A follow up on my comments regarding Perception vs Reality in leadership.
Whilst studying the Blake & Mouton Management Grid it has become evident to me that leadership is much like quantum mechanics, in particularly Schrödinger’s cat – the act of looking changes the outcome!
My hypothesis is that most (not all, and certainly not the really successful ones) leaders are blind with their own perception of their leadership compared to the reality of their actual leadership. Using the Blake & Mouton model, its probably safe to assume that most leaders aspire to use the Team Leadership style. My assumption is that most leaders always assume that they’re X whereas in reality they’re Y. This assumption is based on the fact that there is often not a very open level of communication between the top & the bottom – so the manager is often not aware of how others perceive him.
In formal leadership assessment, the assessment is typically is handled top down – eg a high level manager/supervisor evaluates the leadership skills of a lower-level manager who they oversee. The problem with this approach, is that supervisors in this position very rarely consider the opinions of the employees underneath the manager. This creates an information disconnect, since most supervisors only have access to the information/results that are provided by the managers themselves.