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Let me begin where I left off in my last column by sharing some actual, identifiable data that was developed for self-study in my career as a student at Capella University in Minneapolis in a course titled "The Developing Leader." I would like to start with a review of Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) testing. I believe that this information provides an interesting insight into me as a human being.
My test results classified me as an INFP (Introversion-Intuition-Feeling-Perceiving) type personality. This tells us the following:
- People who prefer Introversion tend to focus on the inner world of ideas and impressions.
- People who prefer Intuition tend to focus on the future, with a view toward patterns and possibilities.
- People who prefer Feeling tend to base their decisions primarily on values and subjective evaluation of person-centered concerns.
- People who prefer Perceiving tend to like a flexible and spontaneous approach to life and prefer to keep their options open (Myers-Briggs, 1998).
These evocative phrases seem to typify that manner in which I operate as a person. These descriptive thoughts are further amplified by the content within the following statement made by the Myers-Briggs format:
INFP - Idealistic, loyal to their values and to people who are important to them. Want an external life that is congruent with their values. Curious, quick to see possibilities, can be catalysts for implementing ideas. Seek to understand people and to help them reach their potential. Adaptable, flexible, and accepting, unless a value is threatened (ibid).
The EQ in Action Profile test results indicated that I possess a great deal of empathy. However, there are some issues with regard to my concern for other people. The results of this procedure suggest a need to devote more time to reflecting on the needs of others. The need also exists to take some of the efforts directed at self reflection and move them to a reflection about others. This same situation is supported by the data in the Campbell Leadership Descriptor. There is an indication that the concerns for self need to be reoriented to a concern for others, particularly those of a different gender or ethnic background.
An important learning point for the future was touched on during an interview with my friend Jack Peltier of Marlboro, MA. He spoke of one of my primary strengths as being my willingness to stand up for those things in which I strongly believe. He also indicated that I did this in many cases in full knowledge of the consequences of my actions. He suggested that I needed to create an awareness of which battles needed to be fought and which needed to be avoided. He suggested that although my record was good, that there was also room for improvement.
My strengths are:
- Good judgment
To create a list of weaknesses, I was required to delve deeply into my psyche. The following are some thoughts about my personal weaknesses. In some cases, the weaknesses described are actually the potential downside of one of the strengths listed above.
- Procrastinator of the first rank
- Not good with time management
- Not a good listener
- Fragile ego
- Easily hurt
- Tend to pout sometimes
- Can be stubborn if a strong, personal value is challenged
- Ritualistic in the performance of routine tasks; any interruption of established routines can be upsetting
- Tend not to forget past injustices
- Can be abrupt with people during stressful times
- Can do too much for people to garner their support and affection
All of these issues need to receive attention during the conduct of my Personal Leadership Action Plan (PLAP). The when and the how of this action will be outlined as we proceed.
Taking stock of Harry R. Carter: A review of the strengths and weaknesses listed in an earlier section of this report to you needs to be recapped and emphasized. This has been done so that an appropriate array of measurable objectives can be created, based upon these identifiable points.