Leadership And Positive Psychology

The Shift from Traditional to Modern Management Structures


Describe the Self-Leadership and Positive Psychology?

Few organizations facing increased competition entail a change in the management of employees from traditional to modern. The shift of command and control leadership to shared leadership is essential for employees in the organization (Arnold, Arad, Rhoades, & Drasgow, 2000; Pearce, 2007). Instead of top-down management structures where the leaders are involved in decision making, nowadays few organizations require employees to take more responsibility and involve in decision making (Costello, Brunner & Hasty, 2002). These altering circumstances require leaders who are able to assist employees to become self-leaders and supporters with interest in sharing the responsibility of leadership (Stewart, Manz & Sims, 1999). Individuals with self-leadership characteristics control their own efforts, persevere in adversity circumstances, individually encourage themselves and persistently renovate their patterns of thinking (Manz & Sims, 1989).

Self-leadership assists the individuals to engage in innovative behaviors in the workplace (Carmeli, Meitar, & Weisberg, 2006), and it signifies a process of self-influence that includes self-direction and self-motivation (DiLiello & Houghton, 2006; Manz & Neck, 2004). The strategies of self-leadership encourage the personal effectiveness of individuals through focused behavior, natural reward and strategies of positive thoughts (Manz & Neck; Manz & Sims, 2001; Prussia, Anderson, & Manz, 1998). The strategies of focused behavior assist in simplifying the management of behavior. The strategies of natural reward assist the individuals in shaping their perceptions and strategies of constructive thought generate positive ways of thinking. The self-leadership strategies might be useful in achieving the essential self-direction and self-motivation in order to perform better (Neck & Houghton, 2006).

Positive psychology encompasses various techniques that motivate people to recognize and further develop their positive feelings, experiences and character traits. It builds on the core principles of humanistic psychology in various ways. Carl Rogers client centered therapy states that individual could enhance their lives by articulating their reliable personalities. Even though positive psychology is developed as a method to enhance people’s well-being and their optimal functioning, currently it is being promoted as a compliment to various traditional forms of therapy. It is a method to motivate individuals focus on positive emotions and build strengths, supplementing psychotherapy that focuses on negative emotions like sorrow and anger.

Individuals, communities and societies are flourished by various factors and it can be understood and fostered by the mission of positive psychology (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000). Positive emotions function as markers of flourishing. On the whole, individual’s positive and negative emotions have been depicted to foresee their judgments of well-being (Diener, Sandvik & Pavot, 1991). Positive emotions signal flourishing and also produce flourishing. People might enhance their psychological well-being and physical health through experience of positive emotions in order to cope with negative emotions. Leaders are the one who transforms the societies, and how the organizations and individuals could develop a positive sense of self and community through self-leadership and empowerment. Positive psychology assists the organizations and their members to overcome setbacks, disasters and other obstacles (Clegg & Bailey, 2007).

The Role of Self-leadership in Encouraging Innovative Behaviors

To gain employment with a company where my leadership experience and knowledge, particularly in the area of marketing, could be used efficiently in a demanding marketing environment in which innovation, integrity and personal skills such as self-reliant and good focus are highly valued.

Personal profile is evaluated on various instruments/criteria such as Personal Inventory, Realistic Optimism, Self-efficacy, Self-leadership, Locus of Control, Hunsaker Survey and Kolb’s Survey. The criteria identify various personality traits and the traits are interpreted on certain scores. The personal profile also evaluates the strength and weaknesses and provides feedback which helps to learn various professional skills required for career development.

Personal Profile:



How to interpret

Identified strengths

Identified weaknesses


Personality Inventory


Score is 12

Life Imbalance

Score is 14


Score is 11


Score is 12

Scores above 12 in each area suggest this is a pronounced tendency.

I always try to go ahead in my work, without compromising any- thing.

I always focus on myself, instead of others.

I need to coordinate with others.

Realistic optimism

Internality scored 4

Stability scored 3.1

Globally scored 2.98.

Internality is above than 3.5, I tend to explain things as being caused by myself”.

Stability is below 3.5, I expect that causes of bad events “are temporary”;

Globally is below 3.5, I think that the causes of bad events are likely to “are specific to circumscribed events”

Instead of dealing with the bad events I am trying to get rid of them.

Most of time I am stressed out while dealing with negative events.

Should be able to learn that problems are not with us always.

Self –efficacy

Scored 4

Score is above 3.5, I have high self-efficacy.

I am always trying new tasks and persist when faced with obstacles.

Mostly by taking new tasks in hand create a problem in my other work.

I need to learn from these things.

Self –leadership

Scored mostly 4 or 5 in the skills.

Scoring 4 or 5 shows that I have to leadership skills.

Trying to use initiative approach to develop fresh ideas for department.

Sometimes responding in impersonal way.

I need to improve my performance.

Locus of control

Scored 7

A score below 8.29 means I have an increasingly internal locus of control.

I don’t believe in luck, rather I focus on my hard work for getting success.

I often get impatient.

I need to be more positive and take the guidance of my leaders.

Hunsaker survey


Scored 60.

Leadership and management


Intelligence scored 89.

Cognitive style scored ISTJ.

Leadership assumption, score is X theory 33 and Y theory 68.

Score is in between 40-79, I have moderate management potential.

I have potential leadership qualities.

Score is in between 50-100, I have good platform of emotional intelligence.

I have introvert, sensing, thinking and judging preference.

Y theory score is highest therefore I have great deal of confidence in other people

I always keen to learn new management techniques and skills

Mostly preoccupied with personal thought.

Need to improve performance with awareness and experience.

Kolb’s Survey

Scored 60 each in AE, AC, CE, and RO. Therefore raw score is AE 17, AC 19, CE 14 and RO 13.

High AC/AE score represent that I have converger preference.

I exert my level best in completing my task successfully.

I don’t focus on taking feedback on my work and try to reach at the conclusion.

I need to learn about resolving the conflicts and analyze the things in better way.

Analysis of 360 Feedbacks:

  • I don’t compromise on the things that interrupt my work and I always go ahead with my work.
  • I tend to avoid bad events instead of trying to deal with those events.
  • I always try for the new tasks and persist when faced with obstacles.
  • My approach has always been initiative which helps to develop fresh ideas for department.
  • I believe in hard work for getting success rather than luck.
  • I’m interested to learn new management techniques and skills.
  • I put my level best to complete the task successfully.
  • My focus has always been on myself rather than on others
  • I have always been stressed out while dealing with negative events
  • My response has been in impersonal way and I often get impatient
  • Mostly I’m preoccupied with personal thought while dealing with new management techniques and skills
  • My focus on work has always been on the end conclusion rather than taking feedback

When, I am at my best, I am dedicated fully to my work without compromising anything. I am creative and hardworking. But it is also important to coordinate with others and should be able to handle the negative events. I should improve my performance with awareness and experience and need to be more positive and take the guidance of my leaders. I should also learn about resolving the conflicts and analyze the things in efficient way.

The area chosen for development is “Impatience” which is considered as one of the weakness and has negative impacts on both life and career. The following part describes the definition and justification for the choice of area.

Impatience is one of the seven basic character flaws or dark personality traits. It becomes a dominant pattern when the people have a strong fear of missing out. Impatience is defined as an irritation with anything that cause delay; a fidgety longing for modification and enthusiasm.

Patience frequently generates a quality of inner calm and tranquility. It makes an individual to have peace and quiet sense of control about them which is completely balanced and deliberate. They feel comfortable to spend time with the people and it makes them to be relaxed and stress-free. People with patience do not generate stress, tension and pressure and permit other people to take their time and achieve what they need to achieve. Patient people understands every others quality and strengths and provide time for those talents to come through. Impatient people will lose their confidence and might be nervous to expose themselves. People with patience feel more courageous and might try something innovatively. Patience teaches to temper the goals, desires and demands. Life doesn’t deal with single person and their wants and expectations. Compromise is frequently dealt as a bigger picture and it is important to wait for our turn. It is also essential to accept that priorities differ from one people to other and learn to keep the demands in check. Patience teaches to plan ahead at a certain time rather than turning up immediately and expecting for the results. Patience involves finding alternatives to achieve the goal.

Leadership is the predominant behavior that needs to be changed into efficient leadership skills. There are various common behaviors recognized in the team leader, in particular an efficient team leader displays an ability to communicate efficiently, identifies the requirement of team members, set goals to achieve, motivates and act as a role model.

The Importance of Positive Psychology in Promoting Individual and Organizational Well-Being

Leadership involves a process whereby influence is exerted by one individual intentionally over other individual to direct, format, and assist the activities and relationships in a group or organization (Yukl, 2002:2). It is essential for the leaders to be self-aware of how their actions are observed by the team members (Moment, 2007). Sometimes, employees mirror the behavior of managers. The shadow of leaders is where the leader reveals the wanted behavior (Aghdaei, 2008: p, 16). It is important for the leaders to model hard work for employee (Weiss, 2000). When the leader frequently reveals meaningful, positive behavior, people are motivated to follow (Aghdaei, 2008: p, 16).

Training is an adequate growth of knowledge, attitudes, behavior and skills required by an individual to perform the task systematically (Source: A Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice, Kogan Page, 8th Ed., 2001). It is an act determined by the individual to increase knowledge and skills to perform a particular task (Source: Personnel Management, McGraw Hill; 6th Edition, 1984). Training assists in updating the existing talents and developing new ones. It also assists in behavioral change required to perform a particular job. It helps to perform the duties efficiently and innovatively.

Goal-setting is an important component in the settings of business, but few principles apply. It is closely related to performance. The goal settings that are realistic but challenging are likely to perform better than those who do not. Goals that are difficult to achieve and precise tend to increase the performance. Goals can be more specific by defining a quantity or certain tasks that must be completed.

Managers cannot continuously drive motivation, or monitor the employees work constantly. Managers consider goals as an important tool, because goals perform as a self-regulatory mechanism which gives certain amount of guidance to employees. Shalley, Locke and Latham’s goal setting theory describes four ways of impact of goal setting on individual performance.

  • Goals focus the attention towards the goal-relevant activities and avoid the goal-irrelevant activities.
  • It serves as refresher. Higher goals stimulate higher effort, while lower goals stimulate lower effort.
  • Goals have impact on persistence.
  • It activates the strategies and cognitive knowledge which helps the employees to cope with the situation.

According to Locke and Latham, there are five principles that are important for goal setting which improves the chance of success.

  • Clarity
  • Commitment
  • Challenge
  • Feedback
  • Complexity of Task

It is important to get out of the frame of mind as quickly as possible when impatience occurs. The following long term goals assist in developing the level of impatience.

  • Learning to manage the emotions – it is important to react in every situation either to be patient or not to be
  • Practicing active listening and empathic listening – ensuring that full attention is paid to other people and patiently planning response for what they say
  • Using anger management techniques to calm down when the impatience causes to react in anger towards others.

These long term goals play a vital role in developing the patience level which decreases the stress and increases productivity.

Short term goals are goals that can be set by an individual which can be accomplished within 12 months, and might be accomplished on the day that goals are set. Generally, these short term goals are smaller parts of long term goals which can be broken down into manageable parts. Without these short term goals, bigger or long term goals become difficult to envision, and the result probably won’t get done. Following are the short term goals that address change in my leadership behavior:

  • Developing Trust – it is a complex and lengthy process. In order to develop trust with others it is important to be open, cooperative, sharing, trustworthy, accepting and supportive.
  • Understanding our strengths, weaknesses and limits
  • Developing confidence

Carl Rogers and others have developed facilitative learning theory. The fundamental aspect of this theory is that learning will happen by the educator acting as a facilitator, that is by creating an atmosphere in which learners feel relaxed to determine innovative ideas and are not intimidated by external factors (Laird, 1985).

Personal Profile Evaluation: Assessing and Improving Professional Skills

As a leader facilitative learning makes my leadership skills less defensive about my constructs and beliefs than the other leaders. I will be more accountable to the learners, particularly to their feelings and are inclined to pay more attention to the learners. I will be apt to accept the feedback, both positive and negative and I will use it as constructive insight into myself and for my behavior. Similarly, as a learner facilitative learning motivates to take responsibility for my own learning. If offers me more input for my learning which takes place through insights and experiences. It also motivates me to consider self-evaluation as the valuable evaluation and that learning focus on solving significant problems or to achieve significant results.

I would prefer operant conditioning of learning because it is method of learning that occurs through rewards and punishments for behavior. An association is created between the behavior and a consequence for that behavior.

Consider the case of employees completing the projects to receive praise or promotions. When the employees achieve the targets, they receive promotions and it causes increase in behavior. Similarly, the employees not achieving the targets are not praises and it leads to decrease in behavior. Here the promise or possibility of rewards creates an increase in behavior and impossibility of rewards decrease in disruptive behaviors.

I would prefer social learning theory because it emphasizes the significance of observing and modeling the others behaviors, attitudes and emotions. It encompasses both cognitive and behavioral frameworks.

My social learning situations are TV commercials. The commercial advertisements incorporates that using a particular beauty cream or drinking certain health drink will make us popular and win the admiration of attractive people. Based on the attention or motivation, I might model the behavior shown in the advertisement and purchase the product being advertised.

It is impossible to change what is not acknowledgeable to me. But it can be stopped from being passively shaped by internal and external forces in life. It is important to move our self-concept away from the definition of world. Here are the five action plans to achieve the goal (Locus of Control).

Step 1: Isolating the Target Event

It is important to decide the core external events that have been the most noxious experience in the life. Later write a brief description about the target event and make sure that you are honest in your part.

Step 2: Auditing Internal Response to that Event

Ask the questions such as what, when, how, where and who about the event described in step 1.

Step 3: Testing Internal Response for Authenticity

Everything can be tested by us and it can be identified whether it is fictional or authentic by asking the following questions

  • Is the incident true?
  • Does the attitude serve best interest?
  • Does the attitude protect health?
  • Does the attitude offer what you want?

Step 4: Coming up with Authentically Accurate Response

Step 5: Recognizing and Implementing Minimal Effective Response

The above action plans are defined to achieve the locus of control which helps to have positive thoughts and attitudes towards an external event.


I have been very focused and honest in writing this report because only then authenticity encompasses in my thinking, words and deeds. Through this entire assessment, I have learned that I have many short comings and various strengths, which will help me in my career. I am confident and hard -working, and try to complete my task with full efficiency, at the same time, I am quite impatient and don’t feel like coordinating with others, which can create problems for me, while working in a team. I need to take feedback from other and try to coordinate with others. The main limitations of self-leadership approach are its subjectivity and lack of accountability. Since I am responsible for my rating and evaluation for various aspects in my life, the nature of approach is very subjective. Similarly, there will not be any accountability for motivation during the change process. The world can be a better place through optimism because optimism leads to superior health, greater achievement, persistence, emotional health and increased longevity. This assessment will assist in overcoming my issues and make my life and career a better one.


Clegg, Stewart & Bailey, James. (2007). International Encyclopedia of Organizational Studies. Retrieved from https://books.google.co.in/books?id=tid1AwAAQBAJ&dq=how+positive+psychology+is+useful+in+self+leadership&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Fredrickson, Barbara. (2011). The Role of Positive Emotions in Positive Psychology. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3122271/

Harvard Health Publications. (2008). Positive Psychology in Practice. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsweek/positive-psychology-in-practice.htm

Kulkarni, Pallavi. (2013). A Literature Review on Training & Development and Quality of Work Life. Retrieved from https://www.researchersworld.com/vol4/issue2/Paper_20.pdf

Mancini, Dale. (2009). Effective Leadership Literature Review. Retrieved from https://www.drpatrickcarter.com/blog/2009/08/effective-leadership-literature-review/

Norris, Sharon. (2008). An Examination of Self-Leadership. Retrieved from https://regentuniversityonline.com/acad/global/publications/elj/vol1iss2/ELJ_V1Is2_Norris.pdf

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