The Leader as an Individual
People differ in many ways. Some are quiet
and shy while others are gregarious; some are thoughtful and serious while others are impulsive
and fun loving.
Differences in personality, attitudes, values,
and so forth influence how people interpret an assignment, whether they like to be told what to do, how they
handle challenges, and how they interact with others.
Leaders’ personality and attitudes, as well as their ability to understand individual differences among employees,
can profoundly affect leadership effectiveness.
Has any of you ever taken the Colors Test? This is a test which is suppose to help you determine the kind of personality you are
RED = Strong Will
Green = Cautious
Blue = Sensitive, dislike Change
Yellow = Emotional, talkative
There is an interesting story in your text about a CEO who used this test to relate
to his employees. Does any recall how this was done?
PERSONALITY AND LEADERSHIP
Some people are consistently pleasant in a variety of situations, while others are moody
or aggressive. To explain this behavior, we may say, “He has a pleasant
personality, “or “She has an aggressive personality.” This
is the most common usage of the term personality, and it refers to an individual’s
behavior patterns as well as how others view the person.
Leaders who have an understanding of how individuals’ personalities differ can use this understanding
to improve their leadership effectiveness.
A MODEL OF PERSONALITY
Research has categorized personality into five general dimensions that seems to best describe personality. These are often called the Big Five dimension of personality:
Quiet, withdrawn Low Extroversion High Outgoing energetic
Aloof easily irritated
Impulsive carefree Low Conscientiousness High
Low Emotional Stability High Stable, confident
Narrow field of Low Openness to Experience
Likes the tried
LOCUS OF CONTROL
Some people believe that their actions can strongly affect what happens to them. In other words, they believe they are “masters of their own fate.”
Others feel that whatever happens to them in life is a result of luck, chance, or outside people and
events; they believe they have little control over their fate.
Therefore, a person’s Locus of Control defines whether he or she places the primary responsibility
within the self or on outside forces. People who believe their actions
determine what happens to them have a high internal locus of control (internal), while those who believe outside
forces determine what happen to them have a high external locus of control (external).
VALUES AND ATTITUDES
In addition to personality differences, people differ in the values and attitudes they hold. These differences affect the behavior of leaders and followers.
Whether we recognize it or not, we are constantly valuing things, people, or ideas as good or
bad, pleasant or unpleasant, ethical or unethical.
For example, a person who highly values honesty and integrity might lose respect and lessen his commitment
and performance for a leader who tells “little white lies”.
When a person has strong values in certain areas, these can have a powerful influence on behavior.
An attitude is an evaluation - either positive or negative -
about people, events or things.
Behavioral Scientist believes attitudes can be observed thru three components;
Cognitive (thoughts) can be seen in a leaders idea about a specific employee’s performance and ability
Affect (feelings) can be seen when you observe how a leader feel about an employee
Behavior (your action) can be observed when an individual is predisposed to act in a certain way.
Self concept refers to the collection of attitudes
we have about ourselves and includes elements of self esteem whether a person generally has positive or negative feelings
A person with overall positive self concept has high self esteem, whereas one with negative self concept
has low self esteem.
In general, leaders with positive self concept are more effective in all situations. Leaders who have negative self concept, who are insecure and have low self esteem, often create environments
that limit other people growth and development.
Every person has some habits, behavior, or attitudes that can limit his or her effectiveness. By understanding your own “Achilles heel” leaders can change their behavior
to improve leadership effectiveness and career success.
HOW CAN THIS BE DONE?
Continue to remember that Nobody’s perfect and as much as possible try to avoid these
Never feeling quite “good enough” Many
people who seem quite self confident in a lower level position become frighten and insecure when promoted to a position of
leadership because they feel they don’t deserve it.
Pushing to hard Setting high goals and working
hard to achieve then isn’t a bad thing for a leader. Unfortunately, some
people take this too far - they relentlessly drive themselves, and others to achieve more and more. These people work compulsively and without joy, and they cause stress and unhappiness for anyone who has
to work with or for them.
Being emotionally tone deaf Unable to feel emotions
himself or understand them in others. Not being able to recognize the role of
human feelings and motivations in the organization.
The above behavior Patterns are potentially fatal flaws for leaders.
However, the texts emphasizes that people can learn to manage their weaknesses and change their behavior thus ensuring
more effective leadership.
Your text discussed several other characteristics that play a part in leadership such as
Cognitive Differences - Right left brain dominance
The Role of Charisma - People who inspire followers with an abiding faith, even if the faith can’t be stated in specific goals that are
Transactional versus Transformational Leadership
Due to time constraints I hope you will review these areas on your own.
They will not be par of you test questions.