While human resource professionals struggle to acquire and retain the most prospective workers, leadership gradually becomes one of the rarest organizational resources. Leadership is a combination of talent and perseverance, a unique blend of vision, mission, passion, and character. Not surprisingly, organizations implement programs to boost smooth and productive leadership development, by letting the most talented workers embrace novel experiences, engage in knowledge and information exchanges, and build the leadership capacity needed to promote competitiveness within the organization (Pappano, 2012). Of course, leadership development never comes easy. Leaders themselves are expected to develop a perfect understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses. Personality, behavioral, cognitive and cultural assessments serve as an important source of knowledge about leadership and leaders. The results of such assessments can be used to create an effective career and leadership development plan.
As a part of this assignment, I participated in the PTI Majors testing, in order to uncover the most essential facets of my leadership style. The results of my responses produced a unique ENTJ leadership profile. More specifically, and according to Majors PTI (2014), my leadership preferences include: extraversion, intuiting, thinking, and judging. Based on these results, I can say that, as a leader, I am quite well organized, and it is due to organization that many of the leadership achievements I seek to accomplish become real (Majors PTI, 2014). In almost all situations, I try to develop a solution through a series of systematic efforts and steps, while seeking for hidden self- and organizational development possibilities (Majors PTI, 2014). As a leader, I try to promote and follow explicit decision making standards, although I am not secured from being extremely sensitive to others’ criticism (Majors PTI, 2014). Overall, I am open to novelties, being extraverted by nature. As a leader, I rely on intuition but do not lose the grasp of reason, having a thinking and judging personality. These features also imply that I prefer an action-oriented style of leadership, and seek expert advice to expand my knowledge and improve my leadership skills (Majors PTI, 2014). However, one assessment strategy cannot provide complete information about one’s leadership capacity and preferences in style.
As a leader, I have a strong belief in the multifaceted nature of every personality and talent. Consequently, I rely on the belief that only a variety of personality, cognitive, behavioral, and cultural assessments can produce a more or less realistic picture of one’s strong and weak leadership sides. I think that the following assessments could well inform my career development: McBride’s reasoning and decision making instrument, Thomas Kilmann Conflict Mode assessment, Patrick Handley’s personality and culture instrument, and Watson-Glaser thinking test appraisal. I have chosen these assessments, based on their relative popularity, availability of data on their validity and reliability, as well as the ease of accessing, using, and interpreting these assessment results. The Reasoning and Decision Making tool published by Walt McBride includes only nine items, with internal reliability of .50-.72 and validity that confirms the utility of this assessment instrument in displaying employees’ ability to work without supervision. The Watson-Glaser Thinking Test is equally valid and reliable, but only when a holistic approach is used, coupled with the use of subtest information for further analysis and interpretation of its results. The Thomas Kilmann Conflict Mode assessment instrument has the reliability, which ranges between .5 and .82, and the validity, which was supported by a number of empirical studies. Finally, the personality and culture assessment developed by Insight displays sufficient internal validity between .71 and .85 and high validity coefficients. These data confirms the appropriateness of these assessment tools for career and leadership development.
The results of all these assessments add to the results identified through PTI Majors (2014). McBride’s reasoning and decision making tool has identified the presence of well-developed strategic and tactical reasoning capabilities, which confirm my commitment to identifying and detecting gaps and errors, while being devoted to discipline in problem solving and career growth. The Thomas Kilmann Conflict Mode instrument shows high rates for competing and collaborating conflict management styles. Through Insight’s personality and culture assessment, I have learned about being outgoing, directly influencing, extremely precise in organizing, and very urgent, fast paced. In light of numerous assessment strategies and instruments, leaders may develop a sense of confusion that does not allow to use the results of such assessments effectively. Therefore, systematization is needed to develop a more comprehensive picture of my leadership style and develop recommendations for future improvements.
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Overall, the results of such assessments can be used to develop an effective career plan. Kyle (n.d.) suggests that unmasking oneself is one of the crucial steps towards crafting a successful career plan. All results identified in this work are extremely relevant for me as a leader, and the first thing I am going to do about them is systematize this information to identify a set of my biggest strengths and my greatest weaknesses. The most essential thing I have learned about myself as a leader is that I have a unique balance of reason and intuition which, when supported by self-organization and discipline, can help to produce a comprehensive vision and guide my followers through challenges towards the most ambitious goals. As of now, the only personal change I would make is get more sensitive to my weaknesses and develop a plan to transform these weaknesses into leadership strengths. I also think that I should become more sensitive to what other leaders and followers have to say about my skills and talents, beyond relying on the results of numerous leadership assessments.