Managing Organization and Leading People

Abstract

The current paper evaluates a personal leadership style based on the Seven Habits Profile test. It starts from the discussion of test results, which lead to the conclusion that a democratic leadership style has a prevailing nature. Further, the paper focuses on the discussion of the list of strengths and weaknesses of the democratic leadership style. It provides suggestions of the improvement of the personal behavioral patterns in order to contribute to the improvement of style. In addition, the paper mentions two SMART goals, which will help optimize a leadership style. By the end of the paper, it is possible to have a comprehensive view on the topic, which covers personal ability to be a democratic leader in a team.

 
 

Keywords: democratic, leadership, team, deadline.

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The results of the Seven Habits Profile can explain every behavioral pattern based on the questions in the questionnaire. Every category helped understand personal nature of the behavior and aspects, which require additional attention in order to optimize a leadership style. The following discussion reveals a short analysis of each section depending on the results of the test.

As long as the first two categories are the fundamentals, it is possible to claim that there are chances to develop personal characteristic features applicable to the Seven Habits Profile. The first two categories showed high points, which proves that there is an easy way to turn weaknesses into strengths in order to optimize a personal leadership style.

The first category Be proactive indicates an ability to select a goal and achieve it. The category resulted in a high score, which indicates that there are no problems with goal-setting techniques. In addition, it is the category of taking control of personal life. It also means that it should not be difficult to organize others as long as personal life is under control.

The second category Begin with the End in Mind is a reflection of an ability to envision an end goal. As long as the score of the category is fair, it means that there are some issues in formulating the end goal regardless of the sphere of activity. It may be connected to the idea that there are doubts in the decision-making process when factors of the external environment tend to have a significant influence.

The third category Put First Things First indicates an ability to prioritize tasks and goals. As long as the score of the category is good, there is nothing to worry about in the process of optimizing personal leadership style. In general, there is a need to support this category in order to execute tasks according to the plan of actions.

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The fourth category Think Win-Win also has a high mark and denotes that the decision-making process covers the solutions, which are beneficial for everyone involved. As long as the mark is not the highest one, it is possible to suggest that personal actions are not always beneficial for every team member.

The fifth category Seek First to Understand indicates that there is a high ability of listening to others in the decision-making process. The high mark signifies that there is no need to worry about considering opinions of others. However, it is possible to think about improvement of self-motivation to generate ideas and offer them to others instead of waiting for others to bring the key to the problem.

The sixth category Synergize is in the middle of the marks, which proves that there may be some issues in working in a team. However, an additional attention to the inclusion in the team members performance can help feel the unity and the responsibility for each others actions in the team.

Finally, the seventh category Sharpen the Saw also has a high mark, which shows0 that there is an outstanding desire to keep personal leadership upgraded. In this way, it can be possible to find solutions to personal disadvantages, which prevent from the efficient performance in a team.

In general, the discussion of the Seven Habits Profile results helped understand that personal characteristic features align with the principles of the democratic leadership style. It is an open and collegial type of leadership, which helps work in a team and avoid conflicts. Ideas have a free flow in the discussion of every problem, which proves that personal communication skills and leadership aspects help discuss any topic.

Strengths of the Leadership Style

A democratic leadership style, which dominates in my personal activity, indicates that there are both strengths and weaknesses. In the majority of strengths, it is possible to evaluate three primary elements, which contribute to the effective leadership. First, a democratic leadership practice allows relating to the opinions of others and seeing from the point of view of all team members. This style considers tolerance and loyalty, which prevents from misunderstandings and problems in the decision-making process. In particular, it is possible to create a flexible system of the decision-making process, which will satisfy every participant. Secondly, a democratic leadership style helps generate ideas in a team, which boosts the decision-making process and does not have a negative influence on the quality of the solutions. Finally, a democratic leadership style does not have any framework for the decision-making process, which allows using creativity in order to understand the problem. In general, all the specified above strengths create an effective background for the development of any project. In my personal perspective, the evaluated leadership style is an effective part of the daily life including business and life. It contributes to the appropriate life-work balance, which does not interfere with personal priorities and interests. It is obvious that democracy in leadership helps organize personal performance and relate to the opinions of others, which in turn aids in making high quality decisions without fear to fail.

Weaknesses of the Leadership Style

First, it is possible to outline that democratic leadership style cannot be appropriate in the situations with time limits. Projects with deadlines, which require immediate action, may become a barrier to the appropriate decision. In particular, it can result in the lack of ideas due to the need to take the decision quickly. As a result, a project may suffer from inappropriate decision, which can lead to the unpredictable consequences. The risk increases with the decreasing deadline. Secondly, the problem of the democratic leadership is that it does not work where team members have a lack of knowledge (Paladan, 2015). This style requires plenty of time in order to help team members apply their skills and experience. Otherwise, there will be no use of the collective thinking and ideas sharing initiatives. The lack of knowledge may result in the lack of expertise in the specific field. In combination with the short deadline, it will lead to the uncompleted project. Thirdly, democratic leadership style may be too gentle in difficult situations when there is a need to have a bit of autocratic style (Bhatti, Maitlo, Shaikh, Hashmi & Shaikh, 2012). However, inability to take decisions without a team can result in useless leadership, which will not have beneficial effects on the results of the performance of the whole company. The named above weaknesses should become a warning sign to optimize the personal leadership style in the name of personal career development.

Three Improvements

The possible changes in the democratic leadership style, which can improve the performance of the whole team, should focus on the organized structure, deadlines, and suggestions. These aspects will be capable of helping both team members and a leader. An organized structure considers that there is a need to create a hierarchy of the group according to the level of expertise, experience, knowledge and skills in every specific project. It should not require much time to prioritize activity of every member in order to meet the requirements of the projects deadline. However, as a result, it will be possible to adjust quickly to every specific situation. In addition, such organized structure will help see advantages and disadvantages of every team member, which will contribute to the efficient distribution of the resources.

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Deadlines should take place in every task in order to improve personal sense of time not only of a leader but also of every team member. It is not difficult to apply a time framework in the development of the plan of actions. However, it may help avoid time wastage and unnecessary talks. Teambuilding also should have a specific approach towards the set of deadlines. Team members have a right to vote in order to choose appropriate time framework for every task completion.

Finally, suggestions mean that there is a need to create a handbook with guidelines towards the decision-making process. Such initiative should clearly outline the decisions taken by the leader, without participation of team members. It will enhance trust in a team and will help avoid possible misunderstandings while working on the projects (Jurek & Scime, 2013).

SMART Goals

By the end of the month, I will have defined duties and responsibilities of every team member based on the level of knowledge, skills and experience. I will change roles of every team member and monitor the productivity of every individual, which will help find an optimal selection of responsibilities.

By the end of the week, I will have completed the tasks according to the urgency. I will monitor the efficiency of each action in order to see the dependence between the deadline and the quality of the decision.

Actions to Achieve SMART Goals

First, it is important to mention that two goals aim to solve the problems related to weaknesses of the democratic leadership style. The first goal aims to understand the nature of the teams performance. It is impossible to create a highly motivated team of employees without understanding their skills and experience. In order to achieve the goal, it is necessary to pay attention to each members ability to complete different tasks and responsibilities. For example, it is possible to take a specific project and define tasks and responsibilities in a specific order. During the first week, the speed of completing tasks and ability to understand the end goal of every member should be outlined. During the second week, completing similar tasks in a different project, with replaced roles and responsibilities of every individual should be considered. In this way, it will be possible to see the productivity of every member in urgent situations when there is a need to act immediately. In addition, it is necessary to put different deadlines for the tasks in order to monitor the productivity of every member and understand issues, which prevent from making appropriate decision.

By the end of the month, it will be possible to have a complex report covering strengths and weaknesses of every team member. In the perspective of the personal democratic leadership style, it will become possible to avoid further confusion and misunderstanding in the decision-making processes in future projects. In addition, it will be possible to teach every team member how to prioritize tasks and complete them according to personal abilities to apply knowledge and skills. By the end of the SMART goal completion, it will be possible to improve personal ability to organize others and define appropriate roles and responsibilities.

The second SMART goal has a direct connection to the effective time-management. It considers personal organization of the daily routine and further planning of responsibilities according to the sense of time. Such initiative can be accomplished by thorough planning of tasks at the end of the day for another day. In this way, it will be impossible to miss the deadline or panic because of inability to complete the project. In addition, it will help bring peace of mind to other group members while working together on the same project.

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