Above all, I believe that I am a competent motivator. I am quick to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of my team members and put them in the best positions to succeed or learn, in certain circumstances. As a motivator, I seek to encourage others to work harder and take advantage of their strengths. From this perspective, I believe that I am a transformational leader, much more so than a transactional leader. In fact, I often try to consider what I can do, from a leadership role, to demonstrate leadership. Transforming others into better people who are more capable of fulfilling particular roles. Transformational leadership requires that leaders set the bar and then surpass this bar through demonstration.

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Admittedly, I occasionally procrastinate, leaving me to rush the completion of projects and fulfillment of goals. Because of this, I often set the bar too high for myself and for my team members. Even though I regret procrastination, I find myself working much harder after I procrastinate and need to rush through a job. In fact, I often do my best work on a tight deadline. As a worker, I may have a style similar to that of a Crisis-Maker, someone who works best under pressure and often puts themselves in high-pressure situations in order to be most successful. This works great for me as a worker, but as a leader, this is unacceptable. After all, most of my team members are not Crisis-Makers. Many of my team members are, in fact, worriers, meaning that they worry about deadlines as they approach and their work suffers for it. In being a leader who leads by example, I need to avoid normalizing procrastination. For the most part, I have done so, but I still need to work on removing procrastination from my leadership characteristics completely.

The previous several years has led to my transformation as a leader. I would not describe this process as an evolution. Rather, this process has been incremental. Once I recognize my weaknesses, I focus much of my attention on fixing them. The best analogy that I have thought up about this process concerns golf. There are hundreds of points of emphasis that golfers can work on in their swing to improve. Great golfers are consistent golfers who only make small mistakes, which are addressed quickly after they are discovered. But golfers can only fix one problem at a time. Focusing on too many problems, golfers distract themselves and mess up their swings badly. In developing both personally and as a leader, I have taken a similar approach. As soon as I identify a weakness, I dedicate much of my attention to fixing it and try to frame all of my interactions with team members around not repeating the mistakes caused by this weakness, even if other weaknesses are exposing themselves.

In becoming a leader, I learned the importance of being flexible and adaptive to different organizational environments. That is, I now recognize when certain organizational environments require that I be a hands-on leader. In many cases, I feel the need to step in and help my team members complete their tasks. When I first entered a leadership role, when I stepped in, I did not help. Instead, I chided my team members for not doing the job like I would have done it. I learned that this was the wrong approach to take. Instead, I need to be supportive, encouraging my team members as I help them solve issues that arise. I now avoid being authoritarian, opting to be more of a paternalistic leader. In certain contexts, I may be viewed as a democratic leader, although this is quite rare.

As I mentioned above, I now understand the importance of adapting to organizational environments. But there is also a need, as a leader, to actually influence organizational cultures to produce friendlier and more productive working environments. What I have in mind, specifically, is establishing organizational cultures that promote transparent and open communication, as well as hard-work and accountability. By altering the structures of an organization, department, or environment to reflect a team-orientation atmosphere, I can encourage in-team cooperation, rather than in-team competition. In any organization, there will be internal conflicts that must be resolved. But by establishing an organizational culture that promotes a positive team environment, I can promote positive conflict resolution methods, such as collaboration and accommodation. When team members view themselves as part of a mutualistic team, they are more likely to consider the interests of all team members when making decision.

Clearly, then, I have learned that being a leader is very much about what others do when I am not around. No matter how positive I am in my interactions with team members, if I do not establish the right sort of organizational culture, any progress that I make through such interactions may be immediately undermined by internal conflicts that lead to the evocation of negative emotions, such as anger and resentment. One of my greatest strengths is in establishing an organizational culture that promotes open communication.

Too often, I have witnessed subgroups forming within an organization that lead to in-group versus out-group behavior. Such behavior fostered internal conflict and organizational friction, decreasing positive organizational outcomes. From these experiences, I have learned how to encourage open communication and discourage the formation of exclusive groups. While I recognize that certain subgroups are going to form within a team, I am now much better at encouraging team members within such groups to include those who are not in these groups in their activities, Although I still have many weaknesses that I need to address, in recognizing my strengths and how I have developed as a leader, I can build from a solid leadership foundation.

My personal vision for my future leadership style is certainly focused around inspiration. I not only recognize that I lack in inspirational skills, but that this notion is confirmed by my LPI. As a transformational leader, I certainly strive to be inspiration. I lead by example, as I mentioned earlier, but I often fail to inspire my team members to go above and beyond their required duties. I have found that inspiration is quite difficult to learn. In other words, becoming inspiration is not intuitive to me and may not be easily achievable. Nonetheless, I have a plan for becoming much more inspiration. This plan involves learning to be inspirational from others. I know several inspiration people and, of course, there are countless inspirational people online. While I may not seek to exactly mimic these individuals, I can learn from their success. In particular, I can try to determine how they use communication and leadership by example to increase my own ability to inspire.

Perhaps the biggest revelation that I discovered through the LPI was that I had two deficiencies that I did not know that I had. The first deficiency was in the challenge the process category. As I mentioned earlier, I have learned to be much more adaptive to a variety of organizational environments and cultures. Nonetheless, the observations indicated I performed relatively poorly on the challenge the process category. Through reflection, I believe that I have identified the source of this deficiency; I need to be more creative. Specifically, I need to learn to approach problems from a number of other perspectives. Some of the greatest leaders I know can try a number of different problems from many different approaches.

This is, I believe, a knowledge-based ability that comes from both learning from the experiences of others and from one’s own personal experiences. As I continue to grow as a leader, I will try to adopt many more approaches when it comes to solving problems, as well as when it comes to challenging existing processes to produce more fruitful and more engaging processes. Challenging the status quo from a well-reasoned position can be extremely valuable to organizations and fueled innovation. By learning more approaches and perspectives, as well as how to apply them, I will be a much better and more innovative leader.

Second, I am not nearly as good at encouraging the heart as I thought. Of course, at times it may be difficult to distinguish inspiration from encouraging the heart. Nonetheless, there is certainly an emotional aspect of encourage the heart that I must improve at. In previous assessment, I scored low to average at emotional intelligence. I am pretty good at recognizing the emotions of others, but am not so good at my own clear emotional expressions and at relying information that would evoke particular emotions in team members. Thus, I must learn how to better connect with people on an emotional level. The best way that I can improve in this regard is through experience. I will be more mindful of these emotional connections and experiences in the future, in order to better communicate with emotion.

My main focus for improvement, nonetheless, will be on the challenge the process practice. My biggest issue is with the behavior of looking for ways that others can try out new methods and ideas. From a leadership perspective, I can identify my own opportunities to try new methods and ideas. I often project such ideas onto my team members. However, I realize now that I do not look for the best ways that others can try out new ideas and methods. In other words, I do not consider the strengths and weaknesses of my team members when I propose that they try out new ideas and approaches. Instead, such new ideas and approaches are proposed because I have identified that they would be particularly useful for me. I can improve this behavior by considering the strengths and weaknesses, as well as the interests, of my team members when determining sources of innovation.

The main reason that have focused on challenging the process is that this is one area in which I know that I can excel at, but that I believe I have clear deficiencies in. In fact, challenging the process is becoming an interest of mine. I envision my future leadership abilities and skills being even more flexible and adaptive, but also constantly assessing existing processes in organizations. I want to both learn much more about other perspectives and approaches that I can apply, while actually applying information that I have learned to practical situations. Only then can I develop the adequate experience necessary to recognize inherent issues in the processes in my organizations and propose meaningful solutions. As I continue to grow, I will certainly keep in mind the results of the LPI. I have learned about myself personally and professionally. In identifying my strengths and weaknesses, I can build off my strengths and diminish my weaknesses to become a much more competent leader.