My Leadership Profile
Lawrence J. Flint
In this paper I will rate my ability and desire to pursue leadership roles in various segments of my life. It is a selfexamination based on a number of different leadership inventories as well as general introspective observations. According to Goleman's Socio-Emotional Intelligence Theory (1995), leaders must not only have the requisite mental intelligence but must also possess sufficient emotional intelligence which encompasses such areas as emotional control, empathic skill, social judgment, and mediation skill. Each of the leadership inventories cited in this profile (Bean, 2000) include such measures as key indicators as to overall leadership ability. My leadership profile will show how I fare in the roles I play as a leader in the classroom and in other segments of my life.
The role theory of leadership rates leadership qualities in twenty categories based on roles that people act out as organization leaders (Yukl, 1998). Each of these leader roles is broken into the areas of motivation, skills, knowledge, and confidence and all areas are scored on a range of zero to ten. The precept of the role leadership is that all leaders play various roles within the duties of their office while other leaders may play other roles. Of these four areas I rated myself highest in skills (6.95) followed by knowledge (6.75), confidence (6.65), and motivation (6.25). This supports my belief that I have the skills and knowledge necessary to be a good leader but do not have quite the confidence and motivation to match.
Of the twenty leader roles the ones that I scored highest in were as a representative, organizer, entrepreneur, trainer/teacher, problem solver and decision maker. This is congruent with the leadership roles that I have sought so far in my live. I represented many constituencies on campus as an undergraduate student leader and was appointed by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge to represent 97,000 state system students as a member of the Board of Governors of the State System of Higher Education. I have organized many social and political events with great success, I started a thriving, profitable business in my early 20's, I am employed as a high school science teacher, and greatly enjoy solving technical problems, thrive on making decisions for groups, and consider myself a lifelong learner. The roles that I rated lowest in were conflict solver, motivator, crisis manager, and recruiter. This also closely matches those tasks that I conscientiously avoid and feel uncomfortable with.
There are a number of inventories that rate leaders on the basis of the traits they possess. Two of them, Stodgill and "Big Five" are very common such inventories. The Stodgill Leadership Traits Inventory is a quantitative measure of various traits that effective leaders possess including cognitive ability, achievement, responsibility, social skill, and desire for high status. On this simple measure of a total of ten criteria I rated 73 out of 100 possible points - a fairly high score that indicates that I generally possess the traits inherent to strong leaders.
Hogan's "Big Five" leadership profile also measures leaders based on desirable traits (Hogan, 1994). It is divided into five different areas each scored out of 100 points. In order, these are the scores of the traits that I posses: emotion (76), conscientious (73), intellect (66), extroverted (60), and agreeable (50). These two inventories concur that I have the necessary traits that good leaders have and none of the individual scores are exceptionally low.
My motivation to be a leader was measured using the McClelland Leader Motive Profile in which leadership is measured in six areas, each of which is scored out of 100 points. This measure of motivation indicates the degree to which I seek leadership roles based on my motivation. I scored high within three areas that are desirable in a leader; need for achievement (86), need for power (84), and need for control (78). My need for affiliation is rather low (53) and I scored low in the areas not desirable in a leader; fear of success (19) and fear of failure (22).
Leadership can also be assessed in terms of the skills and abilities that a leader possesses. One scale, which measures leadership based on seven factors, is the MLQ6S (Bass, 1994). As a result of completing this survey I find that I encourage others to be creative in "thinking out of the box," nurturing people to question their values and beliefs, and always appraise others of job requirements. It also reflects that I do not necessarily tell others what they have to do to be rewarded, do not always recognize their accomplishments, and sometimes show a lack of attention to the needs and well being of others. All in all I scored in the uppermoderate to high range in all areas.
In terms of my leadership intelligence, measured by the Leadership Intelligence Quotient (LIQ) scale, I rated rather high with a score of 77 out of 100. The LIQ is a measure of skills that excellent leaders possess such as political skill, conflict management, creative energy, team leadership, self-monitoring, social judgment, technological expertise, and many others. This measure shows that I have the mental ability to pursue and successfully hold leadership positions. In no area did I score low.
These leadership inventories are very congruent with my overall desire and ability to hold leadership positions. I recognize that my interpersonal and emotional skills are not as strong as they should be. This is evidenced by the fact that I avoid conflict and crisis management conditions. It is my desire to lead a group that can be void of any personal problems that may arise within or without the group. Furthermore, I tend to desire to lead groups that have a goal or product that can be physically or quantitatively measured rather than those whose goals are affective or qualitative.
My over 10 years of experience with leadership positions in informal, educational, and political settings has certainly strengthened my abilities and desire to be an effective leader. It would have been most useful if I would have results from the same inventories taken many years ago in order to measure improvement. In my role as a teacher I feel that I posses the requisite skills and desire to lead others in their learning. I am also challenged to grow in many areas of leadership, particularly those dealing with emotional intelligence.
Although the inventories mentioned previously concur that I would make a good manager or taskmaster, I feel a greater desire to be a better inspirational leader. Leaders are most successful when the traits they possess match their position. My leadership profile indicates that I have those skills, ability, and motivation to pursue many and varied leadership roles.
Bass, B.M., & Avolio, B.J. (1994). Improving organizational effectiveness through transformational leadership. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Bean, J. (2000). Foundations of Educational Leadership for Teachers. Lock Haven, PA: Lock Haven University Press.
Goleman, D. (1995). Emotional Intelligence: Why it matters more than IQ. New York: Bantam Books.
Hogan, R.H., Curphy, G.J., & Hogan, J. (1994). What we know about leadership. American Psychologist, 49 (6), 493-504.
Yukl, G.A. (1998). Leadership in Organizations (4th Ed.). Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall.