The Leadership Practices Inventory relies on Kouzes and Posner's work and on what they called The Five Practices, that is challenging the process, inspiring a shared vision, enabling others to act modeling the way and encouraging the heart. Following these five practices, they developed the LPI, an instrument that would help determine leadership practices and capabilities for a person.
The LPI starts with a Five Practices Data Summary, however, I prefer to evaluate and thoroughly discuss each of the practices in part and the scores I have obtained here, compared with the average of all LPI observers rating and use an analytic summary for each case in part. I will leave the leadership behaviors ranking for the very end.
Model the way
In this practice, you have obtained three 10s, one 9, one 8 and one 7 (on a scale ranging from 1 to 10, with 1 being equivalent to almost never and 10 to almost always), with a total score of 55 out of the 60 possible. This will be discussed in comparison with the average 31 for all other LPI observers.
Let's first analyze the three statements you have scored a 10 for. First of all, you almost always "follow through on promises and commitments." As a leader, this means that your subordinates will always count on your word and will trust you with it. If we have the example of military leaders, when trusting the general was usually equivalent with the differences between life and death, we may have an idea about the importance of trusting that what your team or group leader is saying will prove right. In an organization, where the team leader is often the connection between team members and top management, following through on promises and commitments means that you trust your leader to represent you before the top management team and you trust him or her to take decisions for you there. Further more, you trust that these will be the ones you yourself would have taken.
You have also scored 10 on setting a personal example of what is expected. Again I must turn to military leaders in order to emphasize the importance of this statement and of the score you have obtained. Indeed, many times in history, battles were won with a personal example from the leaders, a personal example that encouraged the troops and boost morale. The idea was that you were more likely to be brave or to endure hardship if you saw your leader standing besides you in the challenge.
In business or in an organization, it is pretty much the same. Working fifteen hours a day on a project is the kind of commitment that a subordinate needs to see from his team leader in order to perform the same way. It is often not always about quantity, but about quality as well: a leader that performs well and does his job properly is most likely to influence the subordinates into doing the same.
Finally, you have obtained the maximum score for building consensus around organization's value. This score has a double meaning. First of all, it relates to consensus. Consensus in a team is perhaps one of the few fundamental things. Of course, conflict and conflicting situations are often beneficial for creating new ideas and solutions. However, in the end, a common, consensual solution must be found, one where all the team members may find parts of their own ideas.
Further more, building this consensus around organizational values means that the team members have a common creed and a common set of values (in this case, organizational values) in which they believe.
We should also have a look at the statement that you have scored least in. This is related to your philosophy of leadership, where you have scored a 7. In my opinion, this shows the fact that you are not sure about the leadership style you should adopt opposite to your subordinates. Perhaps dictatorial at times, perhaps too mild in other situations, you do not find a style that totally matches your personality.
The average LPI observers score is however somewhat different from your won evaluation, a trend which is predominant in the other areas as well. In this case, the total sum for the observers' result is 31, compared to the 54 you have obtained in your won evaluation. The highest difference, 9 to 5, is related t making certain that people adhere to agreed standards. While in your own opinion, you tend to think that this is a priority and that you follow standards and make sure others do very frequently, the observers would tend to think that this happens once in a while. This is a general observation for all the five categories analyzed and I will make an extra discussion point in the conclusive remarks.
The table below shows the scores you have obtained for this category, compared to the average score of all observers.
MODEL THE WAY
Follows through on promises and commitments
Sets a personal example of what is expected
Is clear about his/her philosophy of leadership
Makes certain that people adhere to agreed standards
Asks for feedback on how his/her actions affect people's performance
Builds consensus around organizational value
2. Inspire a Shared Vision
Being a good leader starts, in my opinion, with two things: being able to provide a vision for your subordinates and making sure that this vision is shared by all your subordinates. This will mean that they will be able to work together in order to make that vision possible.
I will be discussing here the highest and lowest scores that you have obtained, as these are most revelatory, especially in this particular case. You have obtained 10 for painting a "big picture" for group aspirations. In my opinion, this shows that you are able to provide and create a vision for your subordinates (see the first of the two things I have mentioned in the previous paragraph).
However, the score you only appeal to others to share the dream, the "big picture" that you have painted, fairly often, would make me rather believe that you lack the full capacity to implement the second part of the leadership primary issues: making sure that your vision is shared by all subordinates.
On the other hand, your vision seems to be supported by specific work tasks that you provide for your subordinates. In this sense, we may assert that you also provide the means by which the provided vision can be reached and may suggest a task-oriented form of leadership.
The comparison with the average of the observers shows the same results as for the previous practice. Their score never surpasses the once in a while or occasional frequency. Overall, you have obtained a score of 50 out of 60 possible, while the observers' score is 27, which represents a difference of 22 between your answers and the observers, in average 3.3 per each question. The comments I have mentioned previously apply here as well and this difference will be commented in the final conclusions. The bar chart below shows a comparative measure of your score and the observers'.
3. Challenge the Process
The scores you have obtained here show, first of all, that you almost always search outside the organization for new ways to improve. This may mean technical information, managerial research, learning programs, etc. In any case, anything that may apply to your activity and that you think is important and essential in order to be able to get your job done
However, challenging the process is also about experimenting and taking risks. We are all aware, even empirically speaking, that the rate of return on a project is generally directly proportional with the risks you tend to take. From an financial point-of-view, this is most logical: the more dollars you play, the more chances you have of winning. However, this is also the case in leadership. As I have mentioned in one of the previous paragraphs, leadership is also about vision, having one, sharing it with your subordinates and working with them to achieve it. However, a visionary conception is also about taking risks, because it refers to a future you cannot predict and to future actions with indefinite result.
In this sense, the fact that you have scored 6 in the "experiments and takes risks" category means that you tend to be risk aversive and would only take a chance if you really have to. Notice briefly that your observer has scored a 2 here, which means that he or she would rarely see you as a chance taking person.
Again I need to make a note on the fact that you tend to emphasize the structural schedule for a project, in the sense that you set goals, plans and milestones. In my opinion, this is one the few things without which a leader cannot do. Indeed, your way of seeing things seems to imply a…