Management and Organization: Team Leadership

Self assessment

Self assessment tools assist an individual to identify the unknown strengths and weaknesses, thus becoming an able leader in a company or group of companies. Most leaders focus on hiring an executive coach who in turn analyzes their leadership skills and thus understanding themselves better (Bratton 2007). However the best method any leader can use is the treatment of a search for knowledge as a continued process. It is however vital for any leader to note that personality is not a static thing but a dynamic thing that keeps changing in order to adapt to changing personal and professional circumstances (Bratton 2007). Once a leader ventures into business, he is likely to discover very new dimensions of himself that never existed; this will include the enthusiasm to innovate other creative outlets.

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Thus the incorporation of self- assessment tools assist in the discovery of entirely new skills, abilities and talents that the leader never envisioned as possessing. Additionally, the self assessment exercise assists in the creation of balance between the leader’s personal life and the professional life as well. For instance once I dedicated my life as the CEO of IMedia LLC, an information technology firm that ventures in the provision of various IT services while at the same time selling IT products, I realized that I wanted my business to grow and wanted to discover new and faster methods of solving problems in the technology sector. One problem that was of particular interest included the spammed mails. In my earlier job, most of the clients complained of legible mails that were sent but ended getting spammed and later lost. I decided to completely dedicate my study into the idea and after consultations and various trials, we finally developed software that could retrieve or clean the system. I was very engrossed in the development of the system and its marketing that with time I realized most companies have the spamming problems either when receiving or sending mails. Many of the companies were willing to spend as mush as $25,000 dollars a month on it.

The business took almost 90% of my time such that I had little time for my personal time; until I employed an assessment tool that assisted me spend 50% of my time on business, making it better for my holistic development. Self assessment tools contain both the formal and informal exercises. Most of them are referred to as profiles that are used by psychologists and are geared to the top CEO’s. Some of these can be assessed online or they can be administered by a certified consultant. Most assessment tools focus on values and beliefs, personality traits, career patterns and so forth. Assessment tools are however used so that the leader can determine better ways of leading his employees and managing his time as well. Assessment tools assist in the integration of personal values and success of the organization as they direct the leader on what exactly he needs to do by providing a holistic plan and at the same time providing the right advice.

Assessment tools additionally assist the leader in making a viable decision especially when interacting with people of different backgrounds. For instance, most leaders will tend to distrust people who talk too much. Thus the following are some of the assessment tools employed:

The DISC profile which is an online test that takes at most ten minutes to complete it wholly (Bratton 2007). The DISC profile also assist in providing a detailed report that is related to areas such as the leader’s decision making, problem solving and the process of effective communication. The specific areas measured include the extent to which a leader is dominant and demanding in comparison to cooperative and collaborative. Additionally, the test assists in determining if one is impulsive or deliberate and the strength of his influencing skills, attitudes, and behavior in regard to employee compliance (Fisher & Ury 1991). The DISC profile additionally assists the leader to determine if he has put a different behavior mask at work compared to that of his home, thus aiding in the identification of the true behavior style. Other personality tests include the Myer-Briggs that, however, needs an executive coach to go through them (Brooks 2005).

With ITIL, it is possible to have the managers at this hierarchy of service follow the daily execution of duties and providence of services as expected. ITIL assist in the identification of major threats in a company and later dealing with them as appropriate (Brooks 2005). Many IT firms have continually employed the method in their analysis of various IT problems and incidents and act as good assessment and management tools for the leaders (Brooks 2005).

Hersey and colleagues (2001) define conflict resolution and negotiation as the process of enhancing relationships and referring to conflict as an opportunity to learn, move forward and work on other things differently, resulting in a win and win situation. Win and win outcomes especially in an organization leaves every feeling respected and valued, and thus increases the overall organization performance. Thus the overall and corporate organizational goals are met and the organization’s employees are still willing to do business together as a team (Hersey et al. 2001).

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Negotiation is among the tools that are used for conflict resolution. Most negotiators possess well-recognized interests in the achievement of an outcome. As a leader it is advisable that one begins by first negotiating the conflict and then giving it to an arbitrator who decides about the solution later (Linstead et al. 2009). Despite the circumstances being challenging, an opportunity for the leader to give attention to the problem is usually created and relationships are maintained. It is however recommended that the leader engages a third-party into play. Cost efficiency and possibility of co-working in an effort to solve the problem is the guiding factor is selecting the available options in the negotiation process. Later the right and powerful solution is considered when no other existing solution is possible (Linstead et al. 2009). When attention is given to interests in place of other factors such as power is usually more satisfying and it strengthens the working bond.

Research in conflict resolution have for long emphasized on coming up with a good objective in solving the conflict. However, there has been a change from this approach whereby settling the conflict has taken centre stage with focus being made on having a better grasp on the conflict (Margerison 2002). As such, settling a conflict has been viewed as a more plausible way than coming with a solution to the conflict. Various parties have benefitted from this change of perspective and there is a general tendency to focus on objectives that make part of the negotiation (Robin 1999). The involved parties are able to realize their interest. As such, the aspect of individualism is co-joined with the aspect of cooperating. In other words, pursuit of one’s interests does not block others from pursuing their interests too. Catwright (2002) illustrates this by using an example a disagreement on how to share a fruit, in this case an orange.

Both claim the whole orange with no sharing involved. Giving the both girls an equal share of the fruit is found as the most formidable solution even if it may not portray wisdom. While the choice of one is to eat her piece, the other one decides to use its peel for cake making (Mc Cann 1988). Ultimately, the goal of engaging in conflict resolution is to come up with a way of understanding both parties involved in conflict in terms of what they are interested in or what they value rather than how they view the conflict. Thus in any organization the leader needs to clearly understand the gains of each individual employee. For Instance in the above case, the father would have focused on entirely giving each person what they wanted, the peel or the fruit, as both are useful to different people in different ways. As a leader in Imedia LLC, I have entirely managed to employ these methods for a holistic analysis of the employees. However understanding the nature of the employee population is quite difficult as they are diverse.

Every person however needs to realize the best solutions to every problem. This can only happen if the individual gets to know that the best way needs to be the weighing of the pros and cons of the possible solutions, and the identification of positive and negative aspects of various solutions. This is later followed by choosing the best method and solution and giving the necessary viewpoints. Here, there is an assumption that there exists a way of handling the available problems. The use of the pros and cons ensures that one uses very little expertise and the complex problems are given more sophisticated approaches. McCann (1988) argues that the best method is the use of the morphological approach where a two- or three-dimensional matrix is used to create a possible solution that might have been overlooked. Additionally, utilizing “lateral thinking” as advanced by Bono is an option to get novel ideas. The method for visualizing problems as well as their consequences can be visualized alternatively. McCann (1988) equates early approaches to seeking solutions to existing problems “as digging a hole deeper, and lateral thinking and related approaches as digging a hole elsewhere” (p. 59).

If one wants to know how efficient a given solution among a number of available solutions, it would be appropriate to utilize decision trees. In that case, these trees elaborate the flow of each action and resulting consequences once one chooses to take a given solution. In addition to getting an array of solutions, the trees offer a myriad of implications which facilitate analysis of incurred costs as well as potential benefits (Pedlar et al 2007). Squares that form the trees are taken to be decision points whereas circles take the place of chance such that at this point, consequences of a decision are unavoidable. Conversely, squares indicate that the decision maker has open chances for decision making. There is a sequential arrangement of all these events. One can then attached a given value of money to the outcome associated with any choice of decision and then predict the possible outcome (Pedler et al. 2007).

SWOT Analysis

SWOT approach is a summary of several factors that can be strategically harnessed to achieve success, either personal or business success. Leaders utilize this analysis to help decide on how to tackle different issues regarding the firm. From the emerging options, it is possible to pick the most viable choice (Parker & Stone 2002). A SWOT analysis assists an individual in summarizing major understandings of great issues identified in an individual’s strategic analysis. When one approaches himself using a SWOT strategy, it becomes possibly to highlight one’s strong areas, the needy areas (weak points), the available and unharnessed opportunities and issues that are a threat. This approach is also valuable in coming up with solutions to given problems, hence one can visualize SWOT and a tool for facilitating decision making (Parker & Stone 2002). The table below represents a summary of the SWOT analysis.

Strengths Weaknesses
Versatility:The ability to quickly adapt to any environment
Growth:ability to be consistent in growth.
Markets:ability to open up new markets.
Availability:the leader ability to obtain resources as needed for business use
Quality:the quality and the avoidance of obsolete technologies.
Allocation:Appropriate and optimal utilization of resources to meet the needs of the organization.
Correction- failure to correct an identified defect.
Protection- Mechanisms that ensure cover up of my weaknesses.
Aggression– Failureto divert the attention from the weaknesses
Opportunities Threats
Marketing warfare- Attacking the weak leaders. Exploring underutilized sectors in an unexpected manner.
Collaboration:It implies utilization of one’s strong points to create a tactical way of dealing with competitors.
Competitors creating clients poorly, indicating a market base
Bringing in different parties who can opine of how they perceive me.
  • Tutoring in coaching in service to improve leadership skill.
  • Acquiring knowledge colleagues as far as responsibilities are concerned.
  • Enhancing the scope of handling duties swiftly for attentive deliberation
  • Enhancing the composure of self as far as work and its involving are concerned
  • Market changes that lead to customer change in preference
  • Demographic shifts
  • Government policies
  • Change in technologies leading to development of obsolete technologies.
  • Constraints in time stalls self-enhancement
  • Many day-to-day expectations which derail efforts of realizing oneself

The SWOT analysis assists in providing ground for evaluating oneself along a number of factors. Using this analysis, one identifies the strong areas, takes note of weak points and identifies available opportunities for harnessing. Finally, the potential threats that endanger one in his environment are also taken note of. Through this, one can strategize effectively. Additionally, it creates room for showcasing areas that one is performing well in and those that require change and facilitate in group involvement. Unvisited opportunities are best realized when one analysis himself using the SWOT approach. Threatening factors are at the same time addressed to safeguard and reinforce the existing strengths. The most important thing is however to closely look at oneself and the competitors using the SWOT analysis framework (Goleman, 2004). It can as well assist in crafting ways of gaining competitive advantage hence success in the area of operation.

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It is worthy noting that the SWOT analysis can also be used as an effective instrument for coming up with strategies. In such a situation, however, one needs to be certain of appropriate and rigorous use of SWOT analysis during the application (Pedlar et al. 2007). In such, one needs to accept only the acceptable and precise verifiable statements in comparison to good money. The economies of scale as well need to be applied in addition to low production scale. In addition, it is vital that includes the factors that are most crucial only and then arrange them in priority. This eases decision making regarding critical issues. The formation step takes all the options thought out earlier. At the appropriate level, one can then employ the best analytical tool, with SWOT being among the available tools. Tools for crafting strategic decisions also come into play to facilitate visualization of a wholesome scenario. Other than SWOT one can also go for TWOS as a strategic decision formulation aid tool that gives a picture of the external environment (Procter & Mueller 2000).

Analysis section

ITIL is made of various components that ensure cost reduction while achieving quality services. These components are interlinked and they comprise “business perspective, application management, service delivery, service support, and infrastructure management” (Robbins & Hunskaker 2003, p. 25). An incident refers to a shift from an established set of norms. It also implies any happening that interrupts the normal operation of a system hence leading to lower than expected quality. Developments in the information technology sector are likely to lead to very many developments in other sectors. Very many companies fail to keep in touch with the innovations and with time their technology becomes obsolete.

At Imedia LLC, we focused on developing software that would retrieve spammed mails that many companies found hectic or the sender failed to get a feedback from the client following the loss of mail communication. The situation created a difficult situation such that many companies never objected to the contracts we offered. However, following our technological innovation, many other companies were coming into business in full force leading to sharing of various customers. Bearing in mind the tight schedules that I have, I found that keeping in touch with technology was really difficult. I endeavored to employ the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) as a way to solve the problems. Additionally, the process of incorporating other self assessment tests such as DISC ensured that I keep abreast with the growing technology. Being dynamic is no doubt a necessary factor in the IT sector and one has to learn to incorporate various self assess mental tests that ensure that the mind is refreshed and thinks more to avoid obsolete technologies.

As aforementioned management at the level of service operation is helpful in coming up with and maintaining acceptable IT services that guarantees thriving of the business. The occurrence of various incidences in the organization such as employee low turnovers or low productivity can be handled using the ITIL (Procter & Mueller 2000). The process however begins by assigning of some value and priority to the incident as described below. Coming up with an impact value facilitates prioritized apportioning of priority of various occurrences, what is commonly referred to as the impact value. This impact value is viewed as time invested in crafting a solution to an incident. As a leader, it is important to consider how fast an issue needs to be addressed and the resultant impact given the passage of time. On generating the impact value, the leader is expected to ensure that issues are addressed with a higher priority being on urgent issues as well as issues that have a higher impact. Time is also an important factor in this step (Pedler et al. 2007). The leader can consider how much it will cost him or the organization if action is not taken swiftly in deciding on which issues to address first. The possibility of losing the involved customers is also factored.

Many inventors and creators are intent on creating ideas, products, processes, or services that already exist or polishing them, which includes adding new twists to the original object or simply changing the identifying characteristics. Other people however prefer to direct their efforts to getting new grounds of an object, for instance being where no else has been before. Research into both directives indicates that both approaches can lead to a richer and deeper understanding of the problem and the interest or possible outcomes of it, leading to creativity and inventing in the best possible ways (Goleman, Boyatzis & McKee 2002).

Developmental objectives

The aim of developmental objectives is to make changes or improve certain areas of ones life that are not satisfactory (Carmichael 2007). It also involves the process of making changes to the behaviors, for instance the process of self improvement objective that makes one a more loving person, earning an individual more money or assist in the development of new skills. In order to achieve the personal development objectives, one ought to employ various ways such as getting knowledge from books and experts on the subject, seeking answers within the individual self and thus assists in the gaining of a better understanding of reality (Magerison 2002).

To improve ones financial situation, there is need to define the exact goals for the individual’s aspect of life. In the information technology sector for instance, the individual needs to be focused on developing entirely new innovations that will assist in the development of the company and later on focus on a comprehensive employee training (Magerison 2002). To improve the financial situation, it is thus vital that one wholly concentrates much on the goals that are likely to lead to the financial situation. It is also very important that one defines the exact goals of what he wants to achieve, and later take action through the implementation of the right activities. For consistency, self-help groups and mentor books are very vital. The latter ensures that the individual remains in track.

Additionally, it is vital that the individual listens to the moral intuition and trust their guidance. The individual should not let the financial constraints kill the dream of development or improvement of a career. It is thus vital that the individual eliminates the beliefs that might lead to unsuccessful completion of tasks (Mc Cann 1988). As aforementioned, there is need to balance between the individual personal life and the career development as well. As such the individual will only achieve holistic growth after both the social life and the career development techniques are well taken care of. If any of the above is neglected then the success of the business alone cannot be regarded as success. Individual personal life includes the health of the individual. As such the individual should be clear on the kind of personal developments he wants to achieve. Physical well being in most instances is reflected in the job and the individual growth in general (McCann 1988). All illnesses originate from the mind and are not just thrown onto someone. It is vital that one searches for the cause of the problem in the thoughts and reasoning. If ones decide to keep emotions inside, they could manifest as some illness. It is important therefore to release emotions so that their build up will not cause negative consequences as such.

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The mind is a very vital organ in the process of developmental objective. Mind self improvement objectives could be getting rid of stress, gaining peace of mind, gaining more awareness or improving the individual intuition (Towne 2004). Such objectives all seek more mind power which gives one the sense of empowerment and the sense of worth. The basis for gaining mind power is defined by the process of understanding that the individual is responsible for creating own reality. If one still believes that he or she is still a victim of random circumstances, he cannot be able to understand the reality which is governed by never changing laws (Parker & Stone 2002).

The understanding of the concept of conscious creation can be able to make further changes and improve the individual life and hence the proper functioning and more successes in life. In the development of personal development, spiritual development is also very necessary. Spiritual objectives include but are not limited to seeking closer connection with the universe, understanding the higher self, opening the third eye, seeing auras, understanding dreams and any other non-physical discoveries that enrich one spiritually. When people seek spiritual development they sometimes lose the balance and immerse themselves too much into spirituality whilst distancing themselves from their physical aspects (Parker & Stone 2002).

This can cause unpleasant consequences such as kundalini awakening, when the person meditates too much and tries to artificially develop their spiritual understanding, seeing non-physical beings. Astral projecting is when the person’s consciousness leaves the body and returns after some time. To avoid negative spiritual experiences it is important to keep the balance between spiritual and physical life. If one feels that they are loosing balance because of too much spiritual activity, they thus need to ground themselves by doing many earthly things, for instance the relation practices such as watching television, having heavy dinners or going out with friends. Thus as noticed, most personal developmental problems are not a single target to the aim or the goal in life (McCann 1988). Most self improvement objectives are directed to any area of someone’s life and can be any aspect of it that needs improvement. If such improvement makes one a better person in any way, it means that they have improved themselves and thus reach beyond any personal development goal.

Conclusion

Not everybody is born a leader, and even those born as leaders need to continually develop their skills and upgrade them to meet the community or existing leadership requirements at the time. The IT sector is exceptionally very certain in these as newer technologies keep cropping up and the individual has to be sure that he is up to date with them. McCann (1988) notes that the classroom-style training and other closely related readings are effective in assisting leaders to get to know more about what is required of them in leadership. This is in close conjunction with other leadership tools such as the assessment tools and the SWOT analysis.

The latter assists in taking advantage of the necessary opportunities and later transforming them into strengths the leader can use. For instance, if the competitor in the market does not cater for the small group of customers who require his services, the leader should easily transform this to strength by identifying an available opportunity. Parker and Stone (2002) argue that the leader should however differentiate between knowing what to do and doing what is expected of him. The two bring out totally different outcomes. As aforementioned, however, only 15% of using the right assessment tools results in the achievement of the right objective tools in the industry (Parker & Stone 2002). The SWOT analysis and the mentioned TOWS matrix assist in the identification of individual strengths and weaknesses and serves as an analysis of the person.

Many leaders who are regarded as intuitive and visionary employ the best assessment and problem solving-skills. This later transforms them into dynamic leaders. Having such managers implies that results are of importance as a measure of performance. They tackle novel stumbling blocks with a lot of zeal. As such, leaders of such caliber can be appropriately termed as visionary. They nevertheless present with a weak point of emphasizing much on the mission as a whole while neglecting minor and important details. Thus they often need some sensing type of people working with them. However, mostly they are unaware of the need. Nevertheless, it is vital that the manager gets a second party opinion when doing his work. Criticisms in the working environment could have both positive and negative effects and positive criticism is recommended as it leads to the general well being of the company. Positive criticism could also lead to the development of internal competition which is very advisable.

List of References

Bratton, J. 2007, Work and organizational behaviour. Basingstoke. Palgrave Macmillan.

Brooks, I. 2005, Organisational behaviour: Individuals, groups and the organization. 3rd edition, Harlow: FT Prentice Hall.

Carmichael, J. 2007, Personal development and management skills. London, CIPD.

Cartwright, R. 2002, Mastering team leadership. Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan.

Goleman, D, Boyatzis, R., & McKee, A. 2002, The new leaders: transforming the art of leadership into the science of results. London: Little Brown.

Goleman, D. 2004, Emotional intelligence. London: Bloomsbury.

Hersey, P., Blanchard, K. H. & Johnson, D. E. 2001, Management of organizational behaviour: Leading human resources. New Jersey. Prentice Hall.

Linstead, S., Fulop, L. & Lilley, S. 2009, Management and organization: a critical text. Basingstoke. Palgrave Macmillan.

Margerison, C. 2002, Team leadership. Padstow. Thomson Learning.

McCann, D. 1988, How to influence others at work, Glasgow. Butterworth- Heinemann.

Parker C. & Stone, B. 2002, Developing management skills for leadership. Glasgow. FT Prentice Hall.

Pedlar, M., Burgoyne, J. & Boydell, T. 2007, A managers guide to self-development. Maidenhead, McGraw-Hill.

Procter, S. & Mueller, F. 2000, Teamworking. Basingstoke, Macmillan Business.

Robbins, S. P. & Hunsaker, P. L. 2003, Training in interpersonal skills. New Jersey, Prentice Hall.

Towne, E. (2004), Practical methods for self-development: Spiritual, mental, physical. Whitefish, MT: Kessinger Publishing.

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