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Leadership Development 1, Requirement 2

Describe the following traits of leadership a) Direct, b) Indirect, c) Reserved, d) Outgoing, e) Urgent, f) Steady, g) Unstructured, h) Precise. Describe the types which best fit you. (minimum 100 words for each trait, and 100 words for the self-description)

The leadership traits described in the standard above are related to the "Insight 360° Inventory" process, primarily a feedback process for managers using input from employees. It can be a good tool for self-evaluation, but it is a better tool when used with the input of others. Each of these traits has positives and negatives associated with them, but there is no ideal combination.
  • Direct – Persons who are direct tend to be honest about the way things are going, and rarely sugarcoat things. They are confident and will tell you exactly what they think of what you are doing, and often will tell you how you can do it better. They are decisive and often seem to have a plan that they would like to see implemented. They are often oriented toward the task at hand more than toward the people doing the task, and teams working with this type of leader often feel as if they reached their goal due to the leader rather than their own work. This type of leader will likely bring out feelings of acheivement for the team as a whole.
  • Indirect – The socratic approach is likely from an indirect person, as they are more likely to ask questions than suggest direction, though the questioning may lead to a specific direction. They are tactful and supportive of team members, and are often more interested in the team than they are in the task itself. Teams who are lead by indirect personalities are less likely to feel driven toward a singluar goal and more likely to feel as thuough they have arrived at the goal they reach by their own volition. This type of leader is very likely to bring out strong feelings of accomplishments for individuals.
  • Reserved – Reserved leaders are likely to give less direction and to spend a lot more time listening than directing. They are often quiet during meetings and like to listen to the ideas of others. They may be introverted. Little time is spent in meetings and more time is spent encouraging individual work among team members. Often, the leader will take time to him- or herself to "get away from it all." There is a perception that this sort of leader thinks before action takes place. This type of leader is less likely to take credit for the work of others, but also less likely to have the team take credit for success as well.
  • Outgoing – Outgoing leaders are generally very expressive, speaking to many people and having many meetings to ensure that things are getting done and going smoothly. He or she is likely to lead those meetings and do much of the talking. The leader seems to become more involved as he or she becomes more involved with the people on the project. Very often, they work hard and rarely need to "get away" or "recharge" out of the office; often, they skip breaks and lunches and work extra hours to ensure that everything gets done. This type of leader is likely to ensure that credit is applied where it is due, and will ensure that a team gets credit for its work.
  • Urgent – Decisions are made quickly with an urgent leader, usually when one or two options present themselves to the leader or team and before other options become avaialble. This sort of leader dislikes stasis and prefers to move or act as often as possible. They are quick to accept changes. Often, this sort of leader will be known to "go with their guts" in situations requiring a decision, rather than deliberating over it for a long time. Often, getting an idea in first will ensure that it is approved reliably, as this sort of leader is interested in making fast decisions rather than waiting for other opportunities to arise.
  • Steady – A steady leader will take as much time as possible in coming to a decision, concerned that the decision made too rashly will prevent consideration of all options. Projects are reviewed constantly to ensure that they are on track and correctly handled, and meetings will often cover every option in the project over and over again to ensure that everythig that can be thought of has been thought of. The key to getting an idea approved with this sort of leader is to ensure its quality, and carefully thought out: this sort of leader will take the option that he or she is certain is best, not the one delivered quickest.
  • Unstructured – An unstructured leader is less concerned with how a project is finished than he or she is with the fact that it gets finished. Timelines, charters, and meetings are all likely to be deemed either unnecessary or of low importance. Tasks may not be assigned to team members, or they may be given great freedom in the manner in which they complete tasks. This sort of leader has great trust in his team to do the right thing at the right time, and values creative solutions to ordinary issues. When new or strange issues come up, this sort of leader is unphased, and he or she will generally "roll with the punches" in order to keep a project moving.
  • Precise – A precise leader is interested in the process of completing a project, believing that the outcome is dependant on that project's process. Structure is required, and meetings will often be held to check up on where team members are in their assigned timelines or tasks. Much organization goes into this sort of leadership, and a logical progression from task to task is required. Planning sessions are often a vital part of this leader's style. New issues can break a precise leader, and he or she may not know what to do if a timeline breaks down or a task is delayed.

The following table lays out the eight factors based on traits (described below):

Factor Trait Factor
Indirect Getting Your Way Direct
Reserved Responding to Others Outgoing
Urgent Pacing Activity Steady
Unstructured Dealing with Details Precise
Getting Your Way
How you express your thoughts and opinions: are you indirect in expression, or direct?
Responding to Others
How you approach and respond to others: are you reserved, or are you outgoing?
Pacing Activity
The speed at which you make decisions and take actions: are your decisions/actions always urgent, or are they steady?
Dealing with Details
How you structure time and organize tasks: are you unstructured, or precise in your structure?

I am an unstructured, steady, reserved, indirect leader. I have a great amount of trust in those I work with, assuming that they will get the job done with little hands-on nudging from me (though timely coaching may be required from time to time). I prefer to ensure that the decisions reached are the best ones, not the quickest, and I like to hear and discuss every option before settling on one. I prefer to spend my time listening to the issues people have and encouraging them on a one-on-one basis. I like to ask questions that lead to new and interesting answers, as I generally see the process of asking quetions out loud and receiving answers to be extremely helpful, as I tend to not have the answers myself most of the time. I also like to recognize individuals and encourage that sort of feeling of accomplishment wherever I can.



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