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Seven Habits Profile for Leadership Style Evaluation

Executive summary

The Seven Habits Profile is used to evaluate the people’s leadership styles and skills. Therefore, the tool is a practical way of assessing an individual’s strengths and weaknesses as a leader. Different people possess varying traits that are reflected in their leadership skills. At the same time, each person is charged with a leadership mandate at one point in his or her lives. I work in a medium-sized company as the sales manager. This paper reflects on my Seven Habits Profile. Besides presenting my leadership practice from the transformational leadership theory, it will also recommend three leadership habits that I can adopt to enhance my line of operations. It will also suggest two SMART goals accompanied by the specific actions that I should embark on to achieve the goals.

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Main body

Based on the results from the Seven Habits Profile, my score is 15 regarding being proactive as a leader. The score indicates that I am very hands-on as a leader. I take initiatives and lead others in carrying out tasks. I do not wait for the managing director to ask me to initiate a task in my department. In addition, when I begin a task, I ensure that I bring it to completion. Besides, I always strive for effectiveness. Effectiveness is important in sales because most tasks are challenging. Hence, they require extra effort to accomplish.

Successful leaders begin tasks with the end in mind (Covey, 2013). I have average skills in habit 2. Despite being proactive, I often begin my tasks without considering the long-term outcome. This situation poses a challenge when I need to evaluate my progress and that of the employees in my department.

In terms of habit 3, as a leader, I prioritize tasks depending on their importance to my work and the organization. Hence, urgent but less significant goals do not distract me from crucial goals. However, sometimes, I set my priorities wrong. For instance, when I have to choose between picking personal and work calls, I opt for the personal call. The danger of this case is that keeping a client on hold can lead to frustration and his or her subsequent.

Regarding habit 4, it is critical for a leader to establish mutually beneficial relationships in the working environment. A win-win habit indicates that a person is not only willing to lose but also is also ready to compromise for the best interests of all involved parties. I demonstrate excellent win-win habits. When I disagree with my teammates on the way forward, I always advocate for a compromise that will factor in all our interests. A win-win scenario is important for maintaining long-term relationships in the work environment.

Concerning the fifth habit, successful leaders seek to understand other people’s views before offering their assertions. This habit can be promoted through empathic listening. Before I offer advice to my teammates, I listen first and try to understand their concerns from their point of view.

In terms of habit 6, synergy is a culmination of all the other habits. Successful leaders understand that teamwork is important in achieving goals. Despite the fact that I value the views of others and/or encourage them to speak their mind, I fall behind with creativity as part of a team. This trait is a strong indication that I work best alone, something I consider harmful to synergy.

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As a leader, it is important to focus on one’s wellbeing, physically, socially, and mentally. Leadership is a role of continually developing oneself to face new challenges with renewed vigor. In terms of habit 7, I take my physical health seriously, but I am not very keen on developing personal relationships. In addition, I tend to see vacations as a waste of valuable time that I could use to further my career.

Evaluation of my leadership practice

Three strengths of my leadership practice using a scholarly leadership theory

Krishnan (2012) defined transformational leadership as a process through which the leader motivates his or her followers, as well as fellow leaders to create formidable mutual relationships. As a result, people become productive and proactive, thus helping them to confront challenging issues. President Franklin Roosevelt is considered to have been a transformational leader (Krishnan, 2012). Based on his working style, transformational leadership can be viewed as a process of bringing together the strong traits of all team members, hence making their weaknesses insignificant. All parties become performers since they are operating in their areas of strengths.

Win-win habits support the transformational theory since leaders are charged with the task of motivating their followers to give out their best in any given situation. Transformational leaders embrace win-win scenarios. In my capacity as the sales manager in my organization, I always attempt to involve all my juniors in decision-making. As their leader, I do not impose ideas on them. Rather, I challenge them to bring up suggestions that they feel could improve our position. Therefore, I feel that I possess strong transformational skills that help my department to record outstanding performances all year round. Transformational leadership encourages proactiveness, as opposed to reactiveness. Proactive leaders take the initiative in solving problems, often detecting issues early when it is still possible to contain them.

Transformational leadership involves a mutual process of appraising one another, as opposed to one individual issuing the orders. As a leader, I always listen to my followers when they are faced with a crisis. I am required to offer my insight. Empathic listening has helped me to stay objective as I can by putting myself in the same position as the follower. The result is that I can offer balanced advice. Sometimes, employees may complain that they are uncomfortable working with a certain colleague and that they would wish to be transferred. Instead of dismissing the employees as simply unreasonable, I seek to understand why they are unwilling to cooperate with the said colleague. I have learned that hearing out my employees first before rushing to judge them can help unearth underlying problems such sexual harassment.

Three weaknesses of my leadership practice

One of my major weaknesses with respect to the above transformational leadership theory is that I am not very creative in searching new ideas and solutions. I tend to reuse the same old strategies in solving any emerging problems. The more innovative employees in my department have often criticized this approach. Additionally, lack of sharp creativity on my part challenges the very core synergy in the department. Covey (2013) identifies synergy as an essential element of leadership. Therefore, effective leadership calls for leaders to engage in finding robust solutions to solve the ever-changing problems in the work environment. Therefore, it is not enough for me to value the opinions of other people even if they differ from mine. To be an effective leader, I should be actively involved in creating new possibilities that can foster dynamism in the department. Additionally, failing to take the lead in creativity may undermine my charisma. Charisma is an essential element of transformational leadership (Hutchinson & Jackson, 2013).

Transformational headship requires leaders to possess a strong vision (Tourish, 2013). Being visionary implies that the leader can foresee the future, hence predicting with a degree of accuracy the future impact of his or her current decisions. Personally, I tend to begin tasks without fully considering how the outcome will be. The result has often been aborted plans or outcomes that do not match the original goals. This case has been a point of criticism by some of my followers who feel that I tend to act on a whim. Hutchinson and Jackson (2013) described transformational leaders as individuals who engage in a leadership, which creates a vision that inspires meaning and motivation to the followers. Therefore, vision is essential to transformational leadership. The absence of vision may mean that employees are not motivated, a situation that undermines the basic tenet of transformational leadership.

My third weakness relates to personal discipline. I have discovered myself to be a procrastinator. Sometimes, I also engage in activities that are not in direct furtherance of the goals of my department. According to Liden, Fu, Liu, and Song (2016), transformational leadership calls for self-discipline. When a leader possesses a high-level self-discipline, employees are usually motivated to follow him or her (Liden et al., 2016). Being procrastinating may undermine my charisma as a leader. The followers will challenge non-charismatic leadership, thus resulting in internal conflicts. In addition, engaging in time-wasting activities not only undermines my organization’s goals but also causes the failure of meeting targets. Activities that I consider adverse to my organization’s goals include answering personal calls during company hours.

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Three theory-based changes that I can make to maximize my success in managing organizations and leading people in the future

To become an effective transformational leader, I would need to make certain changes. The first change would be to adapt my leadership style to fit the different personalities, personal needs, and skills of the members in my department. According to Hutchinson and Jackson (2013), a successful transformational leader acts as a mentor to his or her team members, as opposed to being ‘the boss.’ Using the term ‘boss’ may inspire fear in employees instead of instilling genuine respect and admiration. Transformational leadership is pegged on mutual respect.

As a leader, I would need to be more genuinely concerned about the personal needs of my followers. Showing genuine concern helps an employee to feel appreciated, hence enabling them to work in a more dedicated manner. Modern management approaches focus on employee empowerment as a primary vehicle to achieve an organization’s goal. The situation is different from the past where tools and processes were viewed as central to achieving an organization’s goal (Goetsch & Davis, 2014). Therefore, employee motivation would be my starting point in attaining transformational leadership.

Creativity is central to transformational leadership. An effective transformational leader engages in efforts that encourage employees to be innovative while avoid settling for the traditional ways of solving problems (Hutchinson & Jackson, 2013). As a leader, I would encourage employees to take risks even when there are chances of failure. Therefore, I would avoid admonishing employees when they fail, but instead encourage them to take more risks. I would also provide employees with the sufficient resources to motivate them to become innovative. Additionally, I would remove barriers that limit innovativeness such as some deeply grounded organizational practices. I would also encourage my followers to be independent-minded and to avoid agreeing with me simply because I am their leader. According to Goetsch and Davis (2014), allowing employees to think independently fosters creativity that leads to the discovery of new ideas and solutions. In addition, I would reward people who challenge me instead of suppressing them.

My third approach would involve seeking to become a role model to my followers. Transformational leaders influence their followers by inspiring respect and admiration. To achieve this goal, I would need to revisit my self-discipline. For instance, I would need to avoid procrastinating tasks. As a result, employees are likely to emulate my positive aspects, leading to success within the department. Hutchinson and Jackson (2013) assert that acting with integrity inspires followers to emulate their leaders. Therefore, as a leader, it would be important to realize that my followers are emulating me even subconsciously. Understanding this situation will allow me to change for the better.

Two short-term SMART goals that will help to improve my leadership practice

The first goal would be to work on improving my creativity in the next two months by engaging in brainstorming exercises with my fellow leaders and followers while also reading various books that relate to innovation in the sales department. Next, I would vet the ideas I come up with after these exercises. The reason for vetting these ideas would be to ensure that only those that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and relevant are retained. I would then test these ideas with the aim of determining their viability in the short-term.

My second goal would be a three-month exercise of eliminating procrastination in my leadership. The best approach for this goal would be to perform tasks as they arise, instead of shelving them for a later time. In ensuring that I implement this goal, I will keep a diary of the tasks that should be implemented each day. At the end of the day, I will crosscheck the implemented tasks against those that are yet to be implemented.

Two specific actions I will take to reach each of the SMART goals discussed above

In line with my goal of improving creativity through reading books, the first action will involve joining an active book club where I would attend evening sessions. At the book club, I will meet fellow professionals who will challenge my thought process. Innovators also have a habit of networking with people outside their profession, as it tends to trigger their thought process (Dyer, Gregersen, & Christensen, 2013). For this reason, I will engage with diverse people, especially those that are not sales and marketing professionals. The second action will focus on brainstorming where I will schedule a time when the members of the department. During these meetings, I will actively take part in the brainstorming process as opposed to being merely the meeting’s chairperson.

Regarding the second goal, procrastination, the first action will involve keeping a notebook and a reminder on my cell phone as a way of remaining in touch with tasks that need to be accomplished. I would schedule some tasks to be performed on a day-to-day basis. My objective would be to gradually minimize, hence eventually eliminate procrastination through small but consistent efforts in three months. The second action will involve follow-ups to ensure that the members of my department are working to eliminate procrastination for their part.

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References

Covey, S. R. (2013). The 8th habit: From effectiveness to greatness. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster.

Dyer, J., Gregersen, H., & Christensen, C. (2013). The innovator’s DNA: Mastering the five skills of disruptive innovators. Brighton, MA: Harvard Business Press.

Goetsch, D. L., & Davis, S. B. (2014). Quality management for organizational excellence. New York, NY: Pearson.

Hutchinson, M., & Jackson, D. (2013). Transformational leadership in nursing: Towards a more critical interpretation. Nursing Inquiry, 20(1), 11-22.

Krishnan, V. R. (2012). Transformational leadership and personal outcomes: empowerment as mediator. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 33(6), 550-563.

Liden, R., Fu, P., Liu, J., & Song, L. (2016). The influence of CEO values and leadership on middle manager exchange behaviors: A longitudinal multilevel examination. Nankai Business Review International, 7(1), 2-20.

Tourish, D. (2013).The dark side of transformational leadership: A critical perspective. London: Routledge.

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