Self Leadership and Goal Setting - Essay Example

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Self Leadership and Goal Setting The most recurring question about leadership is about how people become effective leaders. Are leadership skills acquired over the years or is it simply that people are born with such traits? Definitive answers for these questions have been provided by experts in the field…
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Self Leadership and Goal Setting
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Download file to see previous pages Therefore, leadership is not only about leading people but should also motivate others to become leaders themselves. The latter process, which is referred to as self-leadership, can also be defined as an internal process that influences and controls behaviour, using behavioural and cognitive strategies (Neck & Houghton, 2006, p. 270). One strategy, which is widely adopted, is goal setting and hence the main purpose of this paper is to discuss the goal setting theory and to ascertain that it is an important strategy, which needs to be adhered to, in order to attain self-leadership. This paper provides an overview of the goal-setting theory and a summary of the ideas behind the theory, various arguments, their strengths and weaknesses. Goal setting is considered to be the most influential and widely represented framework within the self-management literature. Several self-management studies, which have been carried out with different purposes and contexts, have consistently favoured the notion that individuals can improve their performance and develop an ideal behaviour when they set specific and challenging goals for themselves. (Ordonez, Schweitzer, Galinsky, & Bazerman, 2009, p. 6; Clarke, Crowe, Oades, & Deane 2009; Fu, Richards, & Jones, 2009). A number of studies and research has documented this topic, each providing a different definition for goal setting. According to the Goal-setting theory, setting goals will have positive effect on the performance level of an individual and when the set goals are more specific, challenging and taken seriously by the individual their performance will only be enhanced further. In addition, the goal-setting theory also hypothesizes that aim of goal-setting is not simply limited to enhancing immediate performance levels of an individual. (Marsh et al., 1995, p. 5). Locke and Latham (2006, p. 265) also provide similar arguments in their article about how goal-setting drives an individual’s performance and also emphasize that when the goals set are vague or abstract such as those which rely on delivering one’s best effort, the result of the performance often turns out be inadequate or ineffective. The goal-setting theory also argues that a positive relationship between goal difficulty and task performance can be expected only when an individual possesses the capacity to complete a task without the interference of conflicting goals and thoughts. (Locke & Latham, 2006, p. 265). In relation to issues concerned with professional development such as time-management (Fitsimmons, 2008, p. 61), improvement of employee behaviour (Houghton & Neck, 2002, p. 673) and performance and career management (Greenhaus, Callanan, & Kaplan, 1995 p. 3; Orpen, 1995) goal-setting has always had a positive impact on an individual and the skills gained through these issues constitute important aspects of self-leadership. This has also been reinstated by Topper (2009, p. 561) who believes that time and career management, and improving behaviour and performance of an individual are all vital aspects of self-development. Topper (2009, p. 561) defines self-leadership as a strategic approach undertaken by an individual to attain self-development and which provides tools that could be ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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