I will examine each of these functions from the perspective of my own previous and current work experience, my current job responsibilities and what I envision my career will look like in the future. This paper will also include information from my most recent leadership assessment and how these results support my strengths and areas of improvement in leadership development. And, finally, I will offer a thoughtful and thorough reflection on the areas where I need to improve and a development plan to support my growth.
Culture of SLU: Mission StatementA well thought-out strategy will reflect the shared values of the organization. These values are central to the vision, mission and culture. The shared values define how we approach strategic planning ever mindful that these values define in a unique way who and what the organization stands for and the behaviors associated with those values (Gill, 2012). The McKinsey Seven S Model Figure 6.1 of the text shows shared values at the heart of everything else i.e. structure, strategy, skills, style, staff and systems (Gill, 2012). I believe that shared values will determine how I approach my work and my relationship. The values of my institution are very similar to my own personal values. Therefore, my behavior should also reflect my values. When I think of the mission statement of Saint Louis University, the statement, “the pursuit of truth for the greater glory of God and for the service of humanity (University, Mission Statement, 2013),” speaks about the value of truth as it is found within ourselves and in our relationship with God. How we demonstrate that truth is in service to others. Hector Sants, chief executive officer of the United Kingdom Financial Services Authority, regarding shareholder value as the sole determining factor of success, states that “There must be a clear recognition of the need for institutions to contribute to the common good (Gill, 2012).” This statement should be a point of reflection for leaders as it speaks to the universal core values of trust and integrity.
Vision and Mission –Dream - This vision is broad in scope and will help to develop goals and strategies to help me get to where I’m going (Gill, 2012). A vision conceptualizes the ideal of what an organization will look like in the future (Gill, 2012) or what my personal experience will look like as I apply my ideas and creative energies to new projects and programs which support the vision. A vision is future focused (Gill, 2012). It serves as the foundation for why we do what we do, what we are working toward and how our work makes a difference. A vision supports strategy and gives meaning to the work. A visionary leader can be exciting to work for, giving color to ideas and energizing subordinates to dream. Creating a vision should be realistic and apply to the organization (Pickett Institute Curriculum, 2002). It should also represent an opportunity for new ideas which support growth. When I think of the vision and mission statements for Saint Louis University, my favorite was “Where Knowledge Touches Lives (University, 2011).” That simple statement speaks of learning, inquiry and using that knowledge to make a difference.
As I think about the vision and how to incorporate that vision, it brings me to strategy. A strategy is the steps we take to implement a vision. It has been called a journey, how to get from one point to another. It also contains within it the core values and reflects the vision and its purpose (Gill, 2012). There have been many views on strategy. The classical school of thinking holds that there is one answer arrived at through rational thinking (Gill, 2012). Another view is the evolutionary style where markets determine the strategy and not managers (Gill, 2012). This strategy involves adapting to the market instead of choosing an alternative strategy (Gill, 2012). The resource based theory of strategy originated with Bo Wernerfelt (Gill, 2012). From the leadership perspective, this view holds that a culture and shared values need to be developed to support the vision and purpose of the organization (Gill, 2012). Within the resource based view is the idea of core competencies (Gill, 2012). The core competencies are the available resources with regard to funding, knowledge, and people and what it does with those resources. It also takes into account known characteristics like customer service and innovation or the lack thereof (Gill, 2012).My understanding of strategy is more aligned with the resource based theory. I have an excellent understanding of the mission of my institution and can identify strategies based on available resources and knowledge to meet business goals. The strategies will include examining an initiative against the vision and mission of the university, division and my department. The process will also involve input from my colleagues to determine if my proposed strategy aligns with our department goals. This process supports my own understanding of strategy. I am a logical thinker and have the ability to bring down to earth the creative ideas or visionary thinking of former supervisors and/or colleagues. I am able to do this because of my natural inclination and need to make sense of a course of action and my own excitement of possibly implementing a new idea or strategy that will support our shared values and vision for the institution. I identify resources that will help serve a strategy and collaborate with other departments for buy in. I also strive to cultivate relationships across the board to help support our strategic initiatives. I have used my experience working with the executive leadership effectively to gain support for a program. Navigating the environment at the division and executive level to raise awareness for a competency modeling initiative has proven to be very helpful. While our timeline has been delayed somewhat, my suggestion to rethink the timeline was taken into account based on my knowledge of procedures and chain of command. How we move forward is critical to the success of this initiative, especially during this time of transition at the university.
As leaders decide on the values and strategy that defines a culture, they will attract followers through empowerment. In today’s ever changing workplace, a leader will have a competitive advantage if he is able to empower others. I have heard the saying that a good leader will surround himself with the very best people and then let them do their job. Empowering others means to give them power. What is often found in the workplace is empowerment by delegation where the employee is basically doing what they are told (Gill, 2012). The true purpose of empowerment is to grow and develop the skills and talents of another person (Gill, 2012). Barriers to empowerment can be found in the complexities of the workplace. There are trends and implications as outlined by Spoon and Vosburgh, of the continuous shift in personnel, lack of leadership training, managers being assigned more people to manage, and financial belts tightened which requires more control by the leader giving less responsibility to the followers (Richard Spoon, 2008). The implications are that more leadership and systematic training is needed, employees are more dependent on managers to make decisions, and in a tumultuous environment long term employees fear for their jobs (Richard Spoon, 2008). These barriers are a reality in many organizations including my own. I could identify with the stated trends and implications and have experienced being empowered by delegation and true empowerment where I’m given a project and told to run with it. Naturally, I prefer to own a program or project and work towards a goal. My manager is in the background for support if needed. This type of empowerment is instrumental in building self-confidence, skills and fully utilizes the talents of the employee.
My understanding of an employee being engaged is someone who gives themselves whole heartedly to their work. Someone who brings creativity, works toward the common good of the department, is collaborate with coworkers and wants the best for the team (Gill, 2012). Working with an engaged coworker or leader is inspiring as they also bring a positive presence to the workplace. Their personality is conducive to engagement. They are more open, communicate well and are sensitive to the needs of others and exhibit a high level of emotional intelligence (Gill, 2012).
Vision and Mission: Areas of strength are that I am capable of incorporating the mission into every aspect of my work, educating colleagues and in facilitating training. An area that I need to work on is my willingness to more effectively collaborate with the Mission & Ministry division to help drive these initiatives. In the past, this has been a challenge, due to the personality of the leader. What I have learned is that I need to monitor my own perceptions of this leader to more effectively work with him. I will do this by being more reflective on why I want to collaborate with him and if it would be the best course given the climate of the university at this time. Strategy: On the strategy portion of the assessment, my score indicates that I have a good understanding of strategy. I am a process logical thinker and like to reference data to support an imitative or an idea. Aside from assessments, I like to conduct one on one meetings to gather information which helps support the data. When presented with a project, I can easily start mapping out a strategy. I am cognizant of the senior leadership and can navigate this aspect pretty well. I have identified some areas of improvement when it comes to strategy. I find that I need to be more open to different approaches and instead of moving ahead with an approved strategy to take a step back and reflect on the course of action and give myself more time to be creative. And, finally, I need to pay more attention to how I react to the facts in light of the bigger picture.Shared Values: Based on the assessment, I have a good to excellent understanding of the values of the university with potential for growth. My strengths in this area are that I believe in the importance of these shared values which align with my personal values. A weakness is that I may not recognize how others are incorporating these values and may become frustrated when I perceive someone’s actions or way of communicating do not align with the values of the department or the institution. A development opportunity for me is to seek to understand another’s view as it relates to these shared values. My experiences shape my understanding of these shared values, and I need to be more open to learn about the experience of others through effective listening and open-mindedness so that I can provide some guidance in helping others recognize these shared values in their daily lives.Empowerment:For the empowerment portion of the assessment my score indicated that I believe in developing myself, I have a love of learning and expressing ideas with others. While I scored high on this portion of the assessment, I have realized that I have empowered others not necessarily from a management or supervisory position. In reflecting over the course of this past year, I remember a situation where I wanted to empower someone on our team and they were not ready. Even though I believe she would have been successful, she could not envision herself taking on a different role in training even with support and backup. Instead, I adapted to her needs and involved her in handling one of the personal development sessions by introducing the speaker and making sure the practicalities were handled, room arrangement etc. She filled in for me and did a great job. Lesson learned was that not everyone wants to be empowered, but may be willing if a different approach is used.Engagement: I don’t believe I can change someone’s behavior which I believe is an internal process. However, I can affect another’s behavior in the workplace through my attitudes and actions. I can influence through inspiring others to take a look at a new perspective. I believe this happens when the leader wanting to promote an initiative is transparent and open to feedback and willing to act if necessary on that feedback. This will inspire others, confirming their value with the leader and the organization. An area of potential growth for me is possibly giving up too soon when behavior does not change. The implications for me would be to listen more attentively to another idea and give it consideration. As I am more open in my own thinking, I believe this will help the process in either coming to a compromise with another person’s idea or changed attitudes and full consideration of a new plan. This type of influence from the leader is not manipulative. It is based on self-awareness and reflection on what is in the best interest of the institution.
Integrated leadership model
BY LISA TERNEUS
Fall 2, 2013-2014
ORLD 501 Contemporary
Steven Winton, PhD
VALUES & CULTURE
• Culture – the way we do things
• Values – determine how we do things
• Strategy – the plan to get there
• Why do we need a vision?
• Future Focused
• Are what dreams are made of
• Supports strategy
• Gives meaning to work
• Shapes strategic planning
• Fuels leadership development programs
• How to get from point A to point B
• Supports the vision
• Is a process
• Different views
• Resource based theory
Oxford English Dictionary
• “giving people authority or power,”
• “making them able, to do something or act in a particular way”
• …it is ‘immoral’ not to develop others or to not allow them to
develop to their fullest potential because of the resulting
tremendous waste of human talent.”
• Hard to define
• A “Passion for Work”
ASSESSMENT RESULTS ON THE 5
• Vision and Mission
• Shared Values
Craft, M. (2007, January 11). 10 Ways to Inspire Others. Retrieved from Management Craft:
Gill, R. (2012). Theory and Practice of Leadership. London: SAGE Publications.
Jesuits. (2013, December 11). About Us. Retrieved from Jesuits: http://www.jesuit.org/aboutus?PAGE=DTN20130520122853
Naseer, T. (2013, December 13). How Leaders Can Better Engage And Empower Their Employees. Retrieved from Human
Captial Institute: http://www.hci.org/blog/how-leaders-can-better-engage-and-empower-their-employees
Pickett Institute Curriculum, I. (2002). The Power of Visioning in Strategic Planning.
Richard Spoon, C. R. (2008, August). Empowering Employees and Teams for High Performance. San Antonio, Texas.
Robert E. Quinn, G. M. (1997, August). The Road to Empowerment: Seven Questions Every Leader Should Consider.
Organizational Dynamics, pp. 37-48.
University, R. (2013, December 13). Jesuit Mission. Retrieved from Rockhurst University:
University, S. L. (2011). Our Way of Proceeding. St. Louis: Saint Louis University.
University, S. L. (2013, October 26). Mission Statement. Retrieved from Saint Louis University: