Sample Leadership Studies Paper on Self-Reflection as a Development Tool for Leaders

Self-Reflection as a Development Tool for Leaders

Part I

Leadership is critical in the success of any organization since it determines its ability to achieve its goals and objectives in the long run. Although leadership traits can be either developed or inherent, leaders need to evaluate their abilities to remain effective in their work. Organizational leaders need to conduct frequent self-evaluation and reflection to maintain their influence among their followers (Berger & Erzikova, 2019). Self-evaluation and reflection have both merits and demerits that are worth considering before undertaking them.

The Benefits of Self-Evaluation and Reflection

One of the major benefits of leaders’ self-evaluation is that it helps them understand their strengths and weaknesses. The exercise enables them to identify their strengths, which are vital in the pursuit of visions of their organizations. For example, some leaders may not realize that they are good negotiators until they conduct self-reflection and evaluate their leadership styles. As a result, they can utilize their strengths optimally to achieve the targets they have set for themselves and their organizations. Similarly, self-evaluation can enable them to learn about their weaknesses as leaders (Eurich, 2017). For instance, some leaders may use self-assessment tests to discover that they do not involve their juniors in decision-making. Consequently, they can use such findings to know the areas that require improvements in the future. Learning about the weaknesses of leaders is essential since they can understand the areas they may need to delegate to other leaders or even their subordinates.

The Drawbacks of Self-Evaluation and Reflection

Self-evaluation tests may give differing results concerning the ability of a leader. Each of the leadership assessment tests uses different criteria to measure the ability of a leader. For example, one test may show that a leader has good people-oriented skills, while another one may indicate negative results on the same ability. Consequently, leaders may not get a clear picture of their strengths and weaknesses. They may not know the skills they need to utilize and areas of improvement. Besides, it is also challenging for one to remain neutral or objective in this exercise (Simsek, 2013). Most leaders tend to focus more on their weaknesses or strengths. Failure to remain objective in self-evaluation makes it difficult for leaders to understand their abilities. They are not able to get accurate results about their leadership skills as expected in different evaluation models.

The Best Practices for Self-Evaluation and Reflection

`           There are several techniques or models that leaders can use to conduct self-evaluation and reflection. The Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is one of the tools that leaders have used in the past to understand their leadership capabilities. The assessment test uses a psychological test to enable leaders to know how they make decisions and relate to their surroundings. It helps leaders to undertake self-reflection to improve their self-awareness (Gardner &  Martinko, 2016). The emotional intelligence model is another assessment tool that enables leaders to understand their ability to influence the feeling of their followers. It evaluates five key components, namely, motivation, self-awareness, social skills, empathy, and self-regulation. The test helps to improve the social and emotional intelligence of a leader.

Part II

Summary of the Results

After conducting the leadership assessment test, I have learnt that I am a transformational leader who desires to see continuous improvement in the organization. I scored 180 points out of possible 250 points. The results revealed that I am a visionary leader who can develop the goals and objectives and coordinate others to achieve them. I am good at conducting a continuous review of the processes, systems, and structures of the organization to understand the areas with gaps that require improvements. I am also well-versed with the functions and operations of the organization as an efficient manager. I was surprised to learn that I am a democratic leader who involves others in making decisions. For example, I seek the inputs of my subordinates before introducing change in the organization. I always consult them and other leaders to ensure that the proposed changes in the organization succeed in the long run.

Areas of Improvements

However, the self-evaluation exercise also indicated that there are several areas that I need to improve to become a more effective leader in the future. The results of the test revealed that I am a task-oriented leader rather than a people-oriented leader. I focus on a task instead of people who are supposed to execute it. For example, I have realized that I do not pay attention or help employees who may be struggling with financial, family, and personality issues in my workplace. I also rarely appreciate employees who are showing remarkable improvements in their work. The exercise has also made me to think about the quality of induction in my workplace, which is below standards compared to other organizations. Hence, I need to improve my skills in managing human resource capital in the organization.

I intend to undertake a short course on human resource management to improve my social skills in the future. The course will enable me to understand how people’s behaviors, attitudes, perceptions, and experiences affect their performance in the organization. I will also learn how to use emotional intelligence to influence the behaviors of my subordinates in the organization. As a result, I will balance my task and people-oriented skills for improved performance in the future.


Berger, B. & Erzikova, E. (2019). Self-reflection in public relations leaders: A Study of its practice and value in Russia and North America. Public Relations Journal, 13(1), 1-22.

Eurich, T. (2017). Insight. New York: Crown Business.

Gardner, W., &  Martinko, M. (2016). Using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator to study managers: a literature review and research agenda. Journal of Management, 22 (1), 45–83.

Simsek, O.F. (2013). Self-absorption paradox is not a paradox: Illuminating the dark side of self-reflection. International Journal of Psychology, 48(6), 1109–1121.