“High potential” employees often receive “stretch assignments” to expand their organizational knowledge, skills, and contacts.
Personal leadership self-efficacy (LSE) expectations about capabilities to deliver successful outcomes determine the actual results, reported Texas A&M’s Stephen H. Courtright, Amy E. Colbert of University of Iowa, and Daejeong Choi of University of Melbourne in their four month study of more than 150 managers and 600 directors at a Fortune 500 financial services company.
Individuals develop self efficacy, according to Stanford’s Albert Bandura, in response to:
- Personal accomplishments and mastery,
- Observing others’ behaviors, experiences, and outcomes,
- Corrective feedback from others via coaching and mentoring,
- Mood and physiological factors.
Bandura posited that people’s expectations about their personal efficacy determines whether they:
- Use coping behavior when encountering difficulties,
- Apply exceptional effort in meeting challenges,
- Persist for long periods when encountering difficult experiences and obstacles.
These behaviors lead to the “virtuous cycle” of increased self-efficacy beliefs.
A measure of leadership self-efficacy (LSE), developed by University of Evansville’s Laura L. Paglis Dwyer and Stephen G. Green of Purdue University, evaluates a leader’s skill in:
- Gaining followers’ commitment,
- Overcoming obstacles to change.
Two additional Leader Self Efficacy characteristics were proposed by United States Military Academy’s Sean T. Hannah with Bruce Avolio, Fred Luthans, and Peter D. Harms of University of Nebraska:
- “Agency,” characterized by intentionally initiating action and exerting positive influence,
Women demonstrated significantly lower leadership self-efficacy beliefs than men in research by University of Houston’s Michael J. McCormick, Jesús Tanguma
, and Anita Sohn López-Forment.
Women’s lag in expressions of “confidence,” has clear consequences for the participation in executive leadership roles.
However, these beliefs can be modified with intentional interventions like training, coaching, mentoring and cognitive restructuring practice.
Courtright’s team reinforced that beliefs result from previous experiences can determine future outcomes, suggesting the importance of monitoring and managing these guiding ideas.
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