Leadership Portfolio Week 2
Queens University of Charlotte
This week the Leadership Portfolio Exercises greatly helped me understand my personal values. Through crafting my personal vision statement and ranking both my terminal and instrumental values, I learned a lot about myself. Hackman and Johnson (2013) define terminal values as our “lifelong goals” and instrumental values as the “behaviors that help people achieve lifelong goals,” (p. 115). I was surprised at how difficult it was to simply rank the values that I deemed most important. I spent a lot of time on this exercise to ensure I was being honest with myself about what I valued. I ranked “family security” as my top “terminal value” and “honesty” as my top “instrumental” value (p. 115). What was even more revealing is what I discovered when I crafted my personal vision statement:
To engage in enriching experiences that enhance my relationships with loved ones and fulfill my desire to accomplish greatness, while fostering inner harmony.
As I thought about my behaviors, I realized they don’t always match my true values. I spend a lot of time at work and dedication to achieve personal accomplishments. I have a demanding career, I train for marathons and I go to school. However, my top priority is my family. Do my actions true match my words? If my vision statement outlines that I want to engage in enriching experiences that enhance my relationship with loved ones….does my time align to these values? The answer is no. I spend my days working, my nights doing coursework and my weekends training. This was eye opening.
I also learned quite a deal about my strengths and weaknesses through the assessments. When I completed the exercise, “Identifying Your Mental Models” (Fairhurst, 2010) I discovered that my strengths are that I’m strong-willed, self-motivated and goal driven. However, I’m also impatient, selfish and introverted. Some may argue that being an introvert isn’t a weakness and I’ve thought about quite a lot as a leader. I’ve often heard that strong leaders are extroverts and make connections with ease. However, Hackman and Johnson (2013) state, “Leaders were found to be both young and old, tall and short, heavy and thin, extroverted and introverted, and physically attractive as well as physically unattractive,” (p. 73). This is incredibly refreshing to hear, as it helps me feel as if my leadership capability isn’t predetermined by innate personality style. One of my strengths also is also that I’m a strong communicator. When identifying my mental model, and asking myself Faircloth’s (2010) question, “What really counts in your organization?” I realized that I do have what it takes to be successful in my current organization. Being a strong communicator, having an executive presence, being goal-driven are important qualities in my organization. I also feel that being extroverted would help me take my career to the next level. Relationship building is also key in my role and I have difficulty in this area. I need to focus on these skill sets.
I am able to put these tools into practice through using the “Your Core Framing Tasks” checklist and ensuring that I’m following the guidelines to reinforce a strong team connection and focus the entire team on delivering outstanding results (Faircloth, 2010, p. 52). I also will share this information with others as I want them to really think about Faircloth’s (2010) points about constructing and maintaining a meaningful organizational identity. Being able to answer “Who are we?”, “What really counts in this organization?” and “What does it take to get ahead in this organization?” are important for each teammate to know, feel and act upon (p. 52). These questions reinforce the individual accountability that each of us has to ensuring the collective success of our team.
Fairhurst, G. T. (2010). The Power of Framing: Creating the Language of Leadership (J-B US non-Franchise Leadership). San Francisco, CA: Wiley. Kindle Edition.
Hackman, M. Z. and Johnson, C. E. (2013). Leadership: A Communication Perspective. Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press, Inc.: Kindle Edition.