MGMT 601: Leadership Skills Analysis

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Self-Assessment_DoYouHaveWhatItTakestoBeaLeader_.pdf

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Leadership research has produced mountains of literature on what it takes to be a good leader. Leadership theories, leadership traits, leadership definitions, leadership models, and leadership tools abound. One overriding theme that runs throughout recent leadership literature is that today's leaders who seek a competitive advantage for their organizations must focus on the growth and development of their people. Many benefits can be derived from this growth and development focus, not the least of which is to have employees who can effectively respond to change because change is a common characteristic of nearly all leadership situations. In addition, the notion that "leaders" and "managers'' are not one in the same is a leadership principle that has been explored in the literature for at least 20 years. Prior to that time, the two terms were often used interchangeably. Although managers and leaders seek to achieve many of the same basic objectives, they use different means to do so. Some of the differences are described in the following chart:

Although many models, theories, and lists of leadership traits could be used as the basis of this leadership assessment, you will see that the focus here is on the following seven leadership qualities: 1. Personal Stability 2. Productivity 3. Self-Management 4. Boundary Setting 5. Communication 6. Work Quality 7. Teamwork

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You will note that the first four traits focus on qualities leaders must possess and practice regularly in order to earn the right to lead others and to effectively deal with change; and the final three are the qualities and tools leaders use that allow them to set direction, align employees, and motivate and inspire others to achieve goals.

Questions for this survey were adapted from Interlink Training and Coaching, "The Leadership Assessment Tool," www.interlinktc.com/assessment.html. Interlink Training and Coaching, 3655 W. Anthem Way, Box 315, Anthem, AZ 85086.

Source:

This assessment is designed to help you determine if you have what it takes to be a leader. First, indicate the extent to which you agree or disagree with each statement. After you submit your assignment, you will receive some personal feedback on your leadership potential along with leadership insights you can use to improve your leadership skills.

I'm honest with myself.1.

    

Strongly Disagree Disagree

Neither Agree nor Disagree Agree

Strongly Agree

I am positive and upbeat.2.

    

Strongly Disagree Disagree Neither Agree nor

Disagree Agree

Strongly Agree

I regularly prioritize what I need to get done.3.

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Strongly Disagree Disagree Neither Agree nor

Disagree Agree

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Strongly Agree

I am solution oriented rather than problem oriented.4.

    

Strongly Disagree Disagree Neither Agree nor

Disagree Agree

Strongly Agree

I do not procrastinate on projects/tasks.5.

    

Strongly Disagree Disagree

Neither Agree nor Disagree Agree

Strongly Agree

I am on time for meetings/classes.6.

    

Strongly Disagree Disagree

Neither Agree nor Disagree Agree

Strongly Agree

I take responsibility for my actions.7.

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Strongly Disagree Disagree Neither Agree nor

Disagree Agree

Strongly Agree

I do not blame others for my mistakes.8.

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Strongly Disagree Disagree Neither Agree nor

Disagree Agree

Strongly Agree

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I can separate my personal life from work/school.9.

    

Strongly Disagree Disagree Neither Agree nor

Disagree Agree

Strongly Agree

I work at getting ahead, but within appropriate boundaries.10.

    

Strongly Disagree Disagree Neither Agree nor

Disagree Agree

Strongly Agree

I communicate my ideas clearly.11.

    

Strongly Disagree Disagree

Neither Agree nor Disagree Agree

Strongly Agree

I listen to others beyond just the words being spoken.12.

    

Strongly Disagree Disagree

Neither Agree nor Disagree Agree

Strongly Agree

I adjust well to different communication styles.13.

    

Strongly Disagree Disagree

Neither Agree nor Disagree Agree

Strongly Agree

I don't have to redo things because my work is thorough and complete.14.

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    

Strongly Disagree Disagree Neither Agree nor

Disagree Agree

Strongly Agree

I do not get distracted when working on projects/tasks.15.

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Strongly Disagree Disagree Neither Agree nor

Disagree Agree

Strongly Agree

When working in a group, I work with members to solve and prevent problems.

16.

    

Strongly Disagree Disagree

Neither Agree nor Disagree Agree

Strongly Agree

I work well in a group.17.

    

Strongly Disagree Disagree

Neither Agree nor Disagree Agree

Strongly Agree

I am people oriented, not just results oriented.18.

    

Strongly Disagree Disagree

Neither Agree nor Disagree Agree

Strongly Agree

When working in a group, I am more concerned with the group's success than my own.

19.

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Strongly Disagree Disagree Neither Agree nor

Disagree Agree

Strongly Agree

I praise others when they are doing a good job20.

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Strongly Disagree Disagree Neither Agree nor

Disagree Agree

Strongly Agree

Total Score

Total Score

0

10077

77/100

Range 75 to

84

Although there are no hard-and-fast cutoff scores for this assessment, your score suggests that you have moderate leadership skills. Leadership skills are necessary throughout life whether you're leading a group of your fellow classmates in completing a team assignment; coaching a group of kids on a sports team; parenting your own children, heading up a committee at work, school or church; or even running your own business someday. Because leadership skills can be improved, you will learn from the following information more about your leadership skills and what you can do to improve them.

Personal Stability

Personal Stability

0 108

8/10

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Range 2 to 10

Leaders must possess personal stability in order to keep those they are leading on track and focused on the goals they are pursuing together. Leaders who are unpredictable, constantly changing course on a whim and subject to frequent emotional highs and lows, do not usually generate an eagerness to follow in those they are leading. Leaders demonstrate their personal stability by exhibiting mental and emotional maturity in their words and actions, by remaining confident in their own abilities even when they are pressed to their limits, and by being optimistic even when circumstances around them are anything but positive. The United States, as well as the world, looked to President George W. Bush on September 11, 2001, and the days and weeks that followed that tragic day. President Bush was able to communicate a calm assurance and personal stability that comforted and instilled hope in a nation. Leaders who exhibit strong personal stability, especially during times of crisis, earn the respect of their followers, which is often a major factor in the leader being able to effectively guide their followers through the crisis. Personal stability is effective not only in times of major crises but also in responding appropriately to the everyday challenges that everyone faces. When leaders stay calm and confident even when seemingly minor things go awry, they set a standard and convey a message of how to respond in positive and productive ways to the frustrations and roadblocks that can get in the way of accomplishing goals. Consistent personal stability is a hallmark of a truly great leader.

Productivity

Productivity

0 1511

11/15

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Range 3 to 15

Followers count on their leaders to be dependable and effective, using their time and resources well. Leaders must be productive if they expect those they are leading to be productive. To be productive, leaders must set priorities, goals, and deadlines; delegate tasks appropriately; and use time to focus on solutions rather than dwelling on problems. Several years ago, Fortune magazine ran a cover story on Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, in which the author stated in describing Bill Gates' five-day business trip to India and South Africa that included nearly 25,000 miles of air travel, "Gates may be the hardest-working man in big business." This article served to illustrate many leadership characteristics Bill Gates possesses, not the least of which is his productivity. With 16-hour days being the norm on the trip, Gates' schedule was filled with customer meetings, audiences with heads of state, press interviews and photo ops, standing-room-only speeches, hard-sell banquets and cocktail receptions, police-escorted motorcades, and even impromptu autograph sessions. In between all the scheduled events, he caught up on his e- mail on his portable PC and hastily reviewed his remarks for one of the 14 formal speeches he delivered or readied himself for one of the more than three dozen business meeting presentations he gave. Gates sets a "vivid and pragmatic example of what might be described as a Microsoftian work ethic. His grueling schedule is just one not-so-subtle hint of what he expects from employees."1

Self-Management

Self- Management

0 1515

15/15

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Range 3 to 15

Self-management implies leaders have such abilities as managing their emotions, holding themselves personally accountable for what they say and do, having their schedules under control, and displaying self-discipline in the way they live their lives. Wayne Huizenga, the only person in history to build three Fortune 1000 companies virtually from scratch—Waste Management, a garbage-hauling multinational; Blockbuster (which he sold to Viacom in a 1994 stock- swap deal valued at $8.4 billion); and Act III (formerly AutoNation), which brings under one corporate umbrella Ford, Chevy, and other car dealerships. He has also distinguished himself as the only person ever to own three professional teams in a single market—he is the former owner of the Miami Dolphins (football), former owner of the Florida Marlins (baseball), and former owner of the Panthers (hockey). Justin Martin interviewed Wayne Huizenga recently for a Fortune article entitled, "Wayne's World." In that interview, Martin says to Huizenga, "You're known for being tireless. Tell us about your personal style." To which Huizenga replied: When I first started out in the waste business, I'd wake up at 2 a.m. I'd go get in the truck, run the route, be finished around noon. Then I'd throw on a shirt and tie and go out soliciting new business all afternoon. At Blockbuster, a big joke at the company . . . was whether anybody could get to the office before me. Nowadays I get in around 8:15. That's late for me. I'm 65 now, and I ought to be able to come in whatever time I want, right? I still work hard. We [Huizenga Holdings] have a saying: "We fly after sunset and before sunrise." We work all day in a city, and then when everybody else is eating dinner—boom!—we get on a plane and fly to the next place. We don't waste time flying around the country during the daytime. When you're in business, every hour counts."2

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Boundary Setting

Boundary Setting

0 103

3/10

Range 2 to 10

To avoid burnout, leaders must establish boundaries in their lives—boundaries that keep them from, or at least minimize the effects of, becoming overloaded. When individuals are in positions of leadership, people seemingly "come out of the woodwork" and demand a piece of them—a piece of their time, their energy, their access to resources, their ability to influence—just to name a few pieces. Many people suffer from overload—activity overload, expectation overload, work overload, and commitment overload—but leaders are particularly vulnerable. Therefore, it is important for leaders to establish margins or reserves that they can save for unexpected demands. For example, if leaders have no reserves built up for their emotional energy or their physical energy and an unexpected crisis strikes, they will be less likely to weather the storm effectively than if they had reserves from which to draw. Margins or reserves are built up by setting boundaries— knowing how to separate one's personal life from work life, learning to say no, scheduling downtime on the calendar, and learning to unplug from technology such as cell phones and computer e-mail during nonbusiness hours. Do you remember the Aesop fable of the goose that laid the golden eggs? The greedy and impatient farmer decided he didn't like the slow pace of getting only one golden egg per day, so he killed the goose to get all the golden eggs at once, only to find the goose was empty. Likewise, leaders must recognize that setting boundaries and building reserves will allow them to pace themselves so they can produce one golden egg per day. Having no boundaries or reserves will cause them to burnout so they will be incapable of producing any golden eggs at all.

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Communication

Communication

0 1511

11/15

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Range 3 to 15

Leaders with effective communication skills are comfortable talking with people from all walks of life, place a priority on keeping others informed, work hard at understanding others' perspectives, are good listeners, and can successfully articulate their ideas. Jim Kilts has had to rely on his communication skills a great deal during his involvement in more than a dozen turnarounds, including such well-known companies as Kool-Aid, Kraft, and Nabisco. Since February 2001 he has been Gillette's CEO, the first outside CEO the company has had in 70 years, brought in to help rescue the company known for its Mach3 razors, Duracell batteries, and Oral-B toothbrushes. Kilts came to Gillette at a time when neither sales nor earnings had grown in five years and two-thirds of its products were losing share. Although a turnaround takes time, Gillette is already seeing improved sales, increased earnings per share, decreased overhead, higher profits, and decreased debt since Kilts' plan for fixing troubled businesses has been set in place. In preparing for a recent state-of-the- company speech Kilts was to deliver to 450 Gillette executives at the Copley Theatre in Boston, Kilts' preparation was described as follows: He's been at it now for several hours--going through every line, every gesture, every pause. No detail is too small to be addressed. As he runs through his slides, he notices that the border around one labeled "best capabilities" is blue; it should be red. On another, he wants to change the word "choose" to "balance." He's got one joke in the speech, and he practices it three times to make sure it will go over well. . . . Standing on stage, under the bright lights, Kilts looks as he always does: crisp and tidy. His dress shirt is starched, his navy tie neatly knotted at his neck despite the late hour. . . . Watching this spectacle tells you two important things about Jim Kilts: (1) He's a stickler for detail; and (2) He never shows up unprepared. That, one could argue, is

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what makes him so good at his job—fixing businesses on the brink.3

Work Quality

Work Quality

0 106

6/10

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Range 2 to 10

High quality is achieved by focusing on the task at hand with a desire to produce the best outcome. Often the difference between mediocrity and excellence is in seemingly minor factors, paying attention to a detail that makes the difference between mediocre and excellent. High work quality is not achieved by taking shortcuts or doing just enough to get by. Leaders who give their all to what they do—their skills, talents, passion, and hard work—perform at their highest level and earn the respect of their followers. No one is inspired to follow mediocrity. Oprah Winfrey is an outstanding example of a leader who demonstrates high work quality in all she does. She sets high standards for herself and in the process has inspired millions. Her contributions can be felt well beyond the world of television where she has been the producer and host of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" since September 1986 and into areas such as publishing, music, film, philanthropy, education, health and fitness, and social awareness. Among Oprah's accomplishments that are indicative of the high quality of her work are the following: For 16 years and counting, "The Oprah Winfrey Show" has been the No. 1 U.S. daytime talk show, with 21 million U.S. viewers, airing in 105 countries. Oprah has received seven Emmy Awards for Outstanding Talk Show Host and nine Emmy Awards for Outstanding Talk Show. Oprah has been honored with the most prestigious awards in broadcasting, including the George Foster Peabody Individual Achievement Award (1996), the IRTS Gold Medal Award (1996) and the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' Lifetime Achievement Award (1998). In January 2001 Oprah was dubbed Newsweek's "Woman of the Century." In June 1998, she was named one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th Century by Time Magazine. Oprah made her acting debut in 1985 in Steven Spielberg's "The Color Purple," for which she received both an Academy Award nomination and a Golden Globe nomination for her role as Sofia. Her movie

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production division has turned out award-winning films like "Tuesdays with Morrie," "Before Women Had Wings," "The Women of Brewster Place," "Beloved," and "Amy and Isabelle". In April 2000, Oprah, along with Hearst Magazines, introduced a monthly magazine O, The Oprah Magazine, the most successful startup ever in the industry. In September 1997, Oprah launched Oprah's Angel Network, a campaign encouraging people to help those in need. Since its launch, Oprah's Angel Network has collected over $3.5 million to create college scholarships for students in need and has funded nearly 200 Habitat for Humanity homes. In April 2000, Oprah's Angel Network began the "Use Your Life Award," and now gives $100,000 every Monday on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" to people who are using their lives to improve the lives of others. In September 1999, Oprah joined Stedman Graham as an adjunct professor at The J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University to co-teach "Dynamics of Leadership." The course curriculum, developed by professors Winfrey and Graham, shares insights into how students can cultivate their own leadership skills and develop an approach to management, leadership, and organizational issues suited to their individual circumstances. Oprah holds the No. 1 slot on 2003 Harris Poll's "Nation's Favorite TV Personality" survey—she has held either the No. 1, No. 2, or No. 3 slot since 1993. Oprah is the recipient of the first Bob Hope Humanitarian Award from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences at the 54th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards September 22, 2002. Oprah is the first African-American woman to make Forbes’ annual billionaires list (2003), with an estimated net worth of $1 billion4

On CNN Larry King Weekend September 9, 2001, Oprah stated, "What I'm trying to do with the [The Oprah Winfrey] show is the same thing I'm trying to do with my life, is to get people to see where they are stuck and be able to live

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up to whatever is their human potential. I'm trying to do that for myself. That's why I'm never satisfied where I am in my life. I'm always trying to push the envelope. What is next level? What is next level? How do I grow myself to be a better person?"5

Teamwork

Teamwork

0 2523

23/25

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Range 5 to 25

Leading by example, effective leaders develop their team members by modeling how to work well with others to successfully achieve the group's goals. Being a good team player requires a variety of skills, some of which have been evaluated under categories already discussed—personal stability, productivity, communication, and work quality. In addition, being a good team player requires such skills as problem-solving skills, people skills, and conflict resolution. Being a good team leader means you have the same, but greater, responsibilities than other team members. Leaders have a responsibility to develop people. Some guidelines for developing others are as follows: In order to develop people, leaders must value them and be committed to them—leaders can gain outstanding results from people they assume can produce outstanding results, and the opposite is true as well—something known as self- fulfilling prophecy, or the Pygmalion Effect (to learn more about the Pygmalion Effect, go to http://www.accel- team.com/pygmalion/). People excel in an encouraging environment rather than in a critical environment—praise regularly and confront privately and only when dealing with an action the person can change. Give people the right tools to get their jobs done. Provide opportunities for people to continually grow through training programs. Building an excellent team is one of the most significant legacies leaders can leave to their organizations. Best- selling author of Built to Last and Good to Great Jim Collins puts it this way: Rubbermaid's decline (and eventual sale) after the departure of Stanley Gault was widely interpreted as proof of Gault's executive genius. But Collins interpreted it as just the opposite: By organizing Rubbermaid around his outsized personality, Gault had failed to build the mechanisms that would allow the company to excel without him. Walmart's Sam Walton, by contrast, successfully "overcame" his native charisma to do just that. "You can't really assess a CEO's performance until about ten years after that CEO is gone," said Collins.6

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Footnotes: 1 Schlender, B. (1997, May 26). On the road with Chairman Bill. , 72-90.Fortune 2 Martin, J. (2003, May 12). Wayne's world. . F144[B]-144[D].

Fortune

3 Brooker, K. (2002, December 30). Jim Kilts is an old- school curmudgeon. 95-102Fortune, 4 For more information on Oprah Winfrey, go to www.oprah.com/about/ostory/about_ostory_herjourney.jhtml or www.oprah.com/about/press/about_press_pressroom.jhtml. 5 CNN Larry King Weekend, (2001, September 9). Transcript #090900CN.V42. Downloaded 5/21/03 from LexisNexis. 6 Useem, J. (2001, February 19). "Conquering vertical limits" Fortune.

Before you leave this assessment exercise, you may want to review this list of leadership book titles, choose one that interests you, and check it out from your library or buy it from a bookstore, and make it a goal to have it read within 30 days.

● Bennis, W., ed. (2001). The future of leadership: Today's top leadership thinkers speak to tomorrow's leaders. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

● Blanchard, K., Zigarmi, D., & Zigarmi, P. (1985). Leadership and the one minute manager: Increasing effectiveness through situational leadership. New York: Morrow, William, & Co.

● Collins, J. (2001). Good to great: Why some companies make the leap…and others don't. New York: HarperCollins.

● Covey, S. (1991). Principle-centered leadership. New York: Summit Books.

● DePree, M. (1990). Leadership is an art. New York: Dell Publishing, Co., Inc.

● Dotlich, D. & Cairo, P. (2002). Unnatural leadership: Going against intuition and experience to develop ten new leadership instincts. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

● Koestenbaum, P. (2002). Leadership: The inner side of greatness, a philosophy for leaders, new and revised. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

● Kouzes, J. (2002). The leadership challenge, 3rd ed. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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● Lencioni, P. (1998). The five temptations of a CEO: A leadership fable. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

● Maxwell, J. (1998). The 21 irrefutable laws of leadership: Follow them and people will follow you. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

● Ruderman, M. & Ohlott, P. (2002). Standing at the crossroad: Next steps for high-achieving women. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

● Sample, S. (2001). The contrarian's guide to leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

● Tichy, N. & McGill, A., Eds. (2003). The ethical challenge: How to build honest business leaders. New York: John Wiley & Sons.