This paper covers a self assessment and evaluation of my leadership portfolio using different approaches and giving detailed interpretation of the approaches. Though there are many suppositions describing leadership portfolio, this paper will adopt Kramen (2005) theory that perceives leadership portfolio as “a collection of materials (such as papers, articles, certificates, projects, letters, lesson plans, pictures, audio and/or video tapes, work samples, test scores, and/or others) that have been specifically selected for a particular purpose or need” ( p. 1).
The assignment covers two parts. The first section covers the assessment of four of my leadership styles in which I have filled sample questionnaires which commonly accompany the leadership theories being assessed. The theories that I have considered are: situational approach, path goal theory, leader member exchange theory and the transformational leadership. To support the generalization made in the assessment various relevant references have been used.
The second part of the assignment covers goal setting and action planning. This section also identifies and offer solutions to improve weaknesses pertaining to my personality and leadership skills. Again, relevant literatures have been used to support generalizations made in this section.
Generally, using police leadership as an example of criminal justice leadership, this paper has critically analyzed various competences and skills required in the field. To sum-up the essay, the paper has also covered pertinent issues touching on how well I am prepared (personal and professional skills) for the police leadership considering my strengths, weaknesses from my leadership portfolio as well as possible further professional development opportunities in the context of the chosen police leadership.
This part dwells on the assessment of various leadership styles (theories). Precisely, the section covers four different leadership assessment theories as shown below. In each theory, there is a relevant assessment questionnaire that has been completed and given the deduction of the scores for the traits being considered on my leadership portfolio. The main purpose is to complete leadership instruments which I have covered alongside with the theory.
Path goal theory
This theory is used as a complex set with theoretical assumptions to help develop new theories of leadership and it is applied hand in hand with the Path-Goal questionnaire which “…illustrates one of the questionnaires that has been useful in measuring and learning about important aspects of path-goal leadership” (Northouse, 2001 p.136 ). It comes with twenty questions which are rated in a scale of 1-7. The questionnaire gathers information about the participative, supportive, directive and achievement oriented leader’s traits. The outcomes of the various scores reveals weak and strong styles of a leader not to forget the relative importance placed in each style.
In my leadership portfolio, I have competitively awarded myself various scores which will be used to determine how I fare on in the four leadership aspects that the Path-Goal leadership questionnaire reveals.
Path-Goal Leadership Questionnaire
|Week||Theory||Result of questionnaire|
|1. I let subordinates know what is expected of them: 6
2. I maintain a friendly working relationship with subordinates: 7
3. I consult with subordinates when facing a problem: 5
4. I listen receptively to subordinates’ ideas and suggestions.:6
5. I inform subordinates about what needs to be done and how it needs to be done: 7
6. I let subordinates know that I expect them to perform at their highest level:5
7. I act without consulting my subordinates:4
8. I do little things to make it pleasant to be a member of the group:5
9. I ask subordinates to follow standard rules and regulations:5
10. I set goals for subordinates’ performance that are quite challenging:6
11. I say things that hurt subordinates’ personal feelings:3
12. I ask for suggestions from subordinates concerning how to carry out assignments:5
13. I encourage continual improvement in subordinates’ performance:3
14. I explain the level of performance that is expected of subordinates:6
15. I help subordinates overcome problems that stop them from carrying out their tasks:5
16. I show that I have doubts about their ability to meet most objectives: 2
17. I ask subordinates for suggestions on what assignments should be made:5
18. I give vague explanations of what is expected of subordinates on the job: 2
19. I consistently set challenging goals for subordinates to attain:6
20. I behave in a manner that is thoughtful of subordinates’ personal needs: 5
In reference to the data provided by Northouse (2001, p.145) for directive style my score is 30 points. This is quite a high score thus it is clear that this one of my strong areas. Moving on to the supportive style, I scored 26 points which reflects an average score. This trend repeats itself in the participative leadership where I scored 25 points. Finally, moving onto the achievement oriented aspect my score was 25 which is a high score.
Drawing from these scores it can be clearly seen that: I am indeed a good leader. A leader who is more directive and achievement oriented. Whereas I scored an average score in participation and supportive areas of leadership the other two areas reflects good scores which works to towards making my total scores a strong one.
Multifactor Leadership Questionnaires:
The Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire popularly known as MLQ has several questions divided into two sets, one to be filled by the leaders themselves while other can be filled by an associate, for example, an employee (follower). The MLQ measures leadership skills for the transformational, transactional leaders and passive leaders. The MLQ is based on:
“seven areas: Idealized influence (charisma), inspirational motivation, Intellectual stimulation, Individualized consideration, contingent reward, management-by-exception, and laissez-fair” Northouse, 2001, p.200).
Even so, for the purpose of this assessment, only one area will be considered – the one that I will be filling as the leader. The table bellow contains my personal MLQ-7X. As it will be seen, I have not awarded myself low marks.
|Week||Theory||Result of questionnaire|
|Self Rating Scale: 0-4
Idealized influence (Attributes): I go beyond self interest for the good of group: 4
Idealized influence(Behaviours):I consider the moral and ethic consequences of a decision: 3
Inspirational Motivation: I talk optimistically about the future:3
Intellectual stimulation: I re-examine critical assumptions to see whether they are appropriate:4
Individualized consideration: I help other to develop their strengths: 4
Contingent reward: I make clear what one can expect to receive when performance goals are achieve: 3
Management by Exception: Active: I keep track of all mistakes: 2
Management by Exception: Passive -I wait for things to go wrong before taking action: 2
Laissez-faire: I avoid making decisions: 2
Looking at the scores I have honestly awarded myself, it is clearly visible that I am a transformational leader. Since as Northouse (2001) asserts transformational leadership is all bout being “able to inspire followers to accomplish great things” (p.200), my high score in the individualized considerations is a clear evidence for this conclusion. Moreover, as Gupta (2004) opines, a transformational leader has a role of “providing the subordinates emotional support and inspirational talks and enhancing their productivity” (p.7). even so, it is can be seen that may scores were not that excellent in decision making processes particularly based on the fact that I does not take a very active role. Nevertheless, it can be argued that this is a weakness that is occasioned by my transformational leadership scenario.
Situational Approach Theory
This theory is based on the fact that part of leadership responsibilities entails encountering different leadership situations. Ideally, as a leader in the police force I sometimes come across various situations where I am expected to make decisions and from those decisions others are able to assess my leadership qualities. In the police force it is common to be faced by challenging situations which demands making of choices and decisions based on the nature and scope of the scenarios at hand. Tellingly, these situations also accord me the opportunity to evaluate the kind of leader I am. Based on Northouse (2001) it can be opined that situational leadership is two pronged, it is “composed of both a directive and a supportive dimension and that each has to be applied appropriately in a given situation” (p. 89).
In my portfolio I have considered three leadership situations and from them I have presented the answers I would have made in the face of such situations. Inferences of my strengths and weaknesses come out clearly from the scores I have gained. The questions used have been Adapted from the Situational Leader Questionnaire attachment presented in the indices section in Kenneth (1988).
- Your staffs have not been responding to your friendly conversation and obvious concern for their welfare. Their performance is declining rapidly. You would:
- Emphasize the use of the standard procedures and the necessity for task accomplishment
- Make yourself available for discussion but do not push your involvement
- Talk to them and then set goal objectives
- Intentionally do not intervene
Development D4 Level Action C
- The observable performance of your team is increasing. You have been making sure that all members are aware of their responsibilities and the standards expected. You would:
- Engage in friendly exchange but continue to make sure that all members are aware of their responsibilities and standards of performance
- Take no definite action
- Do what you can to make the team to feel important and involved
- Emphasize the importance of deadlines and tasks
Development D3 Level Action A
- Members of your team are unable to solve a problem themselves. You have normally left them alone. Group performance and interpersonal relationships have been good. You would:
- Involve the team and together engage in problem solving
- Let the team work it out
- Act quickly and firmly to correct and redirect
- Encourage the group to work on the problem and be supportive
Development D3 Level Action D
From the above presentation the following interpretations can be made. The first two sections of the questionnaire indicate that I have a high level of directing and supporting leadership traits with a propensity for high development. This is quite desirable. However, in situation three I have shown higher supportive traits than directive traits thus I have better in supporting my followers than directing them.
Leader member exchange theory,
According to Krishnan (2005) leader member exchange theory is two-way, it focuses “on the on the dyadic relationship between leader and follower” (p.15). The theory offers ways on how leaders could improve their leadership styles as it tells them to view their leadership styles from a relationship standpoint. In my leadership portfolio I have used the LMX 7X questionnaire which has seven characteristics relating to my followers and my score are as follows:
- Do you know where you stand with your follower and do you usually know how satisfied your follower is with what you do?: 4
- How well does your follower understand your job problem and needs?:3
- How well does your follower recognize your potential?:4
- Regardless of how much formal authority your follower has built in his or her position, what are the chances that your follower would use his or her power to help solve a problem in your work?: 4
- Again regardless of the amount of formal authority your follower has, what chances that he or she would “bail you out” at his or her expense?: 3
- I have enough confidence in my follower that I would defend and justify his or her decision if he or she we not present to do so?: 3
- How would you characterize your working relationship with your follower?: 5
My total score from the above is 26, which is no doubt a high score particularly going by the following scoring interpretation that “…high = 25-29…score in the upper ranges indicate stronger, higher-quality leader member exchanges” (Northouse, 2001, p.166). Even so, this score is not the highest score as shown in the questionnaire. As such, I should work on improving my relationship with my subordinates so as to make me a better leader.
In this part I have taken the police leadership as a part of criminal justice leadership. This part will cover the various skills, competencies and characteristics of a police leader as important tools and guidelines that will help me in goal setting and action planning. Finally, the section will also cover a summary on my individual abilities with close reference to the leadership strengths and abilities presented in the leadership portfolio presented above.
My police leadership goal is being a “transformational police leader” who is quite supportive to both the subordinates as well as the entire community at large. This noble goal is based on the notion that a transformational leader is one who “broaden and elevate the interests of their employees … [and/or followers], generate awareness and acceptance of the purposes and the mission of the group and … [that] they stir their employees to look beyond their own self-interest for the … [betterment] of the group” (Bass, 1990, p. 2). This will be quite possible owing to my good traits in transformational, directing and supportive traits highlighted in the preceding section above.
According to homeland online report, an effective police leader is one who is capable of “being committed to achieving a high quality service to the community and to supporting staff to achieve this” (Dobby, 2004, p.13). This is not all, the report further goes on to give the following description as befitting a police leader “displaying high personal and professional standards and challenging poor behavior while enabling, valuing and developing staff, having relevant knowledge and skills (p.13). This should give a glimpse of the skills as well as competences of a police leader.
So as to achieve the above requirements of a police leader, I should be able to ensure that all the members of the team adhere to these noble goals. Ideally, to achieve high quality services it requires one to be achievement oriented. Tellingly, this is a trait I possess, as can be easily revealed from the Path-Goal leadership assessment presented in the first part. Even so, I still need to make it better through practicing, taking a professional part-time course to enhance my leadership skills particularly in the areas of interpersonal relationships as well as being task and achievement-oriented. Together with the transformational leadership traits these traits will definitely enable me realize my goal as a dedicated leader always willing to communicate with my subordinates and help them visualize this noble goal.
From the skills as well as competences of a police leader, it is clear that the leader has to value his followers. From my assessment of leadership style especially the “leader member exchange questionnaire scores”, it is clear that my skills match well in respect to what a police officer requires. Precisely, going by the notion that “…valuing … [the] people [you lead] is of utmost importance to any leader [and that] leaders are bound by duty, respect, and integrity to put the needs of his/her subordinates before their own” it is clear that my personal as well as professional skills meets the specifications of a police office (McDonald, 2010, p. 8)
In extension, it has been established that leaders in the police forces are expected to be prepared all the time and most importantly should exhibit the capacity to solve problems in a wide range of scenarios. In this regard, the situational leadership self assessment has given me a high score in making decisions that are both directive and supportive. This is an illustration of the kind of special abilities I will impart as a leader in the police forces. Though I did not score high marks in the passive leadership skills, I had “somewhat average” skills. This points out to the fact that I should be more actively involved in decision making processes.
In order to successfully meet my leadership goal, I have come up with the following leadership mission statement: “To effectively lead a competent and dynamic police force, that will work with unity of purpose toward ensuring excellent service delivery and justice for all society members with fairness, equity and integrity as its main pillars.”
In trying to achieve the above stated mission, I have developed the following guidelines which will be used so as to help members of the police force to work more efficiently and in line with the mission:
- Encourage teamwork development in the entire police force under my area of jurisdiction.
- Hold training session which will geared at service delivery improvement.
- Inculcate the mission application in recruitment and training of new members joining the police force so as to ensure they are compliant with the mission.
- Create an environment that will enable pro-activity within the force as this emanates from leadership that trusts all the participants.
Holding the values of transformational leadership and being supportive to entire team will surely chart the way forward toward success in this area of jurisdiction. Conclusively, it is my hope that everyone in my jurisdiction will endeavor to work within the provisions of the mission statement particularly in enhancing unity of purpose in executing the core mandates.
Bass, M. B, (1985). Leadership and Performance beyond Expectations. New York: Free Press.
Blanchard, H. K, & Hersey, P. (1988). Management and Organizational Behavior. NJ: Prentice – Hall.
Dobby, J. Anscombe, J, Tuffin, R. (2004) Police leadership: expectations and impact: Home Office Online Report.
Gupta, V. and Krishnan, V. R.(2004) Impact of Socialization on Transformational Leadership: Role of Leader Member Exchange: South Asian Journal of Management, 11(3), 7-20.
Kramen, M. Benjamin K. (2005). Developing Your Leadership Portfolio. U.S.A : California state university.
McDonald, P. The Blind Side Drama, E-mail [email protected] . Studio: Warner Bros.
Northouse, P. G. (2001). Leadership Theory and Practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.
Venkat, R. & Krishnan, V.R. (2005). Leader-Member Exchange, Transformational Leadership, and Value System: BO Electronic Journal of Business Ethics and Organization Studiesol. 10, No. 1.
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