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Leadership Style

Essay by   •  November 16, 2010  •  2,899 Words (12 Pages)  •  1,561 Views

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Leadership and motivation styles vary from person to person, that is why it is essential for managers to know and understand their leadership style and how their particular leadership affects their workplace. Leadership is influenced by many things that is why it is so important to know how and why your leadership style is what it is. There are many contributors that come into play when a leadership style is developed within a person. During the course of the last eight weeks I have been taking a hard look at my own leadership style and what I can do to improve myself to better serve both my co-workers and subordinates. Upon being tasked to disburse the LPI forms to my managers, co-workers and subordinates I become somewhat distressed by what they might have to say about me and how I lead. After pondering about what the results could or could not be I disbursed the forms and found out a tremendous amount about myself as a leader.

In this paper I will discuss my growth as a leader and what has helped mold me into the person I am today. I will also discuss both my strengths and weaknesses that were pointed out by the surveys I distributed, as well as what I can do to improve upon those weakness. Leadership style is not set in stone, it is important for leaders to evaluate themselves to find out where their strengths and weaknesses are to insure that they are continually striving for excellence.

My personal leadership style has been molded in part by the environment that I have been raised in during my adult work life. I have worked in a federal position that deals exclusively with Air Force personnel for the past seven years. Being exposed to a stringent workplace that makes personnel adhere to all rules and regulations has really helped me to become very organized and time efficient. It has also, helped me to realize that compassion is a key piece that is missing in the military lifestyle. Empathy and understanding that people have families and they work to live, not live to work has been a saying that I live by in the workplace. I have ensured all the people that I work with know that they must take care of their family before they can take care of work, this may not be the case in the civilian world but in the military environment is has been proven true many times over the past seven years.

Having such an empathic leadership style in a predominately male, military environment sometimes made my counterparts doubt my abilities in the military world. But, after a few months and the increased productivity of the workforce as well as the increased moral I did gain some backing from the higher echelons. I also believe that each person within a team has a voice and the right for that voice to be heard. Empowering and giving each individual the opportunity to be heard and their ideas to be shared builds confidence and overall team unity. I have done my best and will continue to do my best to foster teamwork and encourage each individual to have a voice and an opinion. On several occasions empowering workers to share their ideas has led to new policies that save time and money.

I have left the federal government and entered the private sector and I have quickly realized that the leadership that worked in the military environment needs updating and changing to survive the much more liberal civilian workforce. I have learned quickly that being lenient does not motivate the new workplace as it did in my previous workplace. Also, the respect and admiration that was given in the military environment for being empathetic and understanding is considered to be a weak and somewhat timid characteristic within my new workplace.

It is difficult to change jobs but, in my instance it has been extremely difficult to alter my way of thinking about how to lead my fellow workers. Before it was pretty much known what was expected and if you did not adhere to those standards you would have to find a new position and if that did not work you would more than likely find yourself a new line of work outside the military. In the civilian workforce it is very different, it is not expected that I know all about their families and what their financial situation is or all their personal information, all I need to know in the civilian world is the individuals name and what their particular job is. Of course if that is how I treat the people I work with it would be hard to be a good leader. So, I have taken it upon myself to get to know each person within my work area, I have tried to learn about their families, goals, likes, dislikes and pretty much everything in-between. It has taken me a couple of months to gain some trust and respect but I can see that it is budding just like the spring flowers. This brings me to the topic of the LPI's that I distributed throughout my workplace.

I am currently responsible for leading a team of eight individuals in executing and monitoring an annual budget of 584 million dollars. I distributed my LPI's to my co-workers, subordinates and my direct manager. The results brought to light some areas where I need some improvement and coaching but overall I felt the results were positive. This particular exercise has made me take a step back and evaluate my values, goals and expectations I have as a leader, it has made me realize that I do have some areas that need more work that I thought. The survey has provided me with a tool to evaluate myself as a leader in a new work environment, which could prove to be a blessing in disguise.

Some of the strengths that were pointed out were somewhat surprising. I believe that I will be able to improve upon my leadership skills based on knowing that the people I work with know that I take a personal interest in knowing them and ensuring that they receive praise and are told that they are doing a good job. Knowing that the people I work with know that I appreciate them and the contributions to the team makes me feel better not only as a leader but as an individual as well. I also believe that, the efforts that I take to make sure I know my co-workers and the effort I make to ensure they know they are appreciated has allowed me to gain respect and trust more quickly than I had anticipated, within my new workplace. I also, found that I have a few areas that need some attention. The areas of weakness that I will be concentrating on in this paper are my ability to challenge my workforce to try new approaches, ensuring that I seek out challenging opportunities for myself and my co-workers, ensuring my co-workers grow in their jobs and asking for feedback from my co-workers on how my actions affect their performance and abilities.

Upon finding out the weaknesses I decided to take a look at each area individually and define what needs to be done to correct the inefficiency. The surveys have pointed out to me

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