We are now left with the analysis of my Political Skill, i.e. the capacity to effectively understand others at work and use such knowledge to influence others to act in ways that enhance one’s personal and/or organizational objectives. Starting with my Networking Ability, I rated myself with a 3.5/5 while the others with a 4.37/5. I like knowing new people, from different cultures or with different backgrounds; I think it is always self-enriching. What I am not really keen on is networking for the purpose of networking. I would prefer spending time with my friends instead of participating to a networking event. I enjoy being surrounded by the people I like and I am comfortable with. This is not the case otherwise, where I would become very shy. However, when it comes to accomplishing a project for work purposes, I amalways determined to create a bond to ensure effectiveness and establish a climate of positivity. Interpersonal Influence shows the higher result for “other”, 4.7/5. It differs from my own result, which is 3.75/5. I would rather value what the others obtained, since we are talking about the ability to communicate with others. The gap might be due to a lack of confidence. The same can be said for Social Astuteness that evaluates the degree of understanding of people, where the results were 4.24/5 and 3.8/5 respectively for the others and myself. Finally, the last behaviour it is worth commenting is the Apparent Sincerity, the only sub-category of Political Skill where I obtained a higher result, 4.67/5 against 4.53/5. Rather than dwelling on this difference, which is insignificant, I would like to point out that if I don’t have a genuine interest in a person, I don’t commit myself to pursue the relationship. One thing I can’t stand is to feign interest; I usually describe myself as authentic, transparent. I am not able to take advantage of people or situations and I am not interested in it.
Having analysed my leadership potential, which improvements can I consider to make? First of all, despite being more prone to transformational leadership, I should improve my transactional leadership skills. In fact, in certain situations, transactional leadership result to be quicker and more efficient. We can’t put an important physical and psychological effort in everything we do, especially because we have to deal with people in our daily life. Applying transactional leadership would make me go straight to the point without loosing time, which is sometimes useful.Also, I have to gain in self-confidence when it comes to my achievements, so as to increase my locus of control and believe that my success depends on ability rather than some external factor.Actually, the real issue is not that I give the merit of my actions to someone else, but that I tend to never reward myself for the results obtained. When I reach a satisfactory result I think it was not enough, when I reach a positive result I tell myself that the task was easy and it must have gone this way. As I previously mentioned, despite being a change-oriented person, I am not able to come up with creative solutions. Therefore, I have to improve my creativity skills in order to always be ready to propose a direction in which to move, a way to cooperate, an idea to ameliorate the current situation. As for my political skills, I would like to improve both my networking ability and interpersonal influence. Looking at the survey results, I have got high results in each one of them, yet this is because the analysis is limited to my close environment, the people I feel comfortable with and that allow me to be myself. If we widen this environment, things change. As soon as I am confronted with people I don’t know, I become really shy. This is probably what I consider to be my biggest weakness, I often regret not having done something or not having been completely at ease when facing the unknown.
What about the agenda? How am I supposed to reach my targets? First and foremost, through feedback. I believe what the people you spend time with think is the most valuable thing to be aware of. We can judge and criticize ourselves but the way we place ourselves in front of others might differ. So feedback is important, every time I have a doubt on how I behaved, I should ask what the others think about it. Talking, both to get rid of thoughts that it might be unhealthy to keep inside and to gather different points of view, to cope with someone else’s way of seeing the issue. Regarding the defeat of shyness, which goes hand in hand with the increase in self-confidence, I have to undertake activities such as theatre. I did it once in my last year of high school and it was one of the most difficult experiences I have ever done but also one of the most enriching. Because the challenge is to engage in something we are not good at doing, this is what will bring the most to everyone. It was about testing myself. About doing something I was not comfortable with. After some months of practice, we performed in front of a big audience, and it was unforgettable. What is more, to improve my transactional leadership aspect, I should take part in university or work group projects and force myself to act in an effective way rather than being caring with every colleague. This doesn’t mean I shouldn’t make sure to create a climate of positivity; on the contrary, it is about being able to combine both. Last but not least, I am planning to get involved in public speaking exercises, possibly concerning economics and politics (subjects of interest for me), so as to both have the chance to work on the ability to speak in public and deepen my knowledge on such topics.
In conclusion, I strongly believe that, no matter what the current situation is and where we are heading to, it is never late to continue enhance our authentic leadership skills. Authenticity is the most valuable characteristic one can have. It is about having trust in what we do and put all our effort in it. This is, in my opinion, what a true leader should be like, and this is what I will try to reach every day throughout my life.