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Individual Leadership Self-Assessment Project

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Essay title: Individual Leadership Self-Assessment Project

Reframing My Leadership Performance

Dr. Kenneth Allard’s Conceptual Foundations of Management course has improved my performance as a manager and future as a leader. I have learned the distinction between managers and leaders and what skills are required to fulfill each position. As a result of this course, I have made plans to continue my development as both a great manager and leader.

The lectures and assignments in this course have already affected my management performance; these improvements have built a foundation for me to continue my development as a successful manager and leader. Richard T. Pascale, Mark Millemann, and Linda Gioja �s Surfing the Edge of Chaos changed the way I manage people and processes at my current job. My first assignment in Dr. Allard’s class was to write a paper about this book and how it relates to an organization I have associated in. This assignment helped me realize that the president of my company is expert at guiding change in an increasingly networked world. It also aided me in understanding many of the decisions my company, Key Insulation, has made, thus allowing me to participate in decision making processes. Examining alternative conceptual frames for understanding and analyzing organizations provided another conceptual lens for me to apply to Key Insulation. I now understand that leaders operate under more than one behavioral mode, and I try to integrate Lee G. Bolman and Terrence E. Deal’s four frameworks to managerial situations I encounter. For example, I have used Bolman and Deal’s frames at the planning stage of a change initiative at my current job to diagnose company needs, identify challenges, and devise appropriate actions. My company currently does not have the budget to hire more employees but is expanding operations to other cities in Texas. We hope to use this statewide expansion as a model to serve markets in other states. I found that the human resource, symbolic, and structural frameworks were applicable to this scenario, as resources were scarce and commitment was critical for Key Insulation’s new endeavor. I led my management team to alter our hierarchical structure and personnel policies to facilitate the expansion and enhance the team’s motivation, respectively. Investing in training for our lower level staff has empowered employees to perform more tasks and work with more independence. Since this requires more responsibility from the employees, some have reacted negatively to the change; we have consequently modified personnel policies to allow more flexibility in scheduling, which not only augments the team’s motivation and commitment, but reinforces the expectation for these employees to become more independent. The Harvard Business Journal’s “Leading Change” has also been very influential in this change initiative. I plan to implement all actions cited in the article, and have already actuated those that apply to the stages that have already taken place. Because I was able to clearly communicate and cite the business theories and concepts that drove my decisions in this initiative, I have recently been asked to compose a written business plan about a new branch of consulting services my company would like to offer. Now that I have explained each framework to the other managers at Key Insulation, I intend to describe the application of multiple frames to complex company projects. This will empower other managers at Key to examine business situations using some of the tools I have gained from Dr. Allard’s course. I am looking forward to increasing my participation in strategic planning at my company and gaining more valuable management experience.

Dr. Allard has provided important guidance for future leadership. He has shared his personal and professional reflections on the topics of management and leadership and has encouraged me to share my own. Through videos and case studies, the class has discussed the successes and failures of several managers, leaders, and organizations. The most important thing I have learned about leadership is that it is situated in both context and relationship, so it is very difficult to define a categorical list of qualities needed to become a leader. Most people expect a leader to persuade or inspire rather than to coerce or give orders, but cannot quantify what traits and skills are needed to accomplish this. In Dr. Allard’s class, we have even studied many managers who acted as leaders in some situations but failures in others, which suggests that no single formula is possible for the great range of circumstances that could occur. Dr. Allard assigned a Harvard Business case study that discussed Carly Fiorina’s assignment as CEO at Hewlett-Packard. Fiorina’s academic and work experience prior to her appointment at HP clearly demonstrated her

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