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LSI Inventory Exercise

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The Life Styles Inventory survey is a very fascinating way in which one can think of one’s way of actually becoming a constructive leader. The constructive slice is quite an alluring piece of the pie which is where most people would like to be at. But then again, due to actions in life and the work place this may not be the case. One may experience a more higher level in passive / defensive or aggressive / defensive styles which would need more work on to obtain the a better outcome from the survey. The primary LSI thinking style, which I had during the survey, was a conventional style of thinking. This style listed items such as that I am restrained, very conventional and avoids conflict. Now these appear to show very defensive thoughts. I do believe that there are items that show that, but I am not only these thoughts; I am also very respectful of others, I also enjoy being recognized by superiors for the efforts that I do in my line of work and I am reliable and steady.

These are also thoughts that influence my thinking style. I believe that this style is definitely in line with how I work throughout the day. For instance, when there is a project that is due; I complete the project on time. It is pleasing to me to obtain an email from my manager regarding my successful work, and obtaining praise for a job well done will self motivate me to continue to do exceptional work on the next project. For instance, I was able to obtain a certain certification on a project that allowed our product to be sold in a different category. This certification took about 12 weeks to obtain, and it was very gratifying to receive an email from my manager regarding my ability to receive the certification. Certainly, these are the favorable attributes of the conventional style. There are also the troublesome traits of the conventional style, which displays items that I also hold true as part of my work style. Restrained, indecisive, often uncertain, are all parts of this style, which I also occupy.

But I believe that this is because I am still learning about my job, and that without knowing exactly what to do, this prevents me from acting on information. I know that this is my work style, but I believe that this is also very similar to my personal thinking style as well. I am very considerate of other people’s thoughts and actions but would rather go with the rules for that situation, if I don’t know what is the right thing to do. For instance, an item such as obtaining a certain grocery item that is on my list. If this item is not available at this grocery store, I may run to another grocery store to obtain the item to ensure that I have this item when I get home. Consequently, my back up thinking style is a competitive style as stated in my LSI survey. This is definitely a thinking style that I know I have. I am extremely competitive in my work style. I have a strong will to win, I like to be seen and noticed, and I make everything a challenge.

However, there are also items in this competitive slice that I did not think were something that I really had to deal with. I did not know that I am also boastful, egotistical, and thinks only of self. These are items that I feel are a more on the end of this competitive slice. They are parts that are listed but I don’t necessarily take up. For instance, as I work my job, I take on projects that may be difficult to complete. I feel that they are projects that I can complete and that I can effectively solve. This is certainly part of my competitive style and goes to being my back up thinking style. Now, one limiting style I have is the achievement, constructive style. This is the style that shows that one is ambitious, enjoys planning, and explores most alternatives before acting. Based on my current personal style, I believe that this is one that I need to work on. I like to ‘shoot from the hip’ in my management style, without thinking of the consequences of that action. I do learn from my mistakes and I correct issues.

For instance, there was an issue in which I started a project in which three items needed to be completed by a project group. Now, when I started the project only two parts of the project commenced and the third part was left behind. We are now about 6 weeks into the project and the third part came up and I had to come up with a reason as to why the third part did not take place. Definitely, on future projects I will ensure that all aspects are taken care of first before starting the project. Nonetheless, how do these thinking styles affect my management style and how do I manage projects and others. Let us discuss the four functions of management, which are planning, organizing, leading and controlling. In the first aspect of management, which is planning, I hastily plan my projects with sometimes very little thought.

For instance, in my job I have to create a project plan that lists the various tasks with dates and owners for each task. I make snap judgments on the various tasks that need to be complete. This is an aspect from the competitive style of thinking. I get upset that the task is not done correctly and would end up doing the task myself. Clearly this is not proper management of these tasks. One must be able to successfully plan out a certain task effectively, co-ordinate with the owners, list a proper schedule and define the actions listed on the task in order to obtain completion of this task. Next, organizing whether it is organization of task or people, this is another function of management that I sometimes deliver but then sometimes do not. I need to understand that ability of assigning work to the correct people in order to effectively reach my goal of completing the task.

For instance, one task may be that I obtain a certain response on a specific date after the factory completed an audit inspection. I need to be able to get with the teams involved and effectively lead them to the goal of completing this response in order to complete the task. Because of my conventional thinking style, I am inconsistent and often uncertain of how to complete this task. This then gets translated to my team members, and hence causes failures in the task. Subsequently, the idea of leading is another function of management that my personal styles have an effect on. Leading groups into completing tasks and giving guidance appears to be one of the more difficult aspects that I have come across. I used to be the person in the wheel turning and completing my tasks on time, but then actually turning the wheel, and leading others becomes quite challenging at times.

When leading, I need to understand my team member’s personalities, values, attitudes and emotions. This will give me insight into what motivates my team members and will show what situations are most effective. Certainly as conventional and competitive are my two thinking styles this function becomes quite difficult to overcome. I am restrained, avoid conflict and indecisive, I also get upset over losing, constantly comparing my self to others and overestimate my ability. These are traits that impact the ability to lead, or not the characteristic of a good leader. Finally, controlling is the last function of management, which means that a team’s performance hardly deviates from the standards. There are three parts of controlling which are, establishing performance standards, comparing actual performance against standards and taking corrective action when necessary 1. Certainly, my personal styles have an effect on this function of management.

Let us discuss the three aspects of this function. First, let us discuss establishing performance standards. Currently in my position there has been performance standards that have been already set by previous management. It is my job to lead the team members in this direction of completing tasks per this performance standard which is completing the project on time. I do achieve by conforming as oppose the risk for change. Completing a task by allowing some certain change appears quite difficult for me to comprehend. Next, comparing actual performance against standards is another function of controlling. Completing the actual task become difficult at times. Because I am conventional, I am indecisive which doesn’t allow for certain tasks to be completed to a standard. Finally, taking corrective action is the final step in the controlling function of management.

I do take corrective action, when a certain task is not done correctly or some process needs to be completed, I send an email stating this and this is taken care of at times. Now, I feel that this conventional and competitive style had to come up as my personal styles because of the fact that I needed to have the highest grades and best marks because it would allow you to go to the best college. After high school, I attended my post secondary schooling at DeVry and had to have the best grades because I felt that obtaining the best grades would mean that you would have the best job after school. Certainly, I know now that it really is how you work and who you know that will give you the job you desire. Yet growing up with this competitive trait still holds true today. In addition, dealing with issues in my family help condition my conventional style.

I avoid conflict, achieve by conforming, and am very respectful to others because of the way I was brought up from childhood. My parents had always taught me right from wrong, and told me the rules of life and hence I believe now that rules may be more important than your ideas. Evidently this is not the case, at times it shows that breaking the rules and can help you later on. Of course, it really depends on what rules you break and how you break them. Conclusively, I feel that the traits of conventional and competitive traits are inline with how I am thinking as of right now in my work place and in life.

Eventually my goal is to obtain a director level to vice president level in my work place. This becomes a question on what I can do to help improve my constructive traits to obtain this level. How I can be have more achievement, obtain more self-actualizing traits becomes the two needs that I need to work on. How I can enjoy planning and having better analytic skills, while also having sound judgment, and communicating ideas easily becomes the traits that I need to improve on. I see that most CEOs have these traits and hence it would be great to obtain these thought processes. I can use the achievement self-improvement plan to show some positive and self-defeating consequences and do the same for self-actualization. These are the goals that I will continue to pursue in order to obtain a more constructive and successful work ethic.

Bibliography

1. “Planning, Organizing, Leading, and Controlling.” Planning, Organizing, Leading, and Controlling. Web. 20 May 2014.

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