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Running head: LEADERSHIP INSTRUMENT Solomon 1

Leadership Instrument and Journal Paper Week 1

Laura Ashley Solomon

University of Mount Olive


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Leadership Instrument and Journal Paper Week 1

Being a great leader is more than just power and decision making. To be a great leader

we must know our where our strengths and weaknesses are and how to use them to the highest

capability. It is about the process of influencing those around us to better our team and

organization. It is learning how to use your strengths and how to manage your weaknesses to be

a great leader (Santovec, 2012). There are many different approaches to placing value on traits

and skills in leadership. In this paper I will discuss the two techniques I used to determine my

personal strengths and weaknesses in leadership.

Findings: Trait Approach and Skills Approach

Many different tools are used for assessing leadership traits in organizations to determine

how and where individuals may provide the best service. One of the many tools available, the

Leadership Trait Questionnaire (LTQ), uses an individual’s own perceptions, as well as,

followers’ perceptions, to determine where their strengths and weaknesses measure on the trait

approach scale (Northouse, 2019). I completed the LTQ available in Peter Northouse’s textbook,

Leadership: Theory and Practice (2019), and asked five peers to complete one on me for

comparison. This questionnaire gives the opportunity to compare how you view your traits

compared to how your peers or followers view them. The results of my LTQ are listed below.

Self Peers
1. 5 3.7
2. 4 4.7
3. 5 4.7
4. 4 3.7
5. 3 4
6. 5 3.7
7. 5 5
8. 5 4.7
9. 4 4.3
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10. 5 4.7
11. 4 2.3
12. 5 5
13. 5 4
14. 5 4.3

While the LTQ is helpful in determining where an individual can be most beneficial to

an organization based off their current traits, a skills inventory questionnaire is useful in

understanding where an individual’s strengths and weaknesses are in regards to their leadership

skills. The difference in the two is the results from the LTQ can only validate how an individual

can be of best service based off only the traits they already possess and the skills inventory

questionnaire can determine what skills an individual maintains in an attempt to improve on

weaknesses and focus on strengths. I completed the skills inventory available in Northouse’s

textbook and the results are listed below.

Score
1. 3
2. 5
3. 4
4. 2
5. 3
6. 5
7. 4
8. 4
9. 5
10. 3
11. 4
12. 5
13. 4
14. 4
15. 4
16. 5
17. 5
18. 5
Technical Skill 21
Human Skill 25
Conceptual Skill 28
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Scoring Interpretation:

23-30 High Range

14-22 Moderate Range

6-13 Low Range

Strengths and Weaknesses

The findings from the trait’s questionnaire was very eye-opening. I found that I rated

myself higher on 9 out of 14 questions and only rated myself lower on 3 of the 14 questions. This

implies a strength and weakness I believe. It’s a strength because it shows I have a high level of

self-confidence in my abilities as a leader, however, the weakness shows in the concept that I

may not realize where my actual weaknesses lie. It is crucial to be able to determine where an

individual's own weaknesses are as well as their strengths. A great leader should be able to focus

on their strengths and be able to recognize their weaknesses to improve them.

Findings from the skills inventory were fairly accurate to what I perceive of my skills

level already. It revealed that my conceptual skills were the highest of the three types of

leadership skills. It also rated my human skills at a high level and my technical skills at the top

end of the moderate level. These results imply that my skills level would allow me to best serve

in top management levels as opposed to middle or supervisory levels. My weakness falls within

technical skills, which supervisory and middle management require a high level for successful

leaders. My strengths of human and conceptual skills are required for successful top management

leaders.

Alternatives

Mary Lou Santovec states in her article, “Team Leaders Use Their Strengths, Manage

Their Weaknesses” (2012), “Great leaders spend time improving what they do best. They’re not
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interested in becoming well rounded.” This does not mean they are not concerned with

improving and being a great leader but rather that a great leader knows where their strengths are

and how to overcome their weaknesses effectively. One key alternative to improve your team as

a leader, in spite of your weaknesses, is to hire followers who excel in your areas of weakness. It

is important to remember when building your team of followers, to include all different strengths

and skills within the group for the overall success of the team.

Implementation

To build a successful team around me, as a leader, I should look to hire those individuals

who may excel in their technical skills. These individuals would make great lower and middle

level managers to help with the functional management of my team. Some of the traits I ranked

lower in, by myself and my peers, were my persistence and conscientiousness. I find that some

of my weakness lies in not being as organized and being easily distracted from my immediate

goals or tasks. Hiring an individual or individuals that excel in this area can help to organize

plans better for implementation to prevent failure.

Training is a great way to improve leadership skills as opposed to the traits that we

possess (Santovec, 2012). Our traits are something that makes us who we are and knowing those

traits that are stronger in each of us will help in building a great team and organization. While it

is most beneficial to have members of a team and organization that has various trait strengths,

undergoing training to improve our skills and acquiring guidance from those that have higher

knowledge of these skills is an alternative to improving some of our weaknesses as leaders.


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References

Northouse, P. G. (2019). Leadership: Theory and Practice (Eighth ed.). Los Angeles: SAGE.

Santovec, M. L. (2012). Team Leaders Use Their Strengths, Manage Their Weaknesses. Women
in Higher Education,21(12), 27-28. doi:10.1002/whe.10404