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Use leadership concepts to systematically evaluate your leadership

Task: 

Use leadership concepts to systematically evaluate your leadership and your relationship with your followers. Specifically, think about a time when you were in a leadership position and when you had to influence others. For example, you can talk about a situation that happened in school (e.g., group project, school event) or outside of school (e.g., summer jobs, internships, volunteer work). Address and evaluate your leadership behaviors/style and your relationship with your followers. Please arrange your paper in the following way:

  • Context. Briefly describe the context. In other words, tell me what I need to know to understand your analysis. Make sure you briefly address the following questions (i.e., one or two sentences for each question):
  • What was the setting (e.g., school, work,…)?
  • What was your main task?
  • Who were your followers?
  • How many followers did you have?
  • Were your followers similar to one another? In what ways were they similar/dissimilar?
  • Analysis. After describing the context, you should relate the experience to the leadership literature. Select twoleadership theories from the theories listed below.

Skills approach (CH 3)
Situational approach (CH 5)/ Path-goal theory (CH 6)
LMX theory (CH 7)
Transformational leadership (CH 8)
Servant Leadership (CH 10)

For each theory, please do the following:

  • Briefly explain the leadership theory.
  • Apply the theory to the context (explain the connections between the theory and your situation).
    • Skills approach – Which leadership skills did you demonstrate? Explain how you demonstrated these skills. Which leadership skills did you not demonstrate? Explain how you did not demonstrate these skills.
    • Situational approach –Which development level were your followers? Were all your followers at the same development level? Explain why your followers were at this level(s). Which leadership style(s) did you use? Explain how you demonstrated this leadership style(s). Did you use the same leadership style with every follower?
    • Path-goal theory – Which follower/task characteristics were observable in your situation? Did all your followers have the same follower characteristics? Explain these characteristics. Which leadership styles did you use? Explain how you demonstrated these leadership styles.
    • LMX theory – Which of your followers were in the in-group and which were in the out-group? Which phases of leadership making did you go through? Explain how you went through these different phases.
    • Transformational leadership – Which transformational factors did you demonstrate? Explain how you demonstrated these factors. Which transformational factors did you not demonstrate? Explain how you did not demonstrate these factors.
    • Servant leadership – Which servant characteristics/ behaviors did you demonstrate? Explain how you demonstrated these characteristics/ behaviors. Which servant characteristics/ behaviors did you not demonstrate? Explain how you did not demonstrate these characteristics/ behaviors.
  • Analyze your performance.
    • According to this theory, were you an effective leader? Why/Why not?
    • According to this theory, what could you have done differently to be a more effective leader?
    • Conclusion. After analyzing your leadership, provide an overall summary of your leadership.
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses as a leader?
  • Based on your strengths, which situations (tasks/followers) do you think you would excel at leading?
  • Based on your weaknesses, which situations (tasks/followers) do you think you would struggle at leading?
  • What aspects of your leadership are you going to try to work on to become a better leader?
  • How do you plan to improve these aspects of your leadership?

 

General Tips: 

Make sure you explain and support your claims by making sure you provide specific examples and relate them to leadership theories. Include other class principles or motivational/leadership theories to support your statements, when appropriate.

Example #1: Saying “I had an in-group relationship with my followers” will not earn you full points. Instead, elaborate on how you know which type of a relationship you had, how your followers showed that, how you showed that, etc.

Example #2: Saying “My participatory leadership style works best with individuals who are willing and able to do work” will also not earn you full points. Instead, explain why your participatory style is conducive to working with individuals who are willing and able to do work.

Your paper will be evaluated on the depth of your analyses. If another theory is obvious and you do not discuss it, you will be penalized.

Make a coherent story by relating theories to each other and tightening the description of your analyses, and the theoretical background.

Pay attention to spelling, grammar, and sentence construction.  This is not a writing course, but I do care about details.

To communicate effectively as a leader, it’s important to be concise and remove all clutter. Therefore, your leadership paper should be maximum 3 typed pages (excluding possible references) in length, double spaced, 12pt Times New Roman font.  Hence, this is also an exercise in getting your message across in a space-efficient manner.

Don’t Plagiarize!  In academia, one of the worst sins you can commit is to plagiarize. To plagiarize means claiming someone else’s ideas or writing as your own.  When you don’t acknowledge that you are using someone else’s ideas or writing, that is plagiarism. In academic writing, you acknowledge the ideas of others by citing them in the body of your paper and in the bibliography. The use of unacknowledged ideas or writing is plagiarism. This includes published works, but also includes using papers written by other students.

Don’t procrastinate! The due date for your leadership paper will arrive rapidly and it will coincide with other demands in this course, such as preparing your groups’ presentation, as well as demands in your other courses.

 

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