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Richard Timian

Leadership and Organizational Behavior

Friday, September 14, 2007


The Life Styles Inventory (LSI) is a self-assessment diagnostic instrument that measures 12 key thinking patterns, or "styles". The LSI promotes performance change and improvement by increasing personal understanding of one's thinking and behavior. By responding to these 240 inventory items, individuals learn exactly where they need to focus their development efforts, without ambiguity or guesswork. The results of the self-description are plotted on a circular graph for easy visualization of how the individual thinks and behaves in the 12 LSI styles. This profile acts as a personalized developmental needs assessment, calling attention to the individual's strengths as well as areas needing improvement.

Part I: Personal Thinking Styles (primary, backup, limiting)

According to my LSI profile shows my primary style is achievement. My backup thinking style is dependent. My backup style was closely followed by avoidance. Refer to attachment “A” The LSI .

My limiting style appears to be is two fold. dependent and avoidance.

It illustrates that these two “limit” my self-actualization and achievement percentages. I do not find myself to be overly defensive or aggressive when dealing with individuals.

I tend to listen more to what people have to say. This result was not new to me. avoidance and dependent evidently are the areas that are causing me not to excel.

According to the LSI information provided, when your achievement score is greater and the humanistic-encouraging and affiliative scores are less, a concern for task accomplishment will diminish a concern need for others. Evidently this imbalance is reducing my overall effectiveness. When I put this under my microscope, I find that this characteristic trait has hurt me during my latter years in my professional life. I can recall during my earlier career life not being so dependent or avoiding issues as I am now. I now tend to set or the current management sets overly high goals. Thus, making me tense and easily led by their decisions. This is possibly due to the very competitive unstable work environment and lack of company resources (additional people) I am currently in. As it turns out, many of these “lofty goals” are very often unattainable. Which tend to make me feel that I cannot be relied upon to deliver. Probably, that is why now I tend to react rather than initiate, and end up being very unsupportive of myself. Therefore, the Dependent style would be my area needing the most improvement.

Part II: Impact on Management Style

I agree that personal styles impact a person’s style of management, whether it is personal management or organizational management. A person, that has an achievement style typically will attain self-set goals, shares in responsibility and believes that their individual effort does make the difference to you, others, groups and eventually to the organization. A dependent style of management tends to be in the passive/defensive style. That illustrates the overcautious, tactful, and does things by the book, a good follower not to make “waves”. I thought I would just through a bit of humor in because I work in a Naval Air repair situation.

In our text by Schermerhorn, Hunt and Osborn. Organizational Behavior, Ninth Edition, they state that there are four basic management style functions. These are:

1. Planning: Setting an objective and identifies the actions needed to achieve them.

2. Organizing: Dividing up tasks and arranging the resources needed to accomplish them.

3. Leading: Creating enthusiasm to work hard to accomplish tasks successfully.

4. Controlling: Monitoring performance and any action for corrective action.

As having a moderate achievement style, I find my self-management qualities to be as follows: (Note that I use self management as opposed to Manager. Reason being I do not hold a management position at this time).

1. Planning: When planning an activity, I tend to focus on achieving a standard of excellence. I am committed to make things better either for myself or may organization. I feel I have adopted the idea that my effort makes little difference in the outcome of things in my current work environment. Thus, creates a self doubt and undermines my potential to improve things timely.

2. Organizing: When organizing my work assignments and tasks, I tend to over book my allotted time. I would prioritize tasks based on who needs them by what date not on effectiveness. My time management skills desperately need an overhaul.

3. Leading: A moderate achievement style person tends to lead by example. I am capable of doing my best, but it sometimes causes me to set goals that are un realistically high. Although my achievement orientation is not as it should be, I think I have the potential to grow and improve with the help of this LSI. As the material in Human Synergistics-International 1994, overviews this style as dealing with personal effectiveness that result in attaining high-quality results.

4. Controlling: Under an achievement style of operating, it made sense to me of why I have changed. I saw that when getting close to retirement and the threat of our organization being re-located, I needed to establish a style that would produce a predictable secure situation. But in effect I stagnated and went with the flow as it were. I sacrificed the cost of learning, adaptability, and ultimate survival. Hence, why the low score in achievement and the dependent style emerging.

My backup style was found to be that of dependent, the old “5 O’clock shadow” as it were. This style goes hand in hand in the



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