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Personal Leadership Evaluation

Paper Type: Free Assignment Study Level: University / Undergraduate
Wordcount: 3030 words Published: 5th Oct 2020

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In this paper I will discuss the results of the Clifton Strengths assessment and reflect on the results of my top strengths as a leader from the results of the  assessment.   I will also discuss the strengths and weaknesses I demonstrate as a leader by applying the leadership theory of Participative leadership.  Changes I can make to improve my leadership effectiveness will be recommended as it relates to my chosen leadership theory.  This will allow me to realize how it can improve my effectiveness as a leader. Finally, I will suggest two SMART goals that will improve my leadership practice.     

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Reflection of Clifton Strengths


In trying to get at the root causes of problems I encounter as a leader I look to patterns to gain understanding and to make improvements.  I enjoy using spreadsheets so that I can sort the data and tackle the most common problems to be most effective.  This improves the quality and quantity of work.  I attempt to use this information to highlight certain occurrences and improve processes.  I am also very careful to be able to provide data to back up what I am saying to prove my thoughts.  This process can appear to be onerous, but the improved workflows allow me to be confident in my work and open time up to work on other pressing issues as they arise.  I gather the facts first so I can illustrate what I am presenting to others for full understanding of my argument or presentation.  Patterns are very important to me.  In the workplace, I am seen as someone who does the research to gain an understanding of the process that is happening and how it can be improved. 

As an analytical person I have worked on projects requiring these skills such as rework scrubbing for a major health insurance carrier.  This project required me to review claims that were reworked and then collect data so that claims processes could be improved and ultimately reduce the need to spend resources on rework.  I am also currently mentoring new hires because I am looked to for correct workflows within our department with medical claims and phone calls with our insured members.  I ask the right questions to understand the problem and gather proof.  I can visualize the outcome of neglected problems that would increase call volume from patients who have questions on their claims, research time to make corrections and all the employees who need to spend time on that issue


I have worked in such fields as Accounting and Health Insurance.  Both fields are highly mandated with many rules to follow.  I continually look at processes and information to make it more accessible and understood.  In the various projects I have worked on such as rework scrubbing and mentoring.  I use these policies and rules to help improve processes and teach new hired employees the ways to ensure their success in their new roles.  So that I do not overwhelm others with the rules I highlight the most important rules and provide them with the resources to ensure their future success such as where to find our current policies and procedures.  I do this so that others do not find me to be over disciplined and rigid.  Because the rules are a guideline for performing our work others appreciate my guidance.  When faced with a problem having guidelines and structure provides a system of resources and established workflows for solving the problem without having to guess at the solution.  I have a need to be able to provide the correct path as situations will always arise.  My process of planning ahead and establishing methods to conquer work allows me to tackle the workday with confidence.  


I have always been told that I am an inquisitive person. I always ask why something is the way it is.  I also remember being told as I child I would start every sentence with why?  My curiosity with things and my inquisitive nature is a strength when it comes to leadership.  I gather information to become an expert in my field.  I am curious about many subjects but most of my time is spent gaining experience and knowledge in the administration of healthcare.  I have a desire to be looked to for input on things at work because I like to teach people.  With the experience and knowledge I have acquired in the administrative healthcare field I am a mentor for our new trainees at Aetna.  I am chosen for this role when a new class of trainees is released onto the call center floor because I am able to share my knowledge of the healthcare field they need to be successful in their new careers.  In order to mentor our new trainees as their classes are released most effectively, I have a system in place to help them also organize their desktop documents in order of relevance to their work.  I also show them how to organize their many emails containing information that they will need when they take calls from customers.


In order to perform my job well I rely on consistent information so that I can also provide consistent results.  Having the desire to be consistent I feel this allows me to work more efficiently.  I do prefer to complete tasks so that I can tackle new challenges with a clear mind and path.  There has never been a time when all my work has been complete where I do not have work waiting to be tackled but I do work towards accomplishing tasks.  I work with others to ensure things are getting done by the deadline so that the backlog can be minimized.  This requires a consistent workflow and understanding of policies and deadlines.  Because I work with a team we encourage open collaboration so that we consistently work together and could pick up where the other has left off.  Being consistent really pays off in this type of work setting as we are an individual department but work as a team. 


I enjoy solving problems because it will ultimately reduce my workload over time.  Problem solving skills are an important skill for an effective leader because problems have to be realized and resolved.  I enjoy finding out the root causes of problems to ensure processes work better in the future.  I work to do things correctly from the beginning instead of having to fix problems later.  I work with medical coding and billing so if claims are incorrect then my company will spend a lot of time and expense to fix the claims error to allow the services for our insured members and to process payments to our providers of services.  By analyzing and resolving problems with the workflow there is less rework.   This allows me to have time to work on other business issues as they arise.  My company also benefits because we work more efficiently by reducing incoming requests from our insured members and their providers of service.  Every workday brings on new challenges so having the mindset of a problem solver is a must for any position.  My experience is that the claims will get paid more quickly if issues with our auto adjudication system are analyzed, reported early and fixed.  We review a lot of claims so being a problem solver is an important trait to possess. 

Strengths and Weaknesses of Participative Leadership

My chosen leadership theory is the theory of participative leadership.  In participative leadership style the group or subordinates are involved in the discussions and decisions that pertain to our department individually and our company as a whole.  While the ultimate decision for our department is still in the hands of the myself suggestions and inputs are obtained in a welcoming environment.  While this takes time and patience the changes that might need to be implemented can be accepted easier if input was gathered ahead of time. 

Three Strengths I Demonstrate as a Leader

A strength of my participative leadership style is the inclusion of other individuals input which takes the entire responsibility to come up with ideas off one person.  While listening to the ideas of employees they feel valued and their strengths can be put to good use.  This creates an atmosphere of inclusion and that can create a motivational atmosphere.   When employees feel pride in their work that will translate over in their work.  At my organization we are customer service representatives so when the customer service representative feels their input is valuable and they have a greater stake in the company the perceptions of our organization are improved overall. 

I am open to suggestion on the decisions that are necessary to be made in our department.  While including subordinates in the decision of the company changes and transitions in work can be easier to deal with because employees are not just expected to make changes but are involved in the change process.  This can make the adjustments easier to make because a process is followed to gather input from employees, discuss the needs for implementations.  This is a strength because it includes others input and changes don’t just get announced and then implemented without the groups consensus and input.

As a participative leader I am supportive to my team because I want to build a team that works in a participative environment.  With a team there is a diverse group of employees who need guidance to work through different ideas and conflicts.  It’s important to help team members work through both professional and personal differences so that the participative environment is efficient and productive.  The supportive strength I provide will help to achieve this goal and make changes that are best for everyone and the company in the end. Participative leadership is said to be a slower process of leadership but is thought to create harmony within the company and considered to be a more humanistic approach to leadership (Lythreatis).

Three Weaknesses I Demonstrate as a Leader

Participative leadership does not always allow for the time necessary to implement changes by gathering input from the entire group.  Not all employees want to be involved in the decision-making processes of their department but might be perfectly content with adhering to a well communicated and established set of guidelines.  There also might be some mistrust on the part of the team participants and across the organization when asked to participate in tackling the problems and coming up with solutions to workplace issues.  Participative leadership is not always as well received as the democratic leader envisions. 

A weakness of the participative style of leadership is the time it takes to build an empowered team.  The employee would have to be both ready and willing to participate on a team with the ability to make their own decisions and come up with their own guidelines (Lorinkova).  A participative leader may have to spend time to get their employees ready and to build a team of empowered employees who have the knowledge, experience and motivation to perform their jobs without delegation and guidelines.  

An empowered employee who is given the authority to come up with their own solutions to performing their tasks is not presented with clear guidelines to improve the quality and quantity of their work.  A delegative leader who provides the specific guidelines to accomplishing tasks may have a more productive team with those clear roles of behavior (Lorinkova).  With more potential paths to accomplishing goals and a lack of role clarity the empowered team may not perform as well as a team who has been provided with the expectations and established workflows.  Some of the issues that might arise are a lack of understanding or experience and also conflicting opinions within the group and no training on leadership (Muindi).

Recommended changes to maximize my success as a leader

To improve my own leadership effectiveness it is important for me to understand that the application of leadership style can also be modified to fit the situation and understand the maturity level, experience and readiness of the team I am leading.  Having an understanding that adding other leadership styles such as the situational leadership style can benefit my team and the organization as by improving productivity.  Having an understanding of all the leadership styles my own leadership style will evolve over time and my leadership effectiveness will improve.  In network collaborative businesses leaders embrace the differences in leadership styles, seeing them as complimentary to each other and move between them as the situation arises to improve effectiveness (Kodama).

Conflict resolution is a skill that an effective leader will need to implement in order to reduce the damages that conflict among participants of an organization can create.  Harnessing ways to reduce and deal with conflicts will help me to improve my leadership effectiveness.  Providing support to reduce the chances damages occur will improve organizational effectiveness. Intervening on conflicts that might arise and dealing with the conflicts to create cordial relationships among different members of the team before they escalate can be the outcome of an understanding of conflict resolution tactics. 

Group decision making is the basis for a participative or democratic leadership style.  Encouraging and welcoming input on problem-resolutions among the different members of the group can be achieved by creating an environment where employees offer their ideas, input and experiences to improve the organization is an important trait participative leaders.  Treating employees like they are assets who have important ideas, input and experiences and make them feel valued and trusted will motivate an environment of collaboration to improve efficiency and effectiveness (Nevarez).

Different education levels, experience and the ability to communicate with conflicting ideas among different members of a team under participative leaders can create inter-personal problems. This can lead to animosity, mistrust and miscommunication among the participants the participative leader was trying to include and gather ideas from as well as across the organization.  Dealing with the interpersonal issues among the team can result in a loss of production.  Conflict impedes creative and the ability to think of and then present creative ideas and reduces team satisfaction in addition to lost productivity (Chandra, S. S., & Kawatra).


Short term SMART goals that will improve my leadership practice

The discussion includes 2 short-term goals that will help improve personal leadership, and the goals adhere to each of the SMART criteria (i.e., specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound).

How is it specific? 

Listening to incoming callers concerns and answer all their questions.

Average call length will be no more than 10 minutes for all calls during a particular month.

How is it measured? 

A quality score is assigned based upon the content of 4 calls per month.

The total time it took to take all calls that month will be divided by the number of calls that customer service representative took that month.

How is it achieved? 

Educating the customer service representative on the health insurance call center practices.

Educating the customer service representative so they can resolve callers needs in an efficient manner.

How is it relevant?

Answering the members questions will reduce repeat calls to answer the question again or complain.

It will improve customer satisfaction as their time is important and enable the csr to take a higher call volume.

How is it Time-Bound? 

Must have a score of 95% or higher on 4 calls average each month after training has ended.

The length of the call has to be resolved in a certain time frame and that will be measured on a monthly basis.

The discussion includes specific details of at least 2 actions to reach each of the SMART goals discussed in part C.


  • Lythreatis, S., Mostafa, A. M. S., & Wang, X. (2019). Participative Leadership and Organizational Identification in SMEs in the MENA Region: Testing the Roles of CSR Perceptions and Pride in Membership. Journal of Business Ethics, 156(3), 635–650. https://doi-org.wgu.idm.oclc.org/10.1007/s10551-017-3557-8
  • Muindi, F. K. (2011). The relationship between participation in decision making and job satisfaction among academic staff in the school of business, university of Nairobi. Journal of Human Resources Management Research, 1–34.
  • Nevarez, C., Penrose, R., & Padrón, E. J. (2013). Leadership Theory and the Community College : Applying Theory to Practice (Vol. First edition). Sterling, Virginia: Stylus Publishing. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.wgu.idm.oclc.org/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=1825877&site=eds-live&scope=site
  • Hu, N., Chen, Z., Gu, J., Huang, S., & Liu, H. (2017). Conflict and creativity in inter-organizational teams. International Journal of Conflict Management, 28(1), 74-102. doi:http://dx.doi.org.wgu.idm.oclc.org/10.1108/IJCMA-01-2016-0003
  • Jit, R., Chandra, S. S., & Kawatra, M. (2016). Servant leadership and conflict resolution: A qualitative study. International Journal of Conflict Management, 27(4), 591-612. doi:http://dx.doi.org.wgu.idm.oclc.org/10.1108/IJCMA-12-2015-0086
  • Kodama, M. (2017). Developing Holistic Leadership : A Source of Business Innovation (Vol. First edition). United Kingdom: Emerald Publishing Limited. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.wgu.idm.oclc.org/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=1458624&site=eds-live&scope=site
  • LORINKOVA, N. M., PEARSALL, M. J., & SIMS Jr., H. P. (2013). Examining the Differential Longitudinal Performance of Directive Versus Empowering Leadership in Teams. Academy of Management Journal, 56(2), 573–596. https://doi-org.wgu.idm.oclc.org/10.5465/amj.2011.0132


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