegation of authority to others. The long period of consultations for decisions and actions is the basis for the disadvantages of the leadership practice, based on the behavioral theory’s democratic leadership style. Delegation of authority is one of the defining elements of the democratic leadership (Cassidy, Kreitner, & VanHuss, 2014) and is recommended for reducing the significance of the challenge. Decision-making can be easier and less time-consuming when fewer people are involved and the reliance on team leaders for routine decision-making, subject to my approval, is recommended. Such a delegation of responsibilities also ensures decision-making among experts in subject matters and eliminated time wastage in deliberations with non-experts. Fewer people, such as the team leaders can then be involved at my level of leadership. The delegation reduces the number and diversity of involved people in decision-making for a reduced number of divergent views and shorter decision-making periods. The delegation will also help me to focus on the most important leadership roles, especially those that cannot be handled at lower levels.
A recommendation is also made for the improvement of my ‘sharpening of the saw.’ The dimension of habit involves the continuous improvement on the other six habits (Covey, 2015). My score on the dimension was 16 out of the possible 18, and this identifies a room for improvement. The effects of the improvement on the dimension, which identifies corresponding improvements in other dimensions of habit, will translate to an improvement in my democratic leadership practice. As a result, the effectiveness of my democratic leadership approach will improve, and this will include improvement on delegation of roles.
The democratic leadership style has weakness, and a recommendation is made for a situational application of the leadership styles of the behavioral theory. Other leadership styles under the theory, according to Marquis and Huston (2015), are the authoritarian leadership style and the laissez-faire leadership style. An application of elements of the authoritarian leadership is recommended when improving productivity is the priority and while an application of elements of the laissez-faire style is recommended when followers are motivated, and creativity is desired. Balancing among the leadership styles will ensure improved effects of my leadership on quality and productivity through an enhanced capacity to meet the diversified leadership needs.
Short-Term SMART Goals for Improving My Leadership Practice
One of my short-term goals is to increase the time I spend on finding meaning and enjoyment of life to 12 hours in a week. I plan to achieve the goal within two months and through the reservation of three hours on Friday evenings, four hours on Saturdays, and, and five hours on Sundays. I will then monitor my adherence to the proposed weekly duration and adjust my programs, within the next two months, to fit into the plan. I also plan to develop knowledge and competence in the authoritarian and laissez-fair leadership style and the ability to apply elements of any of the three behavior-based style, within the next four months, for optimal leadership in different situations. I will rely on literature on behavioral leadership theories to develop the knowledge and competence. I will also use simulations and peer evaluation to identify the progress in my knowledge and competence development over the period.
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- Cassidy, C., Kreitner, B., & VanHuss, S. (2014). Administrative management: Setting people up for success. Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.
- Covey, S. (2015). The 7 habits of highly effective people: Powerful lessons in personal change. Miami, FL: Mango Media Inc.
- Hood, L. (2013). Leddy & Pepper’s conceptual bases of professional nursing, 8th Ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
- Lutchman, C., Maharaj, R., & Ghanem, W. (2016). Safety management: A comprehensive approach to developing a sustainable system. New York, NY: CRC Press.
- Marquis, B. & Huston, C. (2015). Leadership roles and management functions in nursing: Theory and application, 9th Ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.