My Experience with the Leadership Trait Questionnaire
After completing the questionnaire, I found that my traits suggest that I would be an average leader. Despite not finding any of my traits to have a score lower than three, a lot of them returned very average results. I believe that my main weaknesses as a leader lie in the lack of confidence in my abilities. Because of my life experience, I am familiar with the fact that I can accomplish certain tasks very well. Sometimes, the things I do are even considered to be great and extremely helpful. However, I still find myself to be doubtful when an unfamiliar challenge arises before me. I have certain insecurities, and they have a negative effect on my determination, persistence, and even my trustworthiness. Not because I lie or betray people, but because my attitude rarely inspires confidence in others, which is a crucial aspect of leadership. My organization skills are also lacking as I often find myself lost if more than two tasks require completion in a short amount of time (Walter & Scheibe, 2013).
My philosophy in this matter is focused on accentuating my positive aspects because I believe that they can overshadow and overcome the shortcomings of my personality. I have a very diligent approach to work which allows me to avoid making extraneous mistakes and prevents delays that often plague large projects. I am also a very sociable person who tries to respond to people with warmth and understanding. This improves my professional ethic as I am extremely patient and understanding when people are experiencing fits of anger, frustration, and other negative emotions that can be present in a team working under pressure. Therefore I believe that I am able to lead a team working on a project that has a limited timetable and has to be diligently finished on schedule. Such projects are often the result of a leader loss due to either health issues, or professional disagreements (Dinh & Lord, 2012).
The most surprising aspects of my test results were perhaps the self-confidence and dependability scores that I gave myself. Originally both were going to be a few points lower, but I decided to think about them more clearly. I started with the dependability score. My initial self-doubt forced me to consider giving myself a low score. However, I thought about all the projects that I was involved in for the last five years. Out of about 15 major ones, I have not failed a single one. Despite worries and doubts, I have overcome myself and delivered quality work that benefited the project every single time. Therefore, I gave myself the highest mark. Such dependability can be a saving grace for a leader, so I had to rethink my self-confidence score. I still knew that I often experience panic while encountering new challenges, so the score could not be high but after considering my previous results I have gained a higher confidence in myself so I gave myself a four.
The trait approach to leadership suggests that a good leader has traits that help them to influence the team as well as provide effective results (Northouse, 2016). I believe that despite some of my low scores I can have an influence on the team with my social skills and positive attitude. Making a personal connection with team members is an important skill in the work of a leader, and I can achieve that. Similarly, my dependability and diligence should provide quality results.
The test suggests that I would not be a great leader. However, I possess traits that can be used to provide consistent results under pressure. I hope to work on my traits in the future to achieve a better level of leadership.
Dinh, J. E., & Lord, R. G. (2012). Implications of dispositional and process views of traits for individual difference research in leadership. The Leadership Quarterly, 23(4), 651–669.
Northouse, P. G. (2016). Leadership: Theory and practice (7th ed.). Thousand Oaks: CA: Sage Publications.
Walter, F., & Scheibe, S. (2013). A literature review and emotion-based model of age and leadership: New directions for the trait approach. The Leadership Quarterly, 24(6), 882–901.