the study of leadership traits and characteristics

What is encouraged in being a good leader? After doing the exercise in the context that dealt with the study of leadership traits and characteristics that was done by Kirkpatrick and Locke, I found some of the importance of leadership traits. Knowing the importance is only one step in getting to know yourself. Its also being able to use the leadership traits in ways that make you more able to lead. Finding what it really takes to be a successful leader may be hard, but I can recall several events in my career as a manager that can make the normal leaders’ head spin.

Just looking back at what I have done so far as a manager makes me stop and think “what did I do to get me this far?” It is a very competitive environment in any industries standards. Upon reminiscing one of my days in training were I did not know how to handle a certain situation, I find myself laughing at the decisions I made, and what I thought to be the better solution to some simple minded problem.

The problem was that I was asked if I could get a particular coworker some ones out of the safe. A customer was waiting for these ones so that they could leave. Being the first day working at the store by myself in training, I had forgotten the combination to the safe, and they were not written down anywhere. We needed ones and customers were not very happy about me telling the employees to temporarily give quarters instead until I could call someone for the combination.

First, looking at one of our class self assessment exercises, the one with Kirkpatrick and Locke I found the truth in what things you, yourself have to have in terms of leadership traits. In training at Boston Market for new positions, you find that all levels of drive, motivation, integrity, confidence, cognitive ability, and task knowledge start off very low just for the simple fact that you don’t have the training it takes for you to trust yourself enough. I know I felt very depressed, stressed, and my level of confidence was low when I began training, and not remembering the combination did not help!

On my very first day alone in training that was how I felt. But now as a manager who is fully trained on all aspects of the standards and procedures I feel much better. Why? Because I felt like I was needed, and that everyone could depend on me for answering their questions. I also found myself moving faster and managing tasks more appropriately.

Even though I had become a better manager there were times that I had felt like I was undermined by subordinates because I could not handle a certain situation. I was befuddled by a problem. It caused them to give me less respect because of my lack of task knowledge. I had to find a way to ease the tension and regain respect.

The only way to do that as a manager is to is to just learn as much as you can and be your own cheerleader and critic. Seeing where you can improve, and building your confidence is the key!

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