Life Styles Inventory (Lsi)

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GM591 PREPARATION GUIDE: LIFE STYLES INVENTORY(LSI)

Introduction: Thinking and Behavior
"The quest for leadership is first an inner quest to discover who you are” (p.391).[1]
--Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner---
Self-awareness is foundational to effective leadership and organization success[2]. Research in leadership and organizational behavior indicates that managers who are blind to who they are, and to the effects they have on other people in their organizations, place their effectiveness and their careers at risk. A frequently cited axiom is "the first commandment of leadership is to know thyself."

For example, in their studies of managerial and executive derailment, the Center for Creative Leadership found that successful managers: (1) understand their values, personal styles, and strengths and weaknesses; (2) know the impact of these values, styles, and strengths and weaknesses on their ability to effectively work with others and achieve their goals; and (3) are quick to reflect upon and learn from their own experiences. Despite these advantages, we often resist opportunities to increase our self-awareness or to acknowledge error. We fear that learning something new about ourselves will be painful -- doing so may require us to change our treasured and habitual ways of seeing, thinking, and behaving.

Self-awareness is also an important barometer to ensure that even the best leadership practices don't become destructive. As Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner caution us in "The Leadership Challenge", virtues can become vices. Being obsessed at being seen as a role model, for example, can cause a leader to slip from inclusion to exclusion, disregarding the views of others and being non-receptive to feedback. It can, in the words of Kouzes and Posner, "push you to isolation for fear of losing privacy or being 'found out'; it can also cause you to be more…...

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