Leadership is a skill that gets things done. Leadership is a responsibility that is nurtured over time and it is generally a gift that people are born with. If one does not have a gift of leadership then he may not be good at it. A leader works with groups and teams and it is always possible to tell if someone is a good leader or not a good leader. Rating his success is the easiest way to determine if an individual is a good leader or not. A good leader needs to have critical management skills and should be able to motivate a group of people involved in an activity towards common goal of successful completion or execution.
Leadership skills can be developed depending on weaknesses identified (Clawson, 2008). Leadership Profile Inventory In the individuals are supposed to carry out analysis of their leadership profiles. This can be done by other people or can be a self analysis. This is an important activity for all leaders since it helps one to identify their strengths and weaknesses thus giving room for improvement. There are instruments that are used to carry out leadership analysis. In leadership there are different leadership styles which people use in the leadership activities.
These styles are developed using a leadership Profile inventory Instrument (LPI). Leadership Profile Inventory is designed to help leaders to improve their leadership styles by developing specific leadership characteristics and behaviours through guided learning activities (Northhouse, 2008). These activities give the leaders an opportunity to put in to practice the knowledge they have to case studies and apply it them their own leadership challenges. This places the leaders in the best position to acquire practice that is required to develop leadership skills.
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According to Kouzes and Posner, in the book “The Leadership Challenge", "Leadership is everyone’s business". The LPI is one of the instruments that are used to profile the behaviours of leaders. Leaders need to complete the LPI since the data is essential to help them understand and assess their leadership behaviours either by others or by themselves. This helps them to take note of areas they need to focus their development efforts in. The LPI helps to highlight the actions that should be taken by the leader to improve his or her leadership behaviours and characteristics in order to become a better leader (Kouzes & Posner, 2007).
The LPI is a leadership tool designed to approach leadership as a measurable, learnable, and teachable set of behaviours. The Leadership Profile Inventory (LPI) has two designations; LPI-Self and the LPI-360. The LPI-self helps the leader to assess him- or herself on thirty Leadership behaviours. The LPI-360 provides a wide and detailed assessment and it also has room for others to assess them and provide feedback to the leaders. It’s all round involvement is the idea in the name LPI-360 where 360 degree denotes the inclusive perception of their leadership is by other parties apart from themselves.
The other parties include managers, co-workers and direct reports from different assessors (Kouzes & Posner, 2007). Using the 360° leadership profile inventory instrument we can measure the leadership competencies. When analysed randomly the findings were static. There were general personal-best leadership experiences that revealed a similar pattern of action in the leadership behaviours. The LPI-Self analysis is carried out by the use of instruments that analyse different profiles (Geothals, MacGregor, & Sorenson, 2004).
Examples of instruments that are used in LPI-Self Analysis are; Neethling Brain Instruments (NBI) thinking profile The NBI Leadership Profile Instrument analyses objectively the choices of an individual in his train of thinking. It gives a report describing an individual's thought preferences and based on the report makes recommendations. When a leader understands his own thinking he is in a position to make contributions and decisions objectively and critically. This enhances the passion of the leader in creating a better leadership style (The Whole Brain, 2010).
The Learning Style Inventory This is another instrument that measures an individual’s learning styles and capabilities. The learning style of an individual is the tactic that he or she employs in his daily leadership activities. These are like data collection, analysis and decision making based on the interpretation of the data. One can only be productive and contented in his life and work when he realises his comfortable learning styles. Thus this instrument is aimed at helping individuals understand themselves more and also understand others.
It streamlines an individual’s understanding of the perceptions of different people. This helps the teams or groups to be bonded and work better. The common learning styles are enthusiastic, imaginative, logical, practical learning (Hagberg, 2010). Achieving Styles Inventory instrument The Achieving Styles is also a question survey that helps to identify the behaviours individuals use to achieve their goals. It consists of direct, instrumental and relational each sub setting three individual styles that help individuals and others to assess their leadership styles.
This tool is web based and its results are computer generated. It gives a narrative basing on the answers to the questionnaire and it describes each achieving style. It also gives the advantages and disadvantages of the individuals using each of the achieving styles (Geothals, MacGregor, ; Sorenson, 2004). Organizational Achieving Style Inventory Another Instrument that is used to gauge an individual’s achieving style is the Organizational Achieving Style Inventory.
It is taken in a form of a survey and it determines the benefits of an individual in using certain achieving styles based on the reward of the organization because of using the achieving styles (Geothals, MacGregor, ; Sorenson, 2004). This gives the individual an opportunity to analyse his approach to accomplishing given tasks and the achieving styles profile that is rewarded by the organization. The achieving styles are web based and responses are generated by the computer thus increasing on their accuracy.
The narrative gives details of each achieving style and also giving advantages and disadvantages of using particular achieving styles. In the case of the Organisational Achieving style Inventory which also looks at rewards by the organization in the use of achieving styles. This help the individual to know the achieving styles that are beneficial to use in a particular organization (Geothals, MacGregor, ; Sorenson, 2004). The Conflict Resolution Tool or instrument Conflict is a common feature in organisations and all the places where there is more than one individual.
There are various ways many people try to avoid conflict. Many deny its existence, others assume its existence where as there are those who take it head on and try to resolve it as fast as they can. The Conflict Resolution Tool equips an individual by putting him in a simulation of a conflict situation (Hagberg, 2010). It helps in the identification of the individual’s strengths in handling such situations and the way they respond to stress. In the simulated situation the individual’s qualities of conflict resolution are identified and also give a further benefit of a skill.
The skill helps in the regulation of emotions. The STOP skill helps in approaching conflict with carefully and with confidence (Hagberg, 2010). Personal Power Profile This is a tool that is basically used to measure individual power in various aspects. It describes stages of personal power in organisations and its profile is made of descriptive questions about an individual. The main purpose of this profile is to • Enable an individual to understand his own power or potential • It is also used as a tool of discussion between managers and employees
• In the event of recruitment of staff this tool is used to asses interviewees • It helps in preparing for leadership and power management courses The profile comprises of questions that describe an individual in character and other aspects. The scaling is from 1-5 where 1 can be the not my descriptive of me and 5 can be perfectly describes me (Hagberg, 2010). Analysis Neethling Brain Instruments The Neethling Brain Instruments based on a thinking profile is based on trying to identify an individual’s preferences and how he thinks.
This is a critical area which determines the character of an individual. The clear understanding of an individual’s train of thinking helps in making understanding what can make the individual more productive (The Whole Brain, 2010). An example is where the report say that an individual has high preferences for management and planning but he has not got enough skills to do management and planning; the recommendations will definitely be to take the individual through activities that will help in improving his skills of managing and planning. The total scores in this particular instrument are paced at 300.
Then there range of preferences stand at ; 80 to be high preference and 65-79 is average preference and the one below 64 is termed to be of low preference (The Whole Brain, 2010). The learning styles inventory It aims at measuring an individual’s learning methods and capabilities. An individual is learning style is measured by the way he or she interprets information in the event of its collection and his decision making capabilities. For example there are learning styles that are identified and they are described according to their approach to new situations.
In this event the individuals learning style is also measured on the same line (Hagberg, 2010). Remember the aim is at knowing which one the individual is most comfortable in and able to know that it is the one he is able identify satisfactorily as his best. The first learning style is the
- Enthusiastic learners where an individual is measured according to his willingness to enter in to a particular situation. The ability to take risk and is enthusiastic to new events and situations.
- Imaginative Learners they would not go into the situation without a thought of the experiences of other people in a similar situation.
- They are critical in every move the make and careful not to be the first to mess. This makes them to be imaginative and creative.
- The logical learners always fit every situation into a manual and read about it. They can undertake any situation as long as there is documentation to guide them. They believe the logical approach is simpler thus it cannot lead to failure. In a situation they will always refer to material about it.
- Practical learners always understand the principles guiding the situation. They follow general guidelines and they can always make their way through the situation.
They study the trend, possibilities and impossibilities and from the three options they choose the most authentic of all. It is entirely practical in nature. Thus this instruments have many important things that an individual is required to go through to understand his personality and ability. These tools make leadership a very interesting activity and enhance the capability of achieving more (Hagberg, 2010). Conclusion A leader who utilises these tools well is bound to be at his best in leadership. Self Assessments and other people’s views would be interpreted to define the weaknesses and strengths.
From the identified factors an individual is able to clearly and effectively improve his or her deficiencies to become an outstanding leader who can effectively fulfil the 5 practices of exemplary leadership. That is inspiring a shared vision, encouraging the heart, modelling the way, enabling others to act and challenging the process.
- Clawson, J. G. (2008). Level three leadership: Getting below the surface (4th Ed. ). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall. Geothals, G. R. , MacGregor, J. B. , ; Sorenson, G. (2004).
- Encyclopaedia of Leadership. Carlifornia: Thousanf Oaks. Hagberg, J. (2010, July 07). Self Scoring Profiles. Retrieved May 22, 2010, from Janet Hagberg Website: http://thewholebrain. com/index. php? option=com_content;view=article;id=61;Itemid=76
- Kouzes, J. Posner, B. (2007). The leadership challenge (4th Ed. ). San Francisco: Jossey Bass Northouse, P. G. (2008).
- Introduction to leadership. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publishing The Whole Brain. (2010).
- NBI Leadership Style Instrument. Retrieved May 22, 2010, from NBI Leadership Style Instrument: http://thewholebrain. com/index. php? option=com_content;view=article;id=61;Itemid=76
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