Leadership in the Survey on Preferred Normative Essay

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Leadership

In the survey on preferred normative leadership style, the results came out to 6 facilitate, 3 consult, 3 decide and 0 delegate. This indicates a trend towards a facilitating leadership style and I prefer not to delegate. According to this, I prefer to set boundaries, but then let the group decide on the best course of action. I feel that this is not a surprise. I feel the role of the leader is to achieve outputs, such as increased sales, increased profits or cost reductions. There are many ways to achieve these outputs, and if the team is competent or capable they might have better ideas about how to achieve this than I will. I feel, however, that total delegation does not give me enough control over the results. The best balance of leadership in my view is to avoid autocracy unless it is necessary, which typically happens when the workers have demonstrated that they do not know what to do or what is expected, but to also avoid delegating to the point where the results are in jeopardy.

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I noted that there is some flexibility within my leadership style. Certainly I am prepared to make decisions when necessary, but have no need to always be the decision-maker. As noted, I prefer to avoid total delegation so I typically would only be flexible within a certain range. In the questions, the employees were generally competent or had positive traits. These types of employees I feel respond better to softer styles of management, a sentiment probably colored by my own experiences as a worker of skill and ability. The leaders whom I emulate have tended to be those that allowed good people to not only have some flexibility but to grow into new challenges as well. For me, the ability to lead in different ways depending on the situation is something all leaders should have -- situational leadership is something that I feel has merit as a leadership theory. Different workers and different situations do require different types of leadership and the best leaders are those who can recognize this and adapt.

Essay on Leadership in the Survey on Preferred Normative Assignment

For the listening survey, I scored a 46. This total is basically in the middle between good and bad listener. My initial reaction is that this is fairly accurate. I place emphasis on the flow of communication, so I am not a fan of interruptions. I avoid them (which was good) but I also do not listen to people who interrupt what I am doing, which apparently is bad. I also place emphasis on speed of idea flow, so I do not waste time repeating back what somebody just told me. This is actually an annoying habit that gets in the way of idea flow, and should be considered terrible communication in my view. People speak slower than they think as it is, so slowing the process down further is a detriment to getting ideas out.

In general, however, there were few surprises in the listening survey. I understand that there are times when I am not a great listener, and that I have room to improve upon some of the aspects of listening that cause me trouble. As a leader, however, I also view that too much listening results in things not getting done -- there is a time for action as well. I place emphasis on directness, so do not value non-verbal communication -- if somebody is lying to me and I need to read their behavior to find out what they are really saying, that is not somebody I want to do business with. The office is not a poker table -- people should mean what they say. I may have strong views about communication that clash with the survey authors, but that is something that I need to take into consideration. Certainly if there are gaps in my outputs as a leader or frequent instances of miscommunication, I can come back to a survey like this and improve upon my performance.

The communications survey was not a surprise in terms of having a little bit of diversity in my communications style, but with an emphasis on consultative and participative. I view leadership in part as having good people and allowing them to flourish -- the leader should not be handling functional tasks and therefore needs to have people who are capable of doing so. I also had a couple of empowerment results, but in general I like to feel that people are motivated internally and therefore I think my inclination was only to empower people when they absolutely needed it; empowerment at other times comes from giving people the tools and opportunity to succeed.

I am less autocratic, scoring that only once. I actually am surprised by this, as I have always thought that I would take charge and be autocratic when the situation called for it. Instead, the survey shows me that I seldom do this. This result is interesting, and perhaps hints that I am not as autocratic as I think I am. As a leader, I need to be able to make decisions sometimes, if I feel the need, and in that respect I perhaps should be bolder, and make more decisions. Either that or I simply did not resonate with the situations in the survey, but it is more likely that I need to be more autocratic in my leadership style.

I feel as though this survey was very insightful in part because it challenged my views of communication -- it is not just about consulting but it is about flexibility and interpreting the situation and then responding to it. In that respect, I think I have come away from this particular survey with a better respect for the different types of communication styles and will take greater care to recognize these styles in the future, and be more willing to make a greater variety of decisions.

The dyadic relationship assessment revealed a fairly average relationship with a 24 score. This surprises me a little bit. I considered a manager whose style I often try to emulate for these questions, and the results I expected would have showed a stronger two-way relationship than they did. Certainly there were some 1 scores but there were also a few 4 scores as well. This result is a little bit surprising and tells me that perhaps this style does not look as good from the follower's point-of-view as it does from the leader's. As a leader, I want my followers to perceive me in a manner that is positive. This means more than simply being available for communication, it means cultivating a sense of goal alignment. It was on the goal alignment measures that I did not perceive a strong sense of a two-way relationship.

This survey illustrates for me the importance of viewing the leader's role through the eyes of the follower. Leadership theory tends to focus on traits, actions and styles, but ultimately there is a strong relationship aspect to leadership that cannot be ignored. It is not only important that I as the leader get results that make me happy, it is also important that my followers are equally satisfied with my leadership and how it impacts them. While there is a limit to how much I can worry about what others think, it is important to remember when I worked under good leaders and how I viewed them. This survey showed me that even with a leader I admired and felt good about, there were clearly areas where he and I did not agree and where I was not entirely pleased with the leadership. It also shows me that perhaps I should consider modeling my leadership style after multiple leaders, choosing only the best traits.

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