Since this semester, I became busier than before because I have one job to do, and I also hold a position in student government. But as a college student, this course has helped me learn a lot about other people and myself. Through several self-assessments and tests, I have developed a better understanding of myself. I realized what are my strengths and weaknesses not only as an employee or student, but it also can be applied in any leadership roles in both campus life and working environment. During the semester, many things from this course surprised me, those analysis done by the researchers accurately showed me a holistic view of myself, what’s my current standing, what I am good at, and what I need to put more effort in. Therefore, I discovered that I am a very hardworking and social person at the management level, and I have always been prepared for any given situation. On the other hand, some of my weaknesses include reluctant to ask for help from outside when completing a task that is very challenging, even though I have good relationships with people.
First, when we step up to become a manager, we must have the motivation to achieve that position. K.Y Chan and F. Drasgow (2001) suggested that one of the four major elements of a manager’s responsibilities is to be a leader… it makes sense that you would be a better manager if you have a strong motivation to lead (p.481). The first self-assessment helped me reflect on whether I have a strong internal motivation to lead. I found out that I have a high motivation to lead, which I think is fairly accurate. According to the assessment, there are three factors associated with motivation to lead. All of the three elements are about if you are have a positive willingness to lead no matter there is a reward or not. Although I don’t always volunteer first to take charge of a situation, I would have a desire to do if others are hesitating, and I will develop a cheap plan for us to move on. I consider this a strength, but I know as a leader, you will have to take more responsibility and have a broader point of view, so I need to keep improving myself in order to be more competent and comfortable with a leadership role.
Moreover, after learning McGregor’s Theory X and Y, I realized that I am evenly split between a Theory X and Theory Y perspective. “A manager with a Theory X orientation thinks employees, in general, are irresponsible, resistant to change, lack ambition, hate work, and would rather be led than to have the opportunity to lead, [and] a manager with a Theory Y perspective thinks employees are capable and desirous of accepting responsibility, are self-directed in ways that are beneficial to the organization, possess self-control, and are imaginative and creative” (R.E Kopelman, D.J. Prottas and A.L. Davis, 2008, p.255) I felt I would appreciate a manager with a view of employees between Theory X and Theory Y. That is, a manager who trusts its employees, let them have the opportunity to show their talents while providing them with a clear procedure of what to do and guide them in the right direction.
Furthermore, I learned valuable information about career readiness and the managerial skill sets that match real-world expectations. Many companies now complain that college students are not ready for jobs after graduation. For example, even though they have the knowledge in certain areas, they do not know how to effectively use them, and their analytical, interpersonal, communication skills are relatively poor. Based on the research of S. Arad, M.A. Donovan, K.E. Plamondon, and E.D. Pulakos (2000), the ability to adapt to new job requirements, technologies, cultural and social forces, and new business processes is increasingly important in the 21st century (p.612). Thus, being ready or prepared for any situation is crucial for one to be successful in life. First, you should have an interest in what job you are going to do, then an interest leads to motivation, motivation leads to hard work and good performance. Second, you have to possess the ability to solve problems effectively. The real world is full of challenges and unexpected situation, you should look for ways to improve your problem-solving skills to overcome these hardships, even if you fail, you can still learn from that and anticipate a better result next time.
Knowing your strengths is important, knowing your weakness is crucial. The first weakness is my openness to people. Maybe you think that’s a good personality which helps you to socialize, but it has its pros and cons. People with high extroversion personalities tend to be outgoing, talkative, sociable and assertive. Research shows that with an outgoing nature, an extrovert is more likely to develop his professional life much quicker than those who are shy and hiding as they can express themselves with confidence and become socially active. Also, an extrovert makes good contact in a short period and would be able to maintain this relationship in a healthy way in the long term, which means that he can achieve his goals faster. On the other hand, extroverts tend to lack self-awareness or not to think of what other people’s viewpoints are. Self-awareness is important because once leaders are aware of themselves, and they know what their responsibility and purpose are as a leader; then they can lead the fellow colleagues more effectively and efficiently. Moreover, self-awareness fosters a sense of their values and how these values impact their personal development. Thus, being an extrovert comes with great benefits, but it also comes with some drawbacks. Now, by knowing its advantages and disadvantages, I have to balance the scale of openness to people in the workplace to ensure better consequences than worse ones.
This class helped me explore my strengths and expose my weaknesses. By taking multiple assessments and writing this paper, I learned what it takes to be a successful manager and how to adapt to a changing working environment. I used my responses from the assessments to see what type of manager, employee, and person I am or will be. Studying in a business major, it will be very important to self-reflect and it is equally important for us, as students, to know where we stand when it comes to our leadership and managerial capabilities. The knowledge I have obtained through this course has shown me that the material can be very helpful when you apply it to real-life scenarios. I need to learn more and keep improving myself as I am going forward with more challenges and opportunities.