Social Cognitive Theory and Self-Leadership
Social cognitive theory is one of the ways to understand human learning and behavior. In essence, this theory proposes that individuals learn in a social context, while being influenced by their environment and other people. Examining both internal and external factors that influence one’s behavior, this practice is able to understand how people’s actions are formed and maintained. Individuals are able to engage in specific behaviors if they know what actions to take and how to take them. Similarly, the process of taking action affects the environment an individual inhibits. Self-leadership is a concept closely connected with social cognitive theory. Using the social nature of learning as a base, self-leaderships works to assert the importance of coordinating oneself, using specific techniques to shape the person’s interaction with themselves and their environment.
Effective Self-Leadership is the process of facing challenges and adapting to them. This includes understanding what parts of life one can control, and utilizing one’s resources to address issues to the best of their ability. The textbook exemplifies this focus best with the example of two frogs in a bucket of cream (Neck et al., 2016, p. 26). Similar to the frogs in the story, people faced with various situations can practice Self-Leadership to overcome difficulties and reach specific goals. One of the examples of a leader using social cognitive theory is Steve Jobs, who is discussed in the book as an example. Understanding the environmental and social factors that hinder his organization from introducing innovation, the man used his leadership in a way that attuned his colleagues to achieve better, more ambitious things (Cunningham, 2020). By effectively working within society, the man was able to lead both himself and others to a better future.
Effect of Personal Tendencies on Self-Leadership
- 1. 4 5. 5 9. 4 13. 4 17.5 A.11 E. 15
- 2. 5 6.3 10. 3 14. 3 18. 3 B. 13. F. 11
- 3. 4 7. 3 11. 5 15. 4 C. 12 X. 72
- 4. 4 8. 5 12. 5 16. 3 D. 10 XX. 57
According to my scores, there are still many personal qualities I need to improve in order to practice self-leadership effectively. My self-observation skills are moderate, as I am able to monitor myself throughout the task completion process and gauge my performance. I think this quality helps me better understand what I need to improve on, and what I know well. I use cueing strategies often as well, which allows me to stay on top of deadlines and other life requirements. I think that my self-organization is one of by bigger strengths in terms of good leadership. Goal-setting is another one of my capabilities, allowing me to strive forward and grow, both as a person and as a leader.
In concerns of self-reward and self-punishment, however, I can notice some issues. Notably, I tend to bring myself down or actively punish myself for underperforming much more often that I do the opposite. Despite being capable of success, I tend to focus more on my failures, which affects my perception of myself. Practice, too, is something I may often lack in. I do not like to think too long about taking on a challenging task, as it only fuels my worries and frustrations, however, it may present a problem when a need to prepare exists.
When reading the story of P. T. Farnsworth in the context of personal assessment and self-leadership, it inspires a number of ideas. In Farnsworth, I see a person with great talent and determination, one who was capable of presenting new ideas and seeing them through. However, despite his ability, he did not achieve success in a financial or popular sense of the word (Neck et al., 2016). I think his example is notable in understanding the importance of personal qualities in goal-setting and achievement, despite his failures.
Rewards in Self-Leadership and Case Overview
Various types of reward strategies and support systems can make it easier for individuals to perform their tasks well. This includes being able to accomplish one’s own goals, complete work, and interact with others. Among the possible reward mechanisms, natural rewards are most capable of helping people find enjoyment in necessary activities. By taking advantage of natural reward strategies, it is possible to make more mundane or uninspiring parts of life engaging. Compared to outside rewards, such as treating yourself to a snack or going somewhere one enjoys, natural rewards seek to make the process of working itself more enjoyable.
This is done primarily by finding something enjoyable in an activity, or incorporating something that inspires an individual into the work process. Similarly, the idea of natural rewards also includes changing one’s perspective on the completion of tasks as a whole. Instead of focusing on the negatives, the natural reward system works to bring out the positives and hide the negatives. Examining the case of Rudy Ruettiger, I am also reminded of the important role determination and goal-play in achieving one’s dreams. The man has set a goal for himself, and worked tirelessly to achieve it (Neck et al., 2016, p. 52).. Despite not being able to succeed initially, he inched closer and closer to his desired outcome, and managed to make it happen. I think that stories like Rudy’s show that individuals can succeed despite their circumstances, using self-leadership and their strong will.
Locus of Control
Taking on the Locus of Control assessment, I have determined that my score is 30. It corresponds with an internal moderate locus of control. This means that I consider events that happen around me to be influenced both by my own actions and by my environment (“Locus of control: Are you in charge of your destiny?,” 2007). I think this evaluation of my perspective is accurate. I consider the environment as an important influence factor in all parts of my life, including events that may be partially in my control. I think that identifying that not every aspect of one’s life can bend to a person’s will is an important component of living in society. By allowing ourselves to admit to recognize the influence of outside factors, we can examine them and work in changing the underlying systems that may influence us.
Self-Awareness and Leadership Development
Self-awareness is an important quality for every individual. It allows oneself to understand both their successes and shortcomings, work in bringing out their best qualities and living their best life. In my own life, self-awareness is a vital tool I try to employ every day. When making decisions, or reflecting on the past, I judge the validity of my actions and assertions through the lens of knowing myself. I know my own negative qualities best, which gives me a great opportunity to take them into account and compensate for them. Similarly, self-awareness is a great leadership tool as well, both for self-leadership and for leading others. Only by being self-aware can a person admit their own mistakes, grow and develop. This assertion is supported by Forbes, that considers self-awareness to be one of the central qualities necessary to operate within the professional sphere (Esimai, 2018). Combining the lessons brought on by self-leadership with continuous assessment of myself, I am able to improve.
Cunningham, J. (2020). Steve Jobs loved innovation, so he nurtured it. Medium. Web.
Esimai, C. (2018). Great Leadership Starts With Self-Awareness. Forbes. Web.
Locus of control: Are you in charge of your destiny? (2007). Management Training and Leadership Training – Online. Web.
Neck, C. P., Manz, C. C., & Houghton, J. D. (2016). Self-leadership: The definitive guide to personal excellence. SAGE Publications.