The Results Of My S.M.A.R.T. Leadership Experience

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Leadership, S.M.A.R.T. goals, and the Seven Habits profile are all interconnected in many ways. Throughout the course of this paper I will address the results of my Seven Habits profile, servant leadership, and make S.M.A.R.T. goals. They will assist me in becoming a better leader and help me strengthen skills that I already am proficient in. The first result I’m going to reflect on is emotional bank account.

My result was fourteen, which is considered almost very good. It shows that overall I’m very balanced when it comes to my emotions and I consider myself to have a good awareness of emotional intelligence. A good example of providing emotional intelligence in my leadership experience is when an employee was having a hard time grasping a concept during training. I noticed how frustrated they were getting even though they weren’t blatantly showing it. I was able to give the employee a break and change the way we were training so they could better grasp the concept. Emotional intelligence is a very important quality in a leader because it shows that they are aware of how people will react, how to treat people, and are very perceptive. “Basic emotion regulation ability involves attending to and staying open to pleasant and unpleasant feelings, while more advanced ability involves engaging or detaching from an emotion depending on its perceived utility in a situation” (Brackett, Rivers, & Salovey, (2011), pg. 91-92).

The second result is life balance. My life balance score was eleven, which is between fair and good on the trait scoring. Work life balance is extremely important in work environments. This is a result of my leadership style that I need to work on. I tend to put work in front of my other obligations in my personal life. For my leadership style it shows that I’m dedicated to work and employees on my team to make sure they are succeeding first before myself. A good example is working on a holiday for one of my team members so they could go be with their family. It is important to have a good balance as a leader so you don’t get burned out and are performing at your best for your direct reports.

The third result is being proactive. My score was thirteen, which is considered right above good. What this means for my leadership style is that I need to be better at being proactive when possible. As a leader, there will be times when things are out of your control. What I can do is focus on my responsibilities, things that are in my control, my actions, and being proactive in those areas. A good example of this is parts of a project I’m responsible for and turning in those portions before or on their due dates.

The fourth result is synergize. My score was fifteen, which is considered very good. Some of the descriptions for synergize is being creative and searching for new ideas and solutions, encouraging others, and value and seek others insights. These are all very important to leadership in general. For my personal leadership style, this shows that I have a strength in thinking of out of the box solutions and valuing others opinions and insights in problems. A good example of synergize is when my team had to come up with a new process to a new work task that we would be performing. It was important to get their insight of how we should do things and work in a collaborative environment rather than just make all the decisions. We also implemented new solutions into the process that other departments hadn’t that cut down on the workload.

The fifth category is put first things first. I scored a twelve, which is considered good. Descriptions for putting first things first are avoiding procrastination, time wasters, allowing important activities to be put off, and everyday tasks that don’t contribute to my overall life goals. In leadership, I have a tendency to allow everyday work tasks to take importance of my leadership goals that I set for myself. I need to have a better balance and make my goals a priority as well. A good example is letting deadlines of projects push tasks for my goals out further because they don’t have a set date. What I can do is set due dates for my goals to make sure that I am accomplishing them.

The sixth category is sharpen the saw. I scored a thirteen, which is right above good. Some descriptions include physical health, build and improve relationships, and living life. Sharpen the saw and leadership intersects and is crucial. You need to be healthy physically and mentally healthy in order to perform job duties and be an effective leader. Building relationships is also a cornerstone of leadership. If you don’t have relationships or bad ones, you aren’t an effective leader. An example of sharpen the saw with my own leadership experience is when I got a concussion at work. I had to leave and get better or else I would not be able to physically perform my job duties effectively. The organization and my productivity would both suffer.

The leadership theory I have chosen to talk about is servant leadership theory. Servant leadership theory is all about the employee before the organization and the leader. The theory states that leaders who demonstrate this theory put employees first, develop the employee, have them strive to set personal and professional goals and meet them, and to listen and engage the employee.

My first strength from servant leadership theory is putting my team members first. I have a personality trait of putting other people first before myself. This shows me that this is strength for servant leadership theory and comes naturally to me. A good example, is taking one of my team members shifts during the holidays so they could go to a family party resulting in me not attending mine. The result of this practice shows my team members that I am dedicated to them and am willing to help when needed. It shows that I’m willing to go the extra mile and show them they are appreciated.

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My second strength is empowering and listening to my team members. This is an important part of servant leadership theory as it shows them they are a valued part of the team and organization. They are more likely to be committed to the organization and will strive to meet the organizations strategic and performance goals. “An engaged employee feels involved in and excited about his or her work. Engaged employees produce at high levels individually, and contribute to improved business results” (Connolly, Pico, Henderson, Bodine, & Blankenship, (2012), pg. 48). Empowering and listening to my team members is something I love about leadership. It brings value to me and helps me connect with them. It is one of my favorite parts about being a leader. An example of empowerment and listening is when a team member expressed concerned that they weren’t proficient with software. I listened to their feedback, provided positive encouragement, and gave them the resources to help them develop their skills to where they felt they needed to be.

My third strength is development of my team members. This is another core value of servant leadership theory. Employee development is crucial to keeping employees engaged. You get many returns for the organization. “Research has shown that after en- gaging in such leadership development activities described above individuals will be surprised with the impact they can have on their per- sonal effectiveness and on the results of their team” (Zenger & Folkman, (2013), pg. 59). Employee development is the single most thing that I love about being in a leadership position. I love to help and watch as my team members grow and develop personally and professionally. It brings me satisfaction when my team is happy and they are meeting and exceeding their own expectations. A good example of this was training a new team member. She had a goal to take on a process solo by the start of the next quarter. Together, we made sure she had the training, resources, and skills needed to take on the process by herself. She was happy that she didn’t have to lean on other team members for support.

My first weakness is life balance. I do well under the servant leadership theory in the work category but I need to work on balancing in my personal life as well. When I am specific to personal life balance it doesn’t fit into a principle of servant leadership theory since you are putting yourself before others. A specific example is not taking my allotted vacation time because I feel guilty about not being at work to help my team. The impact of my weakness is always being stressed and not being able to decompress from work. My second weakness is putting first things first. With servant leadership theory work and team members first is very natural to me. In my personal life I have a tendency to put off my own important to do items until later. It’s easy to let work take priority during my day, even after work. An example is working on a continuous improvement project task after work and rescheduling a doctor’s appointment that I needed to go to. Both were equally important but I put a work task before my personal health. The impact this could have is me not being able to operate at full capacity and make my productivity level decrease because I am sick.

My second weakness is sharpening the saw. Again, I do well with the portion of building relationships with people for work, which is a tenant of servant leadership theory. However, when it comes to personal relationships they can tend to suffer when I am busy at work. I also put my health and fun activities on the back burner; they aren’t as high on my priority list. An example is when I cancelled a trip with my best friend when I had a work function come up that wasn’t mandatory for me to be at. The impact this has is it makes me more stressed, my personal relationships suffer, and I am not as excited in my personal life. I just go through the motions.

The first theory-based change I can make is making my personal life a priority. I recommend that I take allotted vacation time and find a holistic coach. The performance gap this will address is it will allow me to focus on myself and have fun and holistic coaching will provide me with the opportunity to be coached. The outcome is I won’t get burned out and making me more excited for work. “Holistic coaching is based upon the principles of balance and considering every aspect of a person’s life. The approach is one of going where the client wants to go in improving his or her own life” (Nyman & Thach, (2013), pg. 24).

The second change I am recommending is making my own tasks a higher priority then they currently are. This will allow me to focus on practicing more on transformational leadership theory. The performance gap this address is making sure I’m healthy enough to work and the outcome is making me more productive at work. “Once we have well understood the triggers for particular behavioral patterns, catching unhelpful patterns early, or even circumventing them from occurrence, the leader is able to choose different behavioral responses in the actual moment” (Lanz, (2013), pg. 69.).

The third change I recommend to myself is building more personal relationships outside of work. Building more personal relationships will help me develop more skills that can help me with transformational leadership theory by being more approachable and being more motivational. The performance gap this will address is it will allow me to expand my network, which I can use at work. The outcome would be using the expanded network on new projects when needed and help be more inspiring and motivational. “Having a network of close and supportive associations with colleagues and/or friends, and supportiveness of a close companion is helpful” (Darling & Heller, (2011), pg. 16).

I have a tendency to take on a lot of tasks and not delegate them to my team members. I feel that if I delegate tasks that they are too busy, so I just do them instead. I will delegate two tasks a day to each of my team members by 10 o’clock in the morning every day. I am setting this goal to help free up my daily tasks that will allow me to make more personal things a priority. This is linked to leadership development because it will help me help my team members grow their skills. I hope to accomplish a good healthy work life balance.

It can be hard for me to hold people on my team accountable. One of my strengths is building relationships with my team members so it can be hard to hold them accountable or coach them. I will coach my team members twice a month by providing them one thing that they can improve on and holding them responsible when a task isn’t done on time. I am setting this goal to help me improve my own leadership skills by holding them accountable when they do something wrong. This is linked to leadership development because it allows me to coach employees and help them grow as team members. I hope this will help me accomplish more coaching skills that I need as a leader. I will be sharing these with my leader so he can hold me accountable of what I hope to accomplish with my team. I will also make deadlines on my personal tasks so that I can make them a priority for a healthy life balance. Servant leadership theory comes very naturally to me and the Seven Habits profile opened my eyes to things that I didn’t realize I was doing. It allows me to make the appropriate changes in my work and life.

Overall, this has been insightful of how I act as a leader and what I can do to improve and strengthen my skills.

References:

  1. Brackett, M. A., Rivers, S. E., & Salovey, P. (2011). Emotional Intelligence: Implications for Personal, Social, Academic, and Workplace Success. Social & Personality Psychology Compass, 5(1), 88–103. https://doi-org.wgu.idm.oclc.org/10.1111/j.1751-9004.2010.00334.x
  2. Connolly, R., Pico, M., Henderson, K., Bodine, T., & Blankenship, S. (2012). Strategies for Success. Training, 49(4), 48–52. Retrieved from https://wgu.idm.oclc.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bft&AN=78023362&site=ehost-live&scope=site
  3. Darling, J. R., & Heller, V. L. (2011). The Key for Effective Stress Management: Importance of Responsive Leadership in Organizational Development. Organization Development Journal, 29(1), 9–26. Retrieved from https://wgu.idm.oclc.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=heh&AN=64362493&site=ehost-live&scope=site
  4. Lanz, K. (2013). The art of self-awareness. Training Journal, 65–69. Retrieved from https://wgu.idm.oclc.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=heh&AN=92552373&site=ehost-live&scope=site
  5. Nyman, M., & Thach, L. (2013). coaching as a new leadership development option. Supervision, 74(2), 23–26. Retrieved from https://wgu.idm.oclc.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=heh&AN=85021037&site=ehost-live&scope=site
  6. Zenger, J., & Folkman, J. (2013). Inspiring & Motivating To Achieve Top Performance. Financial Executive, 29(1), 56–59. Retrieved from https://wgu.idm.oclc.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=heh&AN=84669355&site=ehost-live&sco
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