PLA Essay 3 - Sites at Penn State

How do you want others to describe you as a leader? What role does your personality
play into this description? MBTI Assessment, Career Services Speaker
As a leader, it is important to me how I am viewed by others in the work place,
my family and among friends. It is crucial for those that I lead to respect me and to know
that I respect them equally. My personality greatly determines how others view my
leadership style, which has positive outcomes and room for improvement. I hope that
throughout my career people will view me as respectful, adaptable, encouraging and
reliable in the face of adversity.
Having a deeper understanding of my personality type from the Myers Briggs
Assessment enables me to know how I operate as a leader. My test results were ESTJ,
which means that I am logical, practical and decisive. The description went on to say that
I have a “grasp of the realities of life and work.” I am systematic and factual when
problem solving. One of the negative implications of this personality type is that I can be
perceived as demanding. Finally, the description said that I am organized, systematic and
I think that this description is very accurate of my personality type. As a leader
with all people in my life, I want to be known as reliable and responsible. It is very
important for me to always have multiple contingency plans in case one solution does not
work out well. Being logical and using facts to make the best decisions in a timely
manner enables me to be reliable in a difficult situation. My work has been in developing
countries and in national security related fields, where mistakes and lack of planning can
be very costly. I have seen how plans change and unpredictable circumstances occur,
which is why it is so important for me to have multiple plans, and know as many facts as
Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama and Condoleezza Rice all have an ESTJ
personality type as well. These are all women that I truly admire and aspire to emulate
in my leadership abilities. I want a career in the government one day, and I hope that
when I am faced with difficult decisions to make, that I can think through them the way
that these women did and continue to do every day. They are strong, practical, and
know how to make difficult decisions with the best information possible. In politics and
international relations, these women are leaders who try to do everything that they can
for the good of the United States. Hilary Clinton said, “I've always believed that people
should be judged on the basis of actions ... and not just what they ... claim to stand for."
I agree with her beliefs in this quote, and feel strongly that actions are the best
determination of leadership.
Part of being reliable is being known for accountability in leadership. I want to be
known as a reliable leader who holds others accountable, but most importantly who holds
myself accountable for my actions. As a leader, I will go above and beyond for my coworkers, team or organization that I am working for, and I will expect the same from
others in return. I specifically enjoy working in teams and taking on a leadership role
within these teams. Through the Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship
Program (HESE) and the Engineering Leadership and Development Program I have had
the opportunity to work on many teams. I try to show my teammates that I will work hard
to help the team, and to hold everyone accountable for their work. This stems from
creating dialogue between all teammates and creating a culture of openness, where
constructive criticism is welcomed.
I want people to think of me as an adaptive leader, capable of changing in difficult
situations. This is most challenging for me, because it pushes me to find new solutions to
challenges, and forces me to accept constructive criticism. One of the downsides of my
personality type is being known as demanding. I have also been told in the past that I can
think that people’s work is never good enough. I think that striving for improvement
creates innovation and pushes people to be their best selves, but I understand that a
balance is necessary. As a leader, I will constantly have to check myself, and rely on
others to give me feedback about my leadership style.
There are many different types of leaders that are necessary in all kinds of
professions. Personally, I want to work in international relations, development and
national security related fields. With this line of work comes many difficult decisions to
be made in gray areas, where only partial facts are present. I hope that throughout my
career people view me as my personality test states, as logical, practical and decisive.
However most importantly, I want to be known for respecting others and receiving
respect from those that I lead. To me, respect comes from accountability and reliability,
which I will continue to work on and improve as I begin my professional career.