Week 2

Understanding yourself as a leader, part I

Personality and Leadership - A Brief Overview

I hope that you are all familiar with how this course is set up, the course requirements, and where to find the information you need. If you are not sure of where to find your course resources, feel free to drop me an email and I can help you with locating the information. I had a chance to read over a lot of your responses to last week's survey questions and a number of you mentioned that this is your first online course and that you hope that you will be able to succeed in this type of classroom environment. The best piece of advice I can give you is to keep yourself to a schedule that works best for you. I have taught many online courses and have helped faculty design numerous online courses and students who had the best experiences were the ones that put themselves on a schedule. When I was writing my dissertation I did not have a schedule or courses to report to so I made my own structure, and it was one of the best things I did to help myself finish the required work. I am not a schedule person and I like to go with the flow; I am a strong Perceiver (you will learn more about what this means this week). Even if you are not a schedule person, having some sort of structure in an online course will help you greatly.

This week, and next, is about you and your personality. In order to find out how to lead, it is important to learn who you are. This week is an introspective journey to know more about how you relate to your world and the way I am going to have you measure this is through the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). This is a personality test where you self-report how you think about specific situations. There are no correct answers to these and you cannot flunk a MBTI assessment. The results will give you four letters that are a summary of your personality. Before I explain how the MBTI works, I want to give you some background about the field of psychology. I earned my bachelor's degree in psychology and one theme I noticed was that psychologists like to label many phenomena. For example, certain behaviors, or motivations behind said behaviors, are given labels. This labeling makes it much easier for therapists to communicate to other therapists and doctors because there is a common language, which is true for a lot of professions. Unfortunately, when it comes to people, we do not always fit neatly into a box because we live in a social and physical environment that impacts us in many different ways depending on the day, time of year, geographic location, and other variables. Therefore, when you get a "label" from any personality test or inventory about who you are or your "type," it is improtant to know that this is an estimation and it is not 100% truth. You will have fluctations throughout your life because of numerous environmental and social variables that change as you get older. If you want to get a head start with your assignment, here is the link to 16 personalities. You will take the personality test and get the detailed results and write a reflection about what you learned. Do not pay for the "premium profile," the free report is all you need to complete this assignment.

There are numerous personality inventories and some are not well-researched. If you decide to try other personality inventories after taking the MBTI for this course, I strongly suggest finding one that is researched to determine if the results contain valid information that is reputable. Here is a link that gives a thorough overview of psychological tests and has a chart on page 14 that lists a variety of assessments.

Leisure, Recreation, and Leadership

You might be wondering why are we discussing psychology and how does this all relate back to leadership. Recreation, leisure, sport management, tourism, and other similar fields are interdicplinary. Our field draws upon resources from other fields like sociology, psychology, antropology, and some hard sciences like physiology and kinesiology. Leadership is a multi-dimensional subject that is also interdiciplinary. Additionally, understanding yourself and being self-reflective is a good practice for leaders. Some of the best managers and directors I have met in my career have been aware of the personalities, strengths, and weaknesses of their team as well as their own unique personality and they have a good grasp on how they fit into the workplace as a leader.

When you get the results of your personality test, take some time and read the sections and find out the strenthgs and weaknesses of your personality type. In your assignment you will analyze how your results would translate into your leadership style. You might find it helpful to read McCaulley (1990) before, or directly after, taking the 16 personalities inventory. Understanding the dimensions that are measured can help you understand how you fit into the collage of other personalities that you might encounter in the workplace. The reason I chose 16 Personalites is because they post a lot of resources to help you understand your results. For example, they describe the theory behind the MBTI and what the measures mean and additional demographic data on personality types.

Required Readings - Week 2

There are a lot of readings I have for you these next few weeks. Much of the list of articles I am assigning this week will also be in next week's reading list when we continue to discuss personality and leadership. All of these articles will be available on Sakai in pdf form

Brotherton, P. (2012). 360 instruments are the most popular way to assess leadership. T + D, 66(8), 18.

This article is a quick overview about how multiple methods of assessing personality is the best approach to learning about leadership potential. I put this article into our weekly readings because I want to emphasize a holistic view of leadership. This class focuses on the MBTI only because it is one of the more popular assessments and we only have a few weeks for this topic. If we had a whole class on personality we could explore other personality assessments and how they relate to leadership.

Cunningham, L. (2012). Myers-Briggs: Does it pay to know your type? Available online: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-leadership/myers-briggs-does-it-pay-to-know-your-type/2012/12/14/eaed51ae-3fcc-11e2-bca3-aadc9b7e29c5_story.html?utm_term=.bf6e9899fd1e

This article describes the background of the MBTI and how it is viewed within the academic world. The MBTI is not perfect and does not have all of the answers to our complex personalities and I want you to be aware of it's limitations. I assigned a few articles about the drawbacks of the MBTI so you can understand the context of this instrument.

Eby, D. (2011). The creative personality: Both extroverted and introverted. Available online: http://blogs.psychcentral.com/creative-mind/2011/03/the-creative-personality-both-extroverted-and-introverted/

If you have taken an introductor recreation or leisure class you have most likely come accross Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and his research on flow. I have read this book numerous times and the one thing that always stands out to me is how sometimes we fluctuate on our personality traits. Additionally, he suggests that sometimes we need to be introverted and extroverted simultaneously. This article gives an overview of the creative personality and how some of the personality labels, like introvert and extrovert are not always mutually exclusive.

Giudice, M. & Irelanc, C. (2014). The new rules of leadership. Print, 68(3), 52-57.

This article discusses the personality traits of a Design Executive Officer (DEO) and how this leader needs to learn how to embrace change. You may notice some similarities between the characteristics of a DEO and the traits identified by the MBTI.

Mayer, J.D. (2015). The power of personality. Psychologist, 28(4), 296-299.

Mayer's article focuses on the benefits of knowing yourself and other people. He advocates for "personal intelligence" and also touches on the topics of "emotional intelligence," which will be covered in Week 3.

McCaulley, M. H. (1990). The Meyers-Briggs type indicator: A measure for individuals and groups. Measurement & Evaluation in Counseling & Development, 90(22), 181-196.

This is a detailed overview of the history, development, scoring, and preferences of the MBTI. After you get your personalized results in your assignment, you will find the information presented in this article helpful contextual information.

Wagner, M.J. (2003). Using the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator as a tool for leadership development? Apply with caution. Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies, 10(1), 68-81.

This is the second article that focuses on the limitations of the MBTI. Again, I believe it is improtant to understand the benefits and drawbacks of any assessment.

Wight, C. (2014). Lessons learned at supervisors management school. Parks and Recreation, 49(2), 24.

This is more of a paragraph than an article but it brings up a good point about how people with different personality types have different work preferences.