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Assignment of the Week – Leadership Essay: Self-Audit

Leadership Essay

Students pursuing business management are taught many leadership skills during the course. Leadership essays, also an integral part of this course, seeks to hone your expertise that is already present and also inculcate new skills as a leader for any project. One important type of leadership essay is self-audit, which focuses to specifically analyse your strengths and weakness with the help of your peers as well as self. This specific process requires the use of multiple tools and application of complex theories, which makes leadership essays quite complicated. Hence, students in order to avoid such complications go for outside leadership essay help from experts.We at My Assignment Services are one such trusted essay writing services, which have a phenomenal track record of providing exemplary academic essay each time our experts are provided with one.

What Is a Self-Audit Essay?

As we have seen above, that gauging of your strengths and weakness can be very complicated because of the use of tools. So, it necessary on our part to enlighten you about its applications, so that, you can use it whenever you are required to.

While writing such essay, after a brief life history emphasising your leadership skill and explaining some relevance, you need to undertake self-assessments test; Humanmetrics Jung Topology Test is one such tool that examines your behaviour. The test result is presented as a set of letters like ESTJ, ENFP etc. Each of these letters represents a behavioural trait such as E stands for Extraverted. All these traits also have a percentage associated which dominance of such behaviour.

The other test is Least Preferred Co-worker Scale, which examines your compatibility to work in a team. The assessment basically put forwards those qualities, which you least prefer in a co-worker.

Another assessment tool that is usually used in leadership/self-audit essay is Thomas–Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument, which evaluates your ability to resolve conflict situations. The following image can explain it better and help in self-audit essays that are given to you in universities.

Conflict Mode Instrument

This test illustrates your capacity to collaborate, compete, accommodate and avoid such frictional situation. The two axes that are influenced by the Mouton and Blake axes named as “assertiveness” and “cooperativeness” plot your behavioural traits as a leader.

The Myers Briggs personality test mainly revolves around your socialisation during your growing stages as an individual. The following image will help in project leadership essay by making you understand it better in a more comprehensive manner.

Myers Briggs personality test

All these tests are followed by a 360 Degree Evaluation. Here, the with the help of some interviews, your personality is further analysed. The process is placed in the appendices along with other results of the above test tools.

The 360 Degree Evaluation is a comprehensive method which can present you a complete picture because it has been done with the help of your peers, siblings, mentors etc. Their views matter very much they have known you from close quarters.

You can have look at how our essay writing experts approach assignments on leadership and self-audit essays.

Assignment Question

Assignment 1: Self-Audit (Essay)

Learning Outcome/s and Graduate Attributes

Completing this assignment will help you better understand you strengths and development challenges as a leader. ECU’s Graduate Attributes relevant to this assignment include ability to communicate, critical appraisal skills and ability to generate ideas. However our main focus is on greater awareness of your leadership skills.

Preparation

Before starting this assignment, you should raise any questions with the lecturer.

Instructions

A self-audit is an opportunity to focus on your capability for leading, to both appreciate your many strengths and to identify areas for further development of mindsets, skills and behaviors (the focus of Assignment 2).

You are asked to write a short paper based on five sources:

1) A statement of what project leadership means to you incorporating classroom learning, discussions with others, and review of leadership literature.

2) A short life history: outlining the experiences that have given you some insight into project leadership, and the cultural or family values that influence you.

3) A description of a time when you showed leadership in any aspect of life (school, sport, family, work), describing the attributes you believe you displayed.

4) An analysis of your project leadership skills based on what you have learned in the class so far.

5) A 360º evaluation, based on four short interviews on the subject of your leadership practice or skills. Interviewees could be work colleagues, superiors, subordinates, friends, family etc, preferably from more than one area of life. The interview questions can be general ones about your abilities, or could be based on, for example the quizzes in Dubrin et al. Aim to pose open-ended rather than closed questions.

Structure

1 Title page and table of contents

3 Self-audit – analysis of each of the five aspects above

4 Summary – strengths and areas for development

5 References – only to materials not given out in class.

Resources

The primary resources are readings, class disussions or discussions with others and self-assessments. Include reference to unit materials as required.

References

You should cite some additional references on the theories or skills discussed, but the focus is more on your own learning from class materials and activities. A focussed ‘literature review’ is not required, but a few extra references may improve your mark.

Submitting

Please submit via the Turnitin link on Blackboard. Please name your submitted file like this: “Fred Asst 1.docx” (starting with your first name). Your lecturer may ask you to also bring a paper copy to class.

Marking criteria

  • Comprehensive analysis of the five sources of information above.
  • Clear written presentation.
  • Use of class materials and ideas, and some reading of other materials.
  • Originality.
  • Balanced – describes both your strengths and areas to develop.
  • Relates to your life experience and present or future project leadership roles.
  • Shows evolution of your ideas following readings, discussions and other assignments in this unit.

Assignment Solution

Contents

Introduction. ———————————————————————————-2

Project Leadership and Its Meaning. ——————————————————-3

A Short Individual History. ——————————————————————3

Analysis of Project Leadership Skills. ——————————————————-5

Self-audit. ————————————————————————————–6

360 Degree Evaluation. ———————————————————————–9

Summary. —————————————————————————————9

References. ————————————————————————————-10

Appendix 1. ————————————————————————————-11

Appendix 2. ————————————————————————————-17

Introduction

Self-audit might be recognised as a primary tool for assessing an individual’s internal control environment. The tool is deployed while trying to evaluate strengths and weaknesses of one’s own personal character and outlining changes that are required for achieving long-term objectives. Further, self-audits contribute significantly to achieving an in-depth understanding and mapping leadership traits. The audit draws firmly on aspects of cultural and family values and presents a succulent account of personal life experiences. This might be attributed to an understanding that cultural and personal values often tend to shape an individual’s personality and play an essential role in assessment. In summary, a self-audit enables an assessor to indulge in effective decision making and clearly identify areas which require improvement and further development.

While expanding on the concept of a self-audit and trying to practically implement the same, this essay presents a reflective account of my opinion on the aspect of project leadership. In the process of expanding on my personal views, I have drawn effectively from academic literature and materials presented in classroom discussions. Further, a detailed description of my individual eco-system has been provided. Finally, my abilities have been evaluated in light of interviews that I conducted with four of the most important stakeholders who are a part of my personal ecosystem.

Project Leadership and Its Meaning

Leadership is that skill which can help a set up achieve its optimum. Leadership is giving direction and motivation to a group objective to make it a reality. Leadership is understanding, what are the individual capabilities of each person in a group and directing them in a way that together they achieve the target. Leadership is not ordering what to be done, but leading by example. Leadership is organizing team work and putting individual efforts (Fairhurst, 2014).

The relationship between leadership and self audit is that, an analysis of one’s skills and capacities would help one understand what they are proficient with and hence direct the skills to achieve the desired results.  A leader who is more feeling that thinking would be more cautious of the emotions of the group and pay individual attention to the self actualization needs of the group than focus on concrete work. It would make it likeable and he/she would be able to get more work done by attaining the cooperation of the group members in the longer run but in the shorter run due to lack of assertiveness the work done wouldn’t be a lot.

A person’s personality is hugely influenced by the way they grow up, their history the kind of struggles that they have faced in life. There are a couple of personality tests such as Johari Window and Myres Brigg’s personality test which would be able to determine the personality of a person and hence give one a more comprehensive report about the personality of a person (Nahavandi,2016).

A Short Individual History

I am an only child brought by two nurturing parents. My parents are educated and liberal citizens of the society. One of the great influences I have had in my life is that of my grandparents. Both sets of my grandparents have been professors and academicians. They are learned individuals who have imparted liberal views on their kids and on me as well. I have been greatly influenced by literature, art and music as a kid. The house that I lived in was an old mansion, always full of music and literature. As a child and a young adult I was always encouraged to read about a number of things and listen. I used to sit near my grandparents and listen to them talk which was a very enlightening experience. I have also got a huge extended family that used to come over for festivals and other events. I have been the eldest among my cousins and was always held responsible for all the mischief that they committed. To entertain my younger cousins, I used to think of a number of games and entertainment. I have always been the joker among my friends and family. A large family meant that the number of conflicts in the family would also be numerous; I have been a problem solver too. Being an only child brings a lot of responsibilities as it brings privileges. It makes one responsible for the well being of the parents and also somewhat at the receiving end of their hopes and aspirations. It makes one responsible in the terms that you feel like you have to take care of your parents solely when you grow up. Being an only child also makes you develop an extensive friend circle as you try to fill the gap of a sibling outside.  I have always been academically bright too, scoring well and finishing assignments on time. I have always liked reading and found my solace in reading. My friend circle has also been extensive with different kind of people in it. I have always enjoyed meeting and interacting with different kind of people but at the same time I felt that I am a naïve person who gets easily influenced by other people. My involvement in extra curricula’s has also been a lot though my sports related skills haven’t been very good. One of the primary interests I have had is of human behavior. I have always been intrigued by people and their actions. I have always sought explanations about why people act the way that they do. All of these things have been influencing while growing up. I wouldn’t say that I belong to a very happy family as my family has also seen struggles and issues like everyone else’s and that has influenced the way I look at the world. I am a problem solver and a go getter. There have been situations and times when I have put my goals in front of people.

When I was in school, I was working towards creating a society which could focus on social welfare on a lot of fronts – education, health and adult care giving. My plan was to create a volunteer group segregated on the basis of their interests which would help make the society a better place. By the end of the exercise I had created a volunteer group which was 200 people strong, this volunteer group segregated into 3 departments – education which focused on providing elementary education to the under privileged. Health which spread awareness about a number of health programs and spoke about how healthcare can be improved and the third one was adult care where students visited old age homes to spend time with the elderly. The society was started and run by me and 3 other students for the last year of high school. The 200 students were selected and divided into groups according to their skill sets and interests and the logistics were worked out about how to go about the entire program. This program actually taught me the essentials of being a leader. It taught me that running a program this strong isn’t as rosy as it seems but involves a number of difficulties also. The experience was enlightening and it made me aware of my personal strengths and shortcomings along with fulfilling a long standing life goal for me.

Analysis of Project Leadership Skills

As per my analysis of the class materials and scholarly resources, I have found that a project leader need to have different types of skill sets for effectively carrying out the duties and responsibilities.  There are basically 4 primary project leadership theories that I have found interesting and relatable.  The first theory is the trait theory; this theory poses the question that who is the type of a person who would make a good leader. There are certain traits which are common among good leaders. Certain personality traits are those which help one in directing and leading others.  Traits are things which are somewhat intrinsic and somewhat developed by outside forces. Examples of leadership traits can be empathy, assertiveness etc. (Du, 2013). I believe that the project leaders need to develop these traits as they are highly beneficial for building a cohesive team for the achievement of the cumulative goals.

Behavioral theories also provide certain range of project leadership skills to be adopted by the project leaders. Some styles of leadership are authoritarian, where the leader gives no autonomy to the followers and directs them what to do exactly. The second kind would be directional where certain autonomy is also given to the followers and they can practice little autonomy. The third kind is laissez faire, where complete autonomy is given to the employees and they can take decisions as and how they feel that they should. In the modern day work environment, certain behavioral attributes such as authoritarian style of direction are not found to be productive.

The third theory is the contingency theory- it is that theory that talks about how each situation changes or molds the way a leader acts.  Contingency theories try to answer questions like whether a leader should focus more on tasks or the people in the team (Daft, 2014). While many project leaders focus on building relationships, some leaders are highly task-oriented. I experienced this phenomenon while leading the team of volunteers for helping the underprivileged children in their elementary education. While relationship building was important, getting the task done within the pre-defined time and cost constraints was also highly crucial.

The fourth theory is the power and influence theory which talks primarily about the French and Raven’s five forms of power – where 3 types of power are of the positional capacity that is legitimate, reward based and coercive and the other two are positional powers that are – expert and referent.  The other kind of leadership is the transactional one which talks about how tasks performed are result oriented and no other way. This one provides a great work environment in terms of high rewards but lacks building of relationships.  A number of leaders lead by example, they do certain tasks and they consequently motivate the entire team to perform the given tasks (Werchan, 2016).

Basically, there are 4 types of leadership theories. Each theory works for different kind of organizations and it also works for different kind of people. I sincerely believe that the practical dimensions of leadership are developed from the real life experience. My problem solving skills and go-getter attitude are the outcome of my life time struggle. Thus, it is evident that the project leadership skill sets are developed through the incidents and happenings of the leader throughout his lifetime.

Self-audit

i) Humanmetrics Jung Topology Test

Extraverted (49%)

Intuitive (30%)

Feeling (60%)

Perceiving (30%)

As per the results of the Humanmetrics Jung Topology Test, ENFP personalities are considered as people-centered and action oriented personalities. The extraverted (E) style indicates an expressive and outgoing style of working in team environments. The 30% slant for the intuitive (I) factor demonstrates an imaginative, conceptual and future oriented approach towards work. The Feeling (F) characteristic is indicative of empathetic, accepting and warm behavior. Moreover, it implies that the person values the importance of harmony in team environment. The perceiving (P) characteristic signifies spontaneous, flexible and open minded behavior of the person evaluated.

Thus, it can be concluded that the portrait of an ENFP personality type describes optimism and busy nature of the individual as areas of strength. Moreover, the distinguished ability to make inferences and judgments on the basis of gut feeling or intuitive feeling can also be considered as a point of strength. One of the important limitations of this personality type is that the individual neglects own needs and forget about the details while concentrating on the bigger picture. Another weakness is the difficulty in accepting criticism while seeking the opinion of others.

ii)  Least Preferred Co-worker Scale

Result: LPC Score of 65

This scale also known as the LPC scale which helps in identification of the style of leadership and determines its inclination towards task-oriented or relation-based characteristics. As described in the Appendix section, a total of 18 pairs of bipolar adjectives are judged according to the guidelines and the resultant score is found to be 65. The score indicates that the style of leadership is a mixture of both relationship-based and task-oriented styles as it falls in the range of 65 to 72. I personally believe that the inclination is higher towards task-focused style as it pays greater emphasis on fulfillment of the performance standards and desired goals.

iii) The Johari Window

This technique was developed in 1955 by two psychologists of the US namely Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham. It is considered as a helpful tool for the illustration of self-awareness, personal development and interpersonal relationships. As shown in the Appendix section, the quadrant number 2 is known as the “Blind Area” which represents the characteristics not known by a particular individual but known by others. On the other hand the 3rd quadrant is regarded as the “Hidden Area” which inculcates the attributes known by the individual about himself/herself which are largely unknown by the others. The blind area demonstrates the knowledgeable, responsible and helpful nature of my personality. Moreover, it describes about the kind, quiet and religious behavior of my personality which perfectly aligns with my self-assessment. On the other hand, though the hidden area demonstrates my independent, patient and calm nature; I sincerely believe that there characteristics are also somewhat recognized by the people under my sphere of influence. Similarly, my trustworthy and friendly characteristics are also incorporated in this quadrant. Thus, this test contributes towards enhancement of self-awareness and provides clear insight about the influence of my personality traits in a group environment.

iv) Five-Factor Personality Test

Openness 73 percentile
Conscientiousness 79 percentile
Extraversion 37 percentile
Agreeableness 46 percentile
Natural Reactions 24 percentile

The attribute of ‘openness’ in the big five personality test signifies an individual’s willingness to acquire new knowledge and apply the same. A high score in this dimension is indicative of an open minded and experimental nature. Proceeding towards an interpretation of the attribute of conscientiousness, a high score denotes a well organised and well disciplined work-ethic. A middle ranged score (tilting towards low) in the domain of extraversion denotes that the individual is reserved and prefers harmony in life. A middle ranged score (also tilting towards low) in the domain of agreeableness denotes that the person undertaking the personality test is hard-headed, competitive and proud. However, the quality of compassion cannot be ignored. Finally, a low score in the domain of natural reactions indicates that the person has the capability of being relaxed in every situation and can efficiently handle pressure.

360 Degree Evaluation

This section presents a 360 degree evaluation of my personality attributes and leadership skills based on four interviews that I conducted with four most important members of my personal ecosystem. Outcomes of these short interviews have been presented in Appendix 2.

Based on evaluation of the four short interviews, I could infer that the outcomes of these interviews were consisted with the personality tests that I undertook. On the positive side, I was task-oriented and was committed to my work and delivering quality in the same. I could empathize with others and understand the situation from their perspective. I was also a good communicator and presented my viewpoints with sufficient clarity. These characteristics represent a mix of task and relationship oriented leaders. Such leaders are often able to deal with effectiveness and set examples. They however face issues while accepting change and flexible situations.

I was also able to identify a few areas of improvement on the basis of my evaluations. These have been outlined below:

  1. To stress on the aspect of relationship building and value by subordinates for their commitment
  2. To improve my attention to detail and avoid overlooking these while I strive to achieve the big picture
  3. To try and become more flexible in my approach

Summary

According to the self audit that I conducted, where I observed the kind of leadership styles that are there, after which I saw myself through my history and then had the 16 personality and Johari Window test to see what kind of personality I have, there are certain conclusions that I have reached. One of the first conclusions is that I am intelligent and creative which is my strength, it helps me by making me take smart and profitable decisions. Another one of my strength is that I am an extrovert; I get along with people pretty well which works in my favor as it is easy for me to get work done which is an important quality in a leader.  One of my weaknesses is that I feel more than I think; a number of my decisions are based on emotions than practical choices. I am reflective and intuitive which can act both as a blessing and a curse, I care a lot about what other people think and that makes it hard for me to be assertive which can be a negative thing. I am a team player, I like involving everyone in the decisions that I have to take which makes me more likable.

Over all I think I need to work upon being more assertive and think more before taking decisions.

References

Berland, A., & Berland, A. (2017). Using the Johari Window to explore patient and provider perspectives. International Journal of Health Governance22(1), 47-51.

Daft, R. L. (2014). The leadership experience. Cengage Learning.

DuBrin, A. J. (2015). Leadership: Research findings, practice, and skills. Nelson Education.

Du, S., Swaen, V., Lindgreen, A., & Sen, S. (2013). The roles of leadership styles in corporate social responsibility. Journal of business ethics114(1), 155-169.

Fairhurst, G. T., & Connaughton, S. L. (2014). Leadership: A communicative perspective. Leadership10(1), 7-35.

Jankowski, J. (2016). The Enthusiast: Your Guide to the ENFP Personality Type. LOGOS MEDIA.

Kroeger, O., & Thuesen, J. M. (2013). Type talk: The 16 personality types that determine how we live, love, and work. Dell.

Nahavandi, A. (2016). The Art and Science of Leadership -Global Edition. Pearson.

Prather, Z., & Bates, J. (2015). Personality Types and Physical Touch. Undergraduate Research Journal for the Human Sciences14(1).

Werchan, J., Fahey, C., Anglin, K., & Keebler, J. (2016). Relationship between Leadership Effectiveness, Personality, and Video Game Experience in a Military Simulation.

Appendix 1

i) Humanmetrics Jung Topology Test

ii) Least Preferred Co-worker Scale Test

iii) Johari Window Test

iv) Five Factor Personality Test

Appendix 2

Summary of Interview Outcomes

S. No. Interviewee Outcome
1 Sibling- two years younger and from the same school He advocated for my mentoring skills and suggested that I was his inspiration.
2 My mentor Points out that my communication skills are fairly strong. He also suggested that I am an optimist and have the capability of seeing positive in any situation. However, he emphasised that I often overlook minute details while trying to concentrate on the big picture in my life.
3 My subordinate Stresses on the aspect of relationship building and emphasises that I focus less on relationships. He however also indicated that I was thoroughly committed to my work responsibilities and ensured quality in my work.
4 Batch mate from other class He suggested that I had the capability of empathising with others and giving due consideration to their perspective. On the other hand, he also felt that I was hard-headed and was uncomfortable with too-much flexibility.

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