Reflective Leadership Plan

The writings from Avolio, Yammarino, Wren, and Clawson covered a multitude of information on leadership styles, practices, and models. Clawson described six categories of leadership in great detail. First, the trait approach focuses on a leader’s traits to prove the theory that some people have an advantage over their counter parts in leadership. References to the work of Stogdill, Bass, Maccoby, Gardner, and Collins are used to covey the power of trait.Second, the behavior approach has been researched since the 1950’s.

Mintzberg and Kotter provide powerful insight from CEO’s on the roles that leaders fill. Stewart outlines the forces of demands, constraints, and choices as things that managers do. Third, power and influence are used to force subordinates to depend on the leader thereby enabling the weak. Fourth, situational approach asks the question, how is the leadership task affected by the situation? Authors such as Hersey, Blanchard, House, and Fiedler have conducted extensive research on contextual matters as to the scope of work performed.Fifth, the charismatic approach is influenced by leader and behavioral traits. Charismatic leaders are confident and require acceptance of followers.

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Sixth, the transformational approach influences supervisors and subordinates in their commitment, complexity, and credibility. According to Maccoby (2000), managers are principally administrators that write business plans, set budgets, and monitor progress. Leaders get organizations and people to change by clarifying the vision for the future to motivate and inspire. Studying the history of leadership illustrates the complex science of leadership.Authors such as Bass believe that management and leadership as we practice today will continue over the next thirty-three years. Research utilizing qualitative and quantitative methods is required to find the optimal mix of style, practice, and model.

Specializing in information systems and technology requires broad knowledge of theory and understanding in transformational leadership. One common contemporary leadership model in use today is known as Transformational Leadership. Transformational leadership demonstrates followers that excel far beyond their accessed abilities.Transformational leaders empower all people to be leaders in organizations. According to Bass (1990), employees that understand and execute the vision of organizations exhibit transformational leadership qualities. Transactional leadership is a contrast to transformational leadership where followers appeal to a specific strategy.

Followers are rewarded for achieving performance objectives. My organization is modeled after transactional leadership because employees are awarded in the form of an annual bonus for meeting performance objectives.Transactional leadership uses performance appraisals to reward or reprimand individuals that either meet of miss goals set as standards. According to Bass (1990), transformational leadership boosts employee morale and increases productivity. I am a product of transformational leadership as I am motivated to perform with great satisfaction and fulfillment as I contribute to the success of our company.

Understand your leadership strengths and weaknesses I have completed the Clifton Strengths Finder 2. 0 assessment and my top five strengths are learner, achiever, relator, strategic and analytical.According to Clawson (2006), leaders have varying levels of experience that make up their core attributes which include behavior, thinking, values and basic assumptions. Leaders have the ability to transfer their positive energy filled with enthusiasm to those that choose to follow. Research by Clawson (2006) indicates leadership depends on your point of view that is reflected by core attributes.

The trait of a leader is based on the internal characteristics that define a leader. The “Great Man” theory is based on the premise that leaders are born and not made.According to Avolio and Yammarino (2002), the behavior of a leader is based on a leader’s ability to be transformational and charismatic. Power and influence of a leader is demonstrated by follower’s ability and willingness to be lead. Great leaders use their influence to persuade based on the validity of their character stance in organizations. Research by Wren (1995) indicates that a major gap exists due to a lack of attention to leaders and followers, as people.

Focus is generally on an individual’s behavior or decision style without even knowing a leaders true value, needs or motives.According to Wren (1995), differences between Burns and Bass analysis occur from dealing with leadership from a social change viewpoint. Executive leaders develop into transforming leaders as they mobilize within organizations. Significant change or performance beyond expectation is Bass’s true test of transformational leadership. Superior leaders do have some natural born traits to cause them to rise above the norm in terms of leadership. However, the week 4 lecture notes refer to various approaches and theories that can help to understand how great leaders are made.

According to Kirkpatrick and Locke (1991), research on the trait approach identified six characteristics that made a leader successful. The traits of persistence, the desire to lead, integrity, self-confidence, intelligence and job knowledge were identified. The results of the research indicate that not all of the six traits apply in all environments. The managerial grid is based on having a concern for people and work. Some work environments have autocratic leaders where all decisions flow from the leader.

Democratic leadership takes employee viewpoints into account and thrives on feedback that could be used to increase performance (UOP, 2013). I believe that a person with average charisma or personality can become a superior leader. Research by Collins (2005) indicates building an organization to be great begins with apply the following four stages of action: Disciplined people, disciplined thought, action and building greatness to last. A person with average charisma can become a great leader by following the techniques used in research by Collins (2005). What kind of leader will I become?According to week 5 lecture notes (2013), “the Harthorne Studies helped create the beginning of the Human Relations movement, Transformational Leadership and a new era of leadership thought.

”  According to Bass (1990), transformational leaders motivate employees to perform beyond the expected. Transformational leaders communicate positive expectations of others thus realizing the powerful impact of the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy. I consider myself to be a transformational leader because I thrive on positive energy and always seek to pull out the greatness that is often buried deep inside employees.For example, I worked in Birmingham, AL earlier this month implementing a new Automated Gate System and I was given the nick name of “Sunshine”. One of the employees at the Birmingham intermodal facility indicated that I changed her view on work and as a result, she is setting higher performance standards for her work performance. My goal is to develop into a charismatic transformational leader.

Plan to improve your weaknesses I have been working in technology for the past twenty-five years and I need to become a better writer. Many of the reports that I am accustomed to writing have been in the first person.Scholarly writing is in the third person. I will continue to attend workshops offered by the Center for Writing Excellence, Center for Math Excellence and take professional development courses offered by my employer to enhance my writing skills. I will invest in books to develop my scholarly writing skills.

Strengths and how they can help to improve other characteristics According to Goleman (1998), emotional intelligence is a set of learned skills that may translate to success in the workplace. Components that make up emotional intelligence are self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skill.According to Gardner (1983), distinctions of intrapersonal and interpersonal competencies are demonstrated with personal competencies and differences between self-awareness and social competencies of empathy. According to Goleman (2001), the components are merely emotional competencies which place them in the category of learned capabilities influenced by high performance at work. Self-awareness and self-regulation and motivation are probably the easiest to learn while empathy and social skill are probably the most difficult to acquire.I remember working on a terminal design project with senior design engineers and architects and was encouraged to work 12-15 hour days during the final design review.

I later realized that I had stepped up to the same performance level of senior design engineers and architects. This was a clear example of Self-Fulfilling Prophecy as a result of successful transformational leadership. Timeline for goals I have created a timeline to work on some goals that I have identified as weaknesses in Figure 1. Figure 1 Reaching my leadership goalsThe writings of John Maxwell provide a blueprint that I will follow to reach my leadership goals. According to Maxwell (2007), leadership requires the ability to do more than one thing well and no one does everything well (p.

xx). Leaders that follow 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership will convince people to follow you. The leadership laws can be learned, stands alone, carry consequences and are the foundation of leadership (p. xxi). According to Maxwell (2011), a practice is an action that may make work in one situation but not necessarily in another.A principle is an external truth that is as reliable as a physical law.

Principals are important because they function like a map, allowing us to make wise decisions. If we embrace a principle and internalize it, it becomes a part of our values (p. 5). Maxwell defines 5 levels of leadership that were conceived as a practice to lead more effectively. According to Maxwell (2011), the 5 levels of leadership are identified as position, permission, production, people development and pinnacle (p. 6).

1. Position – (Rights) – People follow you because they have to 2.Permission – (Relationships) – People follow you because they want to 3. Production – (Results) – People follow you because of what you have done for the organization 4. People Development – (Reproduction) – People follow you because of what you have done for them 5.

Pinnacle – (Respect) – People follow you because of who you are and what you represent I will continue to be an active member of Toastmaster’s as I am currently in my third term as Sergeant at Arms on the Board of Director’s. I have received an award for reaching the status of Competent Communicator (delivered 10 speeches).I am working on an award for Competent Leadership in my Toastmaster’s club. I contributed in sponsoring a new Toastmasters Club at Norfolk State University. I will continue to attend workshops offered by the School of Advanced Studies (SAS).