A Self Analysis of a Developing Leader

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I was born in 1955 and am British of Anglo-Irish parents. I was educated at private, public and state schools. I left school with the intention of learning to become a Farm Manager and spent two years on an induction program to Hadlow College of Farming in Kent. I did not complete my course because my family moved to Cornwall to open a business and asked me to join them.

My parents and I successfully ran a large shop in Newlyn, near Penzance that specialised in selling pottery and crafts from every potter in Cornwall. I gained a great deal of experience in the general running of a small to medium retail enterprise which I still find of use to this day. Unfortunately, due to family problems, the business closed down and I found myself looking for new work.

I was offered a temporary job by a friend of mine who ran a building contracting company. This 'temporary' work lasted five years, in which time I enrolled in a City & Guilds course and qualified as an electrician.

I then worked for a local electrical contractor and progressed to the position of foreman. The situation in Cornwall was becoming increasingly more difficult as work was becoming harder to find. I decided to move to Reading to look for work as there were good opportunities for employment in the area and I already had a brother and a group of friends living there.

I found a job as a Control & Automation engineer for a company specialising in the water utilities industry.

This was a demanding job and required a great deal of learning new technical skills, especially in computerised systems. In the last sixteen years the company has grown to over sixty employees and I have progressed to Information Systems Manager. I gained an HNC in Computing and recently a BSc (Hons) degree, 1st class, in Computing and Information Systems at Thames Valley University. Since then I have enrolled in the TVU MBA programme.

Reflections on Experience

My first work experience after school was working on a seven hundred acre farm in Kent as part of my required experience for enrolling on a farm management course at Hadlow College. This in effect meant working two years on a busy modern farm learning as many aspects of farming as possible. It was incredibly hard work with long hours often outside in all kinds of weather. Although I never followed up with the course itself I took with me many attribute that would hold me in good stead in the future, even if I did not realise this at the time.

These attributes included a work ethic of getting the job done no matter what and sense of responsibility and duty. Looking after expensive machinery and crops was in itself a daunting responsibility for a seventeen year old but most of all rearing calves and lambs from birth and being involved, quite literally, in their whole life cycle gives a particular perspective on life in general. I believe that being given such responsibilities at an early stage in my working life did instil in me a 'can do' attitude and a willingness to accept challenges and push myself to achieve a particular goal.

My experience working in my parent's business allowed me a little more creativity which I found enjoyable. While it was not particularly hard work physically, certainly nothing like I had been used to, it was nonetheless varied and interesting. I enjoyed meeting all our suppliers (an interesting group of people, to say the least) and also enjoyed the interaction with our customers. While I did take on certain responsibilities I would not say there was any real element of leadership as much of what I did was routine or general management work with my parents taking the main leadership roles. I did learn the importance of good book-keeping and financial control and that running a business that was totally dependent on summer trade was not without risks and moments of stress.

Working as an electrician was again interesting and allowed me to learn new skills, something I was finding an aptitude for. This time I was able to gain a position of responsibility over a team of other electricians and was involved in many aspects of management and to some extent leadership. I use leadership in this context (to distinguish from management) as in having influence in motivating and causing people to achieving particular tasks or an end result.

"There is a profound difference between management and leadership, and both are important. To manage means to bring about, to accomplish, to have charge of or responsibility for, to conduct. Leading is influencing, guiding in a direction, course, action, opinion. The distinction is crucial" (Bennis and Goldsmith, 2003).

My most recent work has been as an Information Systems Manager. While this involves much that is of a technical nature there is also an element of research and development. I have been tasked with identifying new technology and software that can have possible benefits to the company, this has resulted in several new implementations of working practices and procedures for such new technology. When introducing a new system there are several obstacles that need to be overcome. First there is the actual persuasion of board members that the investment in the new technology is justified, that it will work and will actually save money within a realistic time period. Then there is the need to persuade the people who will implement the systems that it can be done and finally convincing the end users that it is of benefit, it will work and that they will be able to operate it. While much of this requires good management skills I believe there is a certain amount of leadership quality required. This goes beyond the manager's role as it nearly always comes down to the application of influence, direction, action, opinion and to a great extent - trust.

Self-Analysis

Initial Self-Diagnostic of Leadership Skills

If I were to asses my leadership skills before applying any management diagnostic tools I would say that I consider myself to be a person who leads by interaction with people, giving instructions and encouraging the best out of people. I believe in creating a relationship of respect, trust and cooperation, of co-opting not coercing. However I have learnt that on some occasions it is necessary to enable change with a more aggressive stance, particularly when time and money constrains are severe. It is important to be able to access a situation, and the people involved and select which approach is best suited. A common mistake is to use only one approach or a limited set of them regardless of the situation (Kotter and Schlesinger, 2008)

While I am mostly optimistic in nature I do have a certain cynicism of the more flamboyant styles used by some managers, particularly over the top excitement of a project. I like to keep things in perspective and an eye on actual goals, with regard to both their operational effectiveness and the actual business case.

I am quite happy to take a leading role but also equally prepared to take a supporting role. I have always worked closely with whoever I have worked with and adopted a style of close cooperation and mutual respect. I have such a relationship with my current employer and this has allowed me to instigate new initiatives with his support. Many of my ideas have been championed by my employer (the MD of the company) even despite initial doubts in some cases from other directors of the company. While I am not averse to using this relationship to my advantage I am always conscious that it should be used with respect and appreciation.

I am strongly of the belief that both in work and leisure a person should apply a consistency of good ethical behaviour. I consider loyalty, honesty and trust to be cornerstones of any relationship and that it is essential to apply these qualities to management and leadership.

In the past I have been involved in various activities that have highlighted my personal strengths and weaknesses. This have included the role of committee member and treasurer of a local car enthusiasts club for nine years which although a non-profit organisation consistently raise more than £10,000 a year for various charities. I am a qualified scuba diver, hold a Level 2 RYA Power Boat certificate, and I have run the London Marathon for charity, all of which involved considerable training, perseverance and commitment.

I completed my BSc (Hons) degree aged 54 and continued with studying for an MBA. I believe these indicate a solid determination to apply myself to a task and complete such tasks to the best of my abilities. This also requires a strong self-belief in my own abilities and that learning is a continuous process throughout one's life.

Evaluation Using Diagnostic Tools

In 1994 I had a review, taken by Oxford Products, to look into and help advice on my career progression. Part of this involved completed a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assessment, a psychometric questionnaire based on the theories of Carl Jung by Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers (Myers & Briggs Foundation, 2010). The results of this report can be seen in Appendix 3. A summary of this report concluded:

"This profile is typical of many supervisors or new business developer where the key skills to success are effective public relations and interpersonal skills."

Under Assets it noted:

"Extremely sociable, persuasive, he is extroverted and confident in his dealings with people and is a good motivator and delegator. Very energetic and hard driving, he is quick to respond and works best under pressure and deadlines. He is independent and decisive, often showing a determination to get his way. Reasonably ambitious, he wants to win and can face some obstacles to do so."

Under Limitations it noted:

"He needs continual interaction with others and may get overly involved in their problems. He can be hasty, too impatient and dislikes anything repetitive. He can put too much pressure on everyone. He can be strong minded, disliking detail work and being closely supervised. He will be disappointed if he does not get recognition."

I have to say that despite sixteen years of experience since then and a perceived maturity, both intellectually and emotionally, I still feel that this is an accurate reflection of my personality.

To make further analysis I have carried out several self diagnostic tests (see Appendix 2).

These include:

Management Skills Assessment Instrument (MSAI)

Based on Professor Robert Quinn (University of Michigan), to help you assess your current managerial practise against the Competing Values Framework (CVF), (Cameron & Quinn,(1999).

This indicates that I may be overly emphasising my efforts in managing teams and interpersonal relationships. This relates to the Facilitator and Mentor aspects of the Human Relations (Clan) and Internal Processes (Hierarchy) models. This is quite likely as I regard these as my key areas of strength and interest..

I may be slightly under achieving in the areas of managing Continuous Improvement and Competitiveness, the Open Systems (Ad Hocracy) and the Rational Goal (Market) models.

Personal Learning Styles Questionnaire

This is a personality questionnaire that measures your own individual learning styles. The report provides suggestions on how you can best use your mind and adapt your behaviour to learn more effectively.

A practical use of the LSQ is in developing training sessions geared to the learning style of the trainee to maximize their learning (Walmsley. P, 1991).

Resultant Graph from Questionnaire:

The emphasis here is on a preference for the Reflector style with leanings towards the Theorist style.

This tells me that I am able stand back from events and listen /observe, as to observe groups at work. It also suggests I like to do research and produce carefully considered analyses and reports.

I do not like actions that require planning without action and resist making shortcuts or do superficial jobs in the name of expediency.

It would suggest that the theory style is related to my preference for research.

As an overview I would not consider these styles to be an inaccurate appraisal of my learning styles.

Least Preferred Co-Worker (LPC) Measure

I scored a total of 82 which puts me in the high LPC range. This indicates someone who is motivated to a more relationship role, which I would accept as accurate.

BELBIN Self-Perception Inventory

The results show in preference:

1 SH - Shaper

2 TW - Team Worker

3 CO - Co-ordinator

4 CW - Company Worker or Implementer

5 RI - Resource Investigator

6 CF - Completer Finisher

7 ME - Monitor Evaluator

8 PL - Plant

I do not necessarily agree with the selection of Shaper as my strongest role, I would personally have put Team Worker first followed by Co-ordinator.

Conclusion

The various tests and information I have been able to collect, compared with my own perceived self-analysis would seem to provide a consistency in their results.

I would consider myself a Transformational Leader in the sense that I am most definitely people focused. I believe I have the emotional intelligence to apply ethical standards to working practices and am able to provide intellectual stimulation, individual consideration and a certain amount of inspirational motivation (Burns, 1978). I do consider whether there is a certain amount of the Learned Leader within me and that I have cumulated my experiences to date to not just develop but also to now put into practice my leadership skills.

Summary

If I was to summarise my main strengths, such as in the introduction of a CV, for instance I would summarise as follows:

A good team player but also comfortable working on own initiative taking a leading role as required.

An excellent communicator with high degree of literacy. English as my first language.

Good presentation skills and confident in expressing myself before large or small groups. Able to work with client\customer representatives at any level.

Experienced at planning, organising and applying management skills to self and team members.

Used to working to tight deadlines under pressure.

Strategic Management skills and good knowledge of Information Systems.

APPENDIX 1

References

Academic Focus: University of Michigan. http://www.innovationinpractice.com/innovation_in_practice/page/2/. Accessed March 2009.

Bennis. W, Goldsmith. J, 2003. Learning to Lead: A Workbook on Becoming a Leader, 3rd Edition, pg. 9. Perseus Books / Addison Wesley.

Cameron, K. & Quinn, R. (1999) Diagnosing and Changing Organisational Culture, Addison-Wesley

Kotter. P, Schlesinger. L, 2008. Choosing Strategies for Change. Harvard Business Review, Prod. #: R0807M-PDF-ENG

Myers & Briggs Foundation, 2010. http://www.myersbriggs.org/. Accessed March 2009.

Tianyuan, Y. and Nengquan W, 2009. A Review of Study on the Competing Values Framework. International Journal of Business Management. Vol. 4 No. 7. July 2009.

Walmsley. P, 1991. Using the Learning Style Questionnaire. Industrial and Commercial Training Journal, Vol. 23, Issue 1.

APPENDIX 2

Diagnostic Tests

1.0 Management Skills Assessment Instrument (MSAI)

WORKSHEET FOR SCORING ON MSAI

ADHOCRACY ITEMS

MARKET ITEMS

Managing Innovation

Managing Competitiveness

18.0

SUM

16.0

SUM

21.0

SUM

3.6

AVERAGE

3.2

AVERAGE

4.2

AVERAGE

Managing the Future

Energising Employees

19.0

SUM

18.0

SUM

24.0

SUM

3.8

AVERAGE

3.6

AVERAGE

4.8

AVERAGE

Managing Continuous Improvement

Managing Customer Services

17.0

SUM

22.0

SUM

23.0

SUM

3.4

AVERAGE

4.4

AVERAGE

4.6

AVERAGE

HIERARCHY ITEMS

CLAN ITEMS

Managing Coordination

Managing the Development of Others

22.0

SUM

21.0

SUM

4.4

AVERAGE

4.2

AVERAGE

Managing the Control System

Managing Interpersonal Relationships

23.0

SUM

24.0

SUM

4.6

AVERAGE

4.8

AVERAGE

Managing Acculturation

Managing Teams

19.0

SUM

23.0

SUM

3.8

AVERAGE

4.6

AVERAGE

Summary of Scoring

Sean's actual managerial behaviours for each skill area (questions 1-60)

Sean's expected effectiveness for each skill area (questions 61-73)

Importance of each skill to Sean's job function (questions 76-87)

FLEXIBILITY

4.1

4.0

4.0

Managing Innovation

3.6

4.0

3.0

Managing the Future

3.8

4.0

4.0

Managing Continuous Improvement

3.4

4.0

4.0

EXTERNAL

3.3

4.0

4.0

Managing Competitiveness

3.2

4.0

4.0

Energising Employees

3.6

4.0

4.0

Managing Customer Service

4.4

4.0

4.0

CONTROL

4.1

4.0

4.0

Managing Acculturation

3.8

4.0

4.0

Managing the Control System

4.6

4.0

4.0

Managing Coordination

4.4

4.0

4.0

INTERNAL

4.3

4.0

4.0

Managing Development of Others

4.2

4.0

4.0

Managing Interpersonal Relationships

4.8

4.0

5.0

Managing Teams

4.6

4.0

5.0

"The Competing Values Framework (CVF) is one of the most influential and extensively used models in the area of organizational culture research" (Tianyuan, Y. and Nengquan. W, 2009).

Professor Jeff DeGraffHYPERLINK "http://www.linkedin.com/pub/jeff-degraff/4/926/552"'HYPERLINK "http://www.linkedin.com/pub/jeff-degraff/4/926/552"s Competing Values Framework (CVF) is the best-in-class approach.  CVF describes four organizational cultural styles of managing innovation: Collaborate, Create, Control, and Compete.  Management teams tend to gravitate towards one dominant style, the one that has served them well in the past.  To be more effective, leaders need to be "ambidextrous."  Leaders should become adroit at two conflicting values.  "They must develop the ability to oversee teams that work towards opposite goals, integrating them when the timing is right, so that each value can be developed successfully." (Academic Focus: University of Michigan.)

Personal Learning Styles Questionnaire

These activities on learning styles were all adapted from:

Honey P and Mumford A, (1992) A Manual of Leaning Styles, 3rd edn. Peter Honey

Completing the questionnaire

This questionnaire is designed to find out your preferred learning style(s). Over the years you have probably developed learning "habits" that help you to benefit more from some experiences than from others. Since you are probably unaware of this, this questionnaire will help you to pinpoint your learning preferences so that you are in a better position to select learning experiences that suit your style.

There is no time limit to this questionnaire. It will probably take you 10-15 minutes. The accuracy of the results depend on how honest you can be. There are no right or wrong answers. If you agree more than you disagree with a statement, put a tick by it. If you disagree more than you agree, put a cross by it.

Be sure to mark each statement with a tick or cross.

1 I have strong beliefs about what is right and wrong, good and bad

2 I often act without considering the possible consequences

3 I tend to solve problems using a step-by-step approach

4 I believe that formal procedures and policies restrict people

5 I have a reputation for saying what I think, simply and directly

6 I often find that actions based on feelings are as sound as those based

on careful thought and analysis

7 I like to do the sort of work where I have time for thorough preparation

and implementation

8 I regularly question people about their basic assumptions

9 What matters most is whether something works in practice

10 I actively seek out new experiences

11 When I hear about a new idea or approach I immediately start working

out how to apply it in practice

12 I am-keen on self-discipline such as watching my diet, taking regular

exercise, sticking to a fixed routine etc.

13 I take pride in doing a thorough job

14 I get on best with logical, analytical people and less well with

spontaneous, 'irrational' people

15 I take care over the interpretation of data available to me and avoid

jumping to conclusions

16 I like to reach a decision carefully after weighing up many alternatives

17 I'm attracted more to novel, unusual ideas than to practical ones

18 I don't like disorganised things and prefer to fit things into a coherent

pattern

I accept and stick to laid down procedures and policies so long as I

regard them as an efficient way of getting the job done

I like to relate my actions to a general principle

In discussions I like to get straight to the point

I tend to have distant, rather formal relationships with people at work

I thrive on the challenge of tackling something new and different

I enjoy fun-loving, spontaneous people

I pay meticulous attention to detail before coming to a conclusion

I find it difficult to produce ideas on impulse

I believe in coming to the point immediately

I am careful not to jump to conclusions too quickly

I prefer to have as many sources of information as possible - the more

data to think over the better

Flippant people who don't take things seriously enough usually irritate me

I listen to other peoples points of view before putting my own forward

I tend to be open about how I'm feeling

In discussions I enjoy watching the manoeuvrings of the other

participants

I prefer to respond to events on a spontaneous, flexible basis rather than

plan things out in advance

I tend to be attracted to such techniques as network analysis, flow charts,

branching programs, contingency planning etc.

It worries me if I have to rush out a piece of work to meet a tight deadline

I tend to judge peoples' ideas on their practical merits

Quiet, thoughtful people tend to make me feel uneasy

I often get irritated by people who want to rush things

It is more important to enjoy the present moment than to think about the

past or future y

I think that decisions based on a thorough analysis of all the information

are sounder than those based on intuition

I tend to be a perfectionist

In discussions I usually produce lots of spontaneous ideas

In meetings I put forward practical, realistic ideas

More often than not, rules are there to be broken

I prefer to stand back from a situation and consider all the perspectives

I can often see inconsistencies and weaknesses in other peoples'

arguments

On balance I talk more than I listen

I can often see better, more practical ways to get things done

I think written reports should be short and to the point

I believe that rational, logical thinking should win the day

I tend to discuss specific things with people rather than engaging in

social discussion

I like people who approach things realistically rather than theoretically

In discussions I get impatient with irrelevancies and digressions

If I have a report to write I tend to produce lots of drafts before settling on

the final version

I am keen to try things out to see if they work in practice

I am keen to reach answers via a logical approach

I enjoy being the one who talks a lot

In discussions I find that I am often the realist, keeping people to the

point and avoiding wild speculations

I like to ponder many alternatives before making up my mind

In discussions with people I often find I am the most dispassionate and

objective

In discussions I'm more likely to adopt a 'low profile' than to take the lead

and do most of the talking

I like to be able to relate current actions to a longer term bigger picture

When things go wrong I am happy to shrug it off and 'put it down to experience

I tend to reject wild, spontaneous ideas as being impractical

It is best to think carefully before taking action

On balance I do the listening rather than the talking

I tend to be tough on people who find it difficult to adopt a logical approach

Most times I believe the end justifies the means

I don't mind hurting peopled feelings as long as the job gets done

I find the formality of having specific objectives and plans stifling

I am usually one of the people who puts life into a party

I do whatever is expedient to get the job done

I quickly get bored with methodical, detailed work

I am keen on exploring the basic assumptions, principles and theories underpinning things and events

I'm always interested to find out what other people think

I like meetings to be run on methodical lines, sticking to a laid down agenda etc.

I steer clear of subjective or ambiguous topics

I enjoy the drama and excitement of a crisis situation

People often find me insensitive to their feeling

Scoring the Learning Styles Questionnaire

You score one point for every item ticked. There are no points for items you crossed

Simply circle on the chart below the relevant statement numbers that you ticked and finally add up the number of circles in each column.

e.g. If you agree more than you disagree with item 55 and put a tick by it

'If I have a report to write I tend to produce lots of drafts before settling on the final version'

Then circle 55 in the Reflector column.

TOTALS

2

7

1

5

4

13

3

9

6

15

8

11

10

16

12

19

17

25

14

21

23

28

18

27

24

29

20

35

32

3f

22

37

34

33

26

44

38

36

30

49

40

39

42

50

43

41

47

53

45

46

51

54

48

52

57

56

58

55

61

59

64

60

63

65

71

62

68

69

72

66

75

70

74

67

77

73

79

76

78

80

6

14

10

8

STYLE

Activist

Reflector

Theorist

Pragmatist

Plotting your scores. Now plot your scores on the arms of the cross and join up the points to create a 'profile':

The higher your score for a style the greater your preference for it.

You will now be able to see which are your most preferred learning styles. Perhaps you have scored most strongly as a reflector and as a theorist. Or you may have a distinct preference for an activist style?

Your preferences can change over time and you can develop those styles that are weaker.

Activists

Activists involve themselves fully and without bias in new experiences. They enjoy the here and now and are happy to be dominated by immediate experiences. They are open-minded, not skeptical, and this tends to make them enthusiastic about anything new. Their philosophy is: "I'll try anything once". They tend to act first and consider the consequences afterwards. Their days are filled with activity. They tackle problems by brainstorming. As soon as the excitement from one activity has died down they are busy looking for the next. They tend to thrive on the challenge of new experiences but are bored with implementation and longer-term consolidation. They are gregarious people constantly involving themselves with others but, in doing so, they seek to centre all activities around themselves.

Reflectors

Reflectors like to stand back to ponder experiences and observe them from many different perspectives. They collect data, both first hand and from others, and prefer to think about it thoroughly before coming to any conclusion. The thorough collection and analysis of data about experiences is what counts so they tend to postpone reaching definitive conclusions for as long as possible. Their philosophy is to be cautious. They are thoughtful people who like to consider all possible angles and implications before making a move. They prefer to take a back seat in meetings and discussions. They enjoy observing other people in action. They listen to others and get the drift of the discussion before making their own points. They tend to adopt a low profile and have a slightly distant, tolerant, unruffled air about them. When they act it is part of a wide picture which includes the past as well as the present and others' observations as well as their own.

Your personal profile

Your responses to the questionnaire have provided you with a personal profile that suggests:

How you prefer to learn

How you like to deal with new information

How you like to set about finding information How you like to present

information to others

Matching style to activity

Just as individuals have a preference for one learning style, so some learning activities are strongly geared to one style of learning. Where your preferences match the way in which information is presented, you are likely to find it easy to learn. On the other hand, if there is a mismatch, you will find it more difficult. Now that you are aware of differences in learning styles you will notice that this course has a range of teaching methods which will encourage learning across all the styles.

Case studies help theorists try a more pragmatic approach

Reflectors will be encouraged to get out there and do it

Report writing encourages the activist to reflect on what has been said and

done

Pragmatists will be encouraged to recognize and value the knowledge and

experience contained in theory

As part of your own self-assessment being aware of your own preference can be a valuable tool and can help you adopt the learning strategies that best suit you.

How to choose learning activities to suit your style

Just as some individuals have a preference for one learning style, so some learning activities are strongly geared to one style of learning. Where the individual's preference and the activity to which s/he is exposed involve the style, s/he is likely to learn. If there is a mismatch s/he is much less likely to learn. The warning for the individual is that courses and other development activities generally do not take account of this except in a rather unstructured way which does not really cater for the individual. The most that is done is to provide a variety of teaching methods on a programme in the hope that everyone will find something suitable.

In this section we show how you can make a better choice for yourself of activities which are likely to dovetail with your style. It shows also activities it may pay you to avoid unless you are given special help in coping with them.

Here are four checklists to help guide you towards activities that suit your style.

If you have a preference for the ACTIVIST style you will learn best from activities where:

There are new experiences/problems/opportunities from which to learn.

You can engross yourself in short 'here and now' activities such as business

games, competitive team work tasks, role playing exercises.

There is excitement/drama/crisis and things chop and change with a range of

diverse activities to tackle.

You have a lot of limelight/high visibility i.e. you can chair meetings, lead

discussions, give presentations.

You are allowed to generate ideas without constraints of policy or structure or

feasibility.

You are thrown in at the deep end with a task you think is difficult i.e. when set

a challenge with inadequate resources and adverse conditions.

You are involved with other people i.e. bouncing ideas off them, solving

problems as part of a team.

It is appropriate to 'have a go'.

As an ACTIVIST you will learn least from, and may react against, activities where:

Learning involves a passive role i.e. listening to lectures, explanations,

statements of how things should be done, reading and watching.

You are asked to stand back and not be involved.

You are required to assimilate, analyse and interpret lots 'messy' data.

You are required to engage in solitary work i.e. reading, writing, thinking on your

own.

You are asked to assess beforehand what you will learn, and to appraise

afterwards what you have learned.

You are offered statements you see as 'theoretical1 i.e. explanations of cause or

background.

You are asked to repeat essentially the same activity over and over again i.e.

when practicing.

You have precise instructions to follow with little room for choice.

You are asked to do a thorough job i.e. attend to detail, tie up loose ends, dot i's

cross t's.

If you have a preference for the REFLECTOR STYLE you will learn best from activities where:

You are allowed or encouraged to watch/think/chew over activities.

You are able to stand back from events and listen/observe i.e. observing a

group at work, taking a back seat in a meeting, watching a film or CCTV.

You are allowed to think before acting, to assimilate before commenting i.e.

time to prepare, a chance to read in advance a brief giving background data.

You can carry out some painstaking research i.e. investigate, assemble

information, probe to get to the bottom of things.

You have the opportunity to review what has happened, what you have learned.

You are asked to produce carefully considered analyses and reports.

You are helped to exchange views with other people without danger i.e. by prior

agreement, within a structured learning experience.

You can reach a decision in your own time without pressure and tight deadlines.

As a REFLECTOR you will learn least from, and may react against, activities where:

You are 'forced' into the limelight i.e. to act as leader/chairman, to role-play in

front of onlookers.

You are involved in situations which require action without planning.

You are pitched into doing something without warning i.e. to produce an instant

reaction, to produce an off-the-top-of-the-head idea.

You are given insufficient data on which to base a conclusion.

You are given cut and dried instructions of how things should be done.

You are worried by time pressures or rushed from one activity to another.

For expediency you have to make short cuts or do a superficial job

Least Preferred Co-Worker (LPC) Measure

Instructions: Think of the person with whom you can work least well. He or she may be someone you work with now or someone you knew in the past. He or she does not have to be the person you like the least but should be the person with whom you had the most difficulty in getting a job done. Describe this person as he or she appears to you by circling the appropriate number for each of the following items.

1

Pleasant

8

7

6

5

4

3

2

1

Unpleasant

2.

Friendly

8

7

6

5

4

3

2

1

Unfriendly

3.

Rejecting

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

Accepting

4.

Tense

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

Relaxed

5.

Distant

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

Close

6.

Cold

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

Warm

7.

Supportive

8

7

6

5

4

3

2

1

Hostile

8.

Boring

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

Interesting

9.

Quarrelsome

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

Harmonious

10.

Gloomy

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

Cheerful

11.

Open

8

7

6

5

4

3

2

1

Closed

12.

Backbiting

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

Loyal

13.

Untrustworthy

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

Trustworthy

14.

Considerate

8

7

6

5

4

3

2

1

Inconsiderate

15.

Nasty

T

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

Nice

16.

Agreeable

8

7

6

5

4

3

2

1 1

Disagreeable

17.

Insincere

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

Sincere

..

p

18.

Kind

8

7

6

5

4

3

2

1

Unkind

SOURCE: Adapted from 'The LPC Questionnaire," in Improving Leadership Effectiveness by Fielder, F. E., & Chemers, M. M. Copyright © 1984.

Your final LPC score is the sum of the numbers you circled on the 18 scales. If your score is 57 or below, you are a low LPC, which suggests that you are task motivated. If your score is within the range of 58 to 63, you are a middle LPC, which means you are independent. People who score 64 or above are called high LPCs, and they are thought to be more relationship motivated.

Because the LPC is a personality measure, the score you get on the LPC scale is believed to be quite stable overtime and not easily changed. Low LPCs tend to remain low, moderate LPCs tend to remain moderate; and high LPCs tend to remain high. As was pointed out earlier in the chapter, research shows that the test-retest reliability of the LPC is very strong (Fiedler & Garcia, 1987).

One of the first leader-situation models was developed by Fiedler in his contingency theory of leadership effectiveness.

It measures the score given by a leader about a person with whom they least like working with. In this particular test there were 18 items with a scale of 1 to 8where 8 represented the most favourable rating.

I scored a total of 82 which puts me in the high LPC range. This indicates someone who is motivated to a more relationship role, which I would accept as accurate.

BELBIN Self-Perception Inventory

The scores give a better idea about the role you prefer to take in a team. The suggestion is that you can identify your best role and develop it further. One also concludes that it could identify a weak role that could also be further developed.

Points Table

Section/Item

a

b

c

d

e

f

g

h

1

3

4

2

1

2

4

4

1

1

3

3

2

3

2

4

2

3

2

1

2

5

1

2

2

3

2

6

3

1

3

2

7

2

3

2

3

Analysis Table

Section/Item

CW

CO

SH

PL

RI

ME

TW

CF

1

g

d

f

c

2

a

3

h

1

b

4

e

2

a

4

b

4

e

1

g

c

1

d

f

h

3

h

a

3

c

3

d

f

g

e

2

b

2

4

d

1

h

2

b

3

e

g

c

2

a

2

f

5

b

2

f

d

3

h

2

e

a

1

c

2

g

6

f

c

g

3

a

h

2

e

1

b

3

d

7

e

g

3

a

2

f

d

2

b

h

c

3

TOTAL

8

12

15

4

8

5

13

5

The results show in preference:

1 SH - Shaper

2 TW - Team Worker

3 CO - Co-ordinator

4 CW - Company Worker or Implementer

5 RI - Resource Investigator

6 CF - Completer Finisher

7 ME - Monitor Evaluator

8 PL - Plant

Belbin's Team roles: Glossary table

Type

Symbol

Typical features

Positive qualities

Allowable weakness

Company Worker or Implementer

CW

Reliable, conservative, dutiful, predictable.

Organising ability, practical common sense, hard­working, self-disciplined.

Lack of flexibility, unresponsiveness to unproven ideas.

Co-ordinator

CO

Mature, calm, self-confident, controlled.

A strong sense of objectives. Capacity for treating and welcoming all contributions on their merits and without prejudice.

Delegates work could do. No more than ordinary in terms of intellect or creative ability. Can be seen as manipulating team

Shaper

SH

Highly strung, outgoing, dynamic, Responds to pressure.

Drive and readiness to challenge inertia. ineffectiveness, complacency or self-deception.

Proneness to provocation, irritation and impatience. Can offend other team members.

Plant

PL

Individualistic, serious minded, unorthodox.

Creative, imaginative, unorthodox knowledgeable.

Up in the clouds, inclined to disregard practical details or protocol.

Resource Investigator

Rl

Extroverted, enthusiastic, curious, communicative

A capacity for contacting people and exploring anything new. An ability to respond to challenge.

Liable to lose interest once the initial fascination has passed.

Monitor Evaiuator

ME

Sober, unemotional, prudent.

Judgement, discretion, hard-headedness.

Lacks inspiration or the ability to motivate others.

Teamworker

TW

Diplomatic, socially oriented, rather mild, sensitive.

An ability to respond to people and to situations, and to promote team spirit.

Indecisive at moments of crisis.

Completer Finisher

CF

Painstaking, orderly, conscientious, anxious.

A capacity for follow through and perfectionism.

A tendency to worry about small things. Reluctance to 'let go'.

I do not necessarily agree with the selection of Shaper as my strongest role, I would personally have put Team Worker first followed by Co-ordinator.

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