Emerging Leaders Program

Emerging Leaders

ICLD 1.9 Leadership Theories and DiSC : Discussion Board

Instructor: Dr. Mitch
  1. Post a new discussion related to the topics covered in this module.  Your post needs to provide specific lessons learned with examples from this module helping you enhance your leadership capacity at work.
  2. After posting your discussion, review posts provided by other students in the class and reply to at least one of them. 


  • I have gained a wealth of knowledge on the various approaches to Leadership. I have learned about three major leadership theories, Trait Theory, Situation Theory, and Participation Theory, and how they can be applied to lead and motivate individuals or teams in different situations.

    Trait Theory focuses on identifying the specific traits that make a leader successful. According to this theory, great leaders possess certain qualities, such as intelligence, confidence, and charisma. These traits are believed to be innate and cannot be developed. However, this theory has been criticized for not considering the situational factors that can influence a leader’s effectiveness.

    On the other hand, situation theory suggests that effective Leadership depends on the situation. A successful leader in one situation may be unsuccessful in another. For instance, a leader who is excellent at motivating a team in a crisis may be less successful in a routine situation. Therefore, leaders need to adapt their leadership style based on the position they are facing.

    Participation Theory emphasizes the importance of involving team members in the decision-making process. Leaders who follow this theory encourage their team members to participate in discussions, brainstorming sessions, and decision-making processes. This approach can lead to better decision-making, increased motivation, and a more positive work environment.

    The DISC module has also helped me understand the different personality types and how they can be managed to improve team dynamics. I have just heard of this before sharpening my skills in Leadership. The DISC module categorizes people into four personality types: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness. By understanding these personality types, leaders can tailor their communication and management styles to work effectively with each team member.

    For example, a leader managing a team with a high percentage of Conscientious personality types may need to provide detailed instructions and follow-up to ensure the work is completed to the team’s high standards. A leader managing a team with many Dominant personality types may need to be more direct and assertive to gain their respect.

    In conclusion, learning about the different leadership theories and the DISC module has given me a deeper understanding of how to effectively lead and manage individuals and teams. By understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each theory and personality type, I can better adapt my leadership style to different situations and personalities for optimal results.

    • I was skeptical of the DISC module and when i was at Staff and Command i did it for the first time and was amazed how accurate it is. I think it has helped me understand what i am good at and definitely what i need to work on. After listening to John Maxwell explain the 5 levels of leadership i can see how some of the leaders i work with have progressed and how some have regressed and the people who think that they are at the fifth pinnacle should watch that video and realize how much work is involved in becoming that kind of leader.

  • I found the 5 Levels of Leadership by John Maxwell to be extremely useful. Someone who is working on their leadership abilities can use this as a guideline as they develop themselves and move up the levels. In the beginning people follow you because they have to. Then you work on connecting with your people, then produce by example, then work on training and development, then in the end people just follow you. One concept under level 3 that stuck with me is that momentum will solve 80% of an organization’s problems. When an organization is stagnant people will begin to feel frustrated and work productivity goes down.

  • The part of this lesson that was most informative to me was the 5 levels of leadership. As someone possibly entering into a leadership role soon, this is important for me to keep in mind moving forward. Getting the position (step 1) merely gives you the legitimate power which is pretty limited. Permission level (step two) is where relationships have been built up and people begin to trust you. Production level (step three) is where you start becoming a truly effective leader and are gaining momentum with solving problems within the agency/division you serve. You gain credibility as time goes on as long as you are leading by example. People development level (step four) is a very vital step that I think a lot of organizations fail at. Failing to develop your greatest asset, your people, is a very large mistake. It is the best way to grow an organization to the best of it’s ability. The final stage is the pinnacle level. At this level you have true respect from those who follow you because of who you are and what you’ve done.

    It’s important to note that you will be on different levels of this leadership progression with different people. New hires may be on level one while people you started with 20 years ago could be on step 1 or 5 depending on your relationship or incidences that have happened during that time. Either way, it’s important to identify what level each employee is on so you can lead them better.

    • Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the five levels of leadership. I completely agree with you that it’s essential to remember these levels, especially when entering a leadership role. It’s fascinating to see how leadership progresses from merely having the position to earning genuine respect from those who follow you.

      I also appreciate your insights on the importance of people development. I believe many organizations fail at this step, and it’s a huge mistake. Developing your people is the best way to grow an organization to its fullest potential.

      You made a great point about identifying what level each employee is on so you can lead them better. Everyone is different and requires different types of leadership. As a leader, it’s essential to recognize these differences and adjust your leadership style accordingly.

      Thank you for sharing your perspective; it was insightful!

  • I believe there are many attributes and styles to how leaders can be categorized. John Maxwell definitely provides many styles and how you can be successful and how you can also fail as a leader. But what I thought was interesting is how Mr. Maxwell aligns a persons leadership through the practice, principles, and values. He describes that the practice is an action that may work in one scenario but not in another. I also took from Mr. Maxwell the following, he indicates that the principals rely on the truth as you would rely on physical law and values is how you embrace the principal and internalize to what i believe is to develop a better overall leader.
    Another part of this section is I had know idea of what DISC represented until the example of what each letter actually represented. I recall this because at some point in my professional career I took a test that implicated where you would be as a leader and I was categorized as being a dominants by the way I answered the question. I however, think that i could actually represent at times each trait. It really falls back to what Mr. Maxwell eluded to that the practice is never the same because it may not work with one incident as it does for another. Just like your team and how you handle them. Not everyone can be approached the same way. Understanding their apprehensions and abilities to be successful is how a good leader can prosper as a whole.

  • I have heard of several different character traits and personality test but I had never heard of the DISC profile. I found the DISC profile very interesting and beneficial. Having an understanding of the behavioral patterns of each of your members on your team as well as yourself could be instrumental in working cohesively. Understanding that members may be in different categories and which other behavioral pattern may conflict or complement each other could be valuable to accomplishing goals and tasks as a team (Long, 2017). As a supervisor, being aware of which behavioral pattern you typically are in line with will provide additional insight on your strengths, weaknesses and fears. This information can be used to strengthen or improve skills.
    Long, L. (2017). Leadership theories and DISC style. 1.9, Week # 3. National Command and Staff College. Retrieved from https://cloud.scorm.com/content

  • I’m not sure I ever really thought of leadership and management as being different. While I agree, they are two wholly different methodologies, I believe they are integral to one another in their independent successes. A good leader motivates his subordinates to do the job well. A good manager organizes his subordinates to DO the job. I have always believed being a good manager is important, first. You have to be able to delegate and organize your staff in the completion of the goals set for them by your leaders. This is articulated by Brian Tracey as the fundamentals for management, the what and when. You can manage your subordinates and control their work, but it requires good leadership to control the quality of their work and thus their successes.

    • I have to agree with your comment as well. I would not think that the two would be different overall because I have always married the two. But I understand them to work in concert. You need to be a well balanced leader in order for your management team and or style can be successful. A leader does need to motivate their team but yet still needs to handle the management side of things by making sure the team is doing what needs to be done. However, demonstrating that you are able to do what is being asked of them is also showing that you can lead by example. So even though they are different they still work together.

    • I have also often used the term manager and leader interchangeably and realize that they are actually different. When learning about the 5 Levels of Leadership by John Maxwell, managers would fall under level 1 which I suppose is where most people start. As you mentioned you first have to make sure people just do the job. As people move up the levels of leadership and develop their leadership abilities they can begin to motivate and inspire others which increases production and development of employees.

  • Once again, it seems that in order to be a great leader you need to build relationships with you subordinates. Brian Tracey also identified great characteristics of being a leader. Truthfulness is the foundation of the trust of any successful business!

    • I genuinely find that the designations between leadership and management are important, but in my particular line of work have to be congruent. Although different, they work hand in hand, improving upon one another. Leadership is all about making relationships with your subordinates so they feel comfortable with your visions and they become motivated to succeed. However, you can’t just motivate your guys and leave them free to do what they want to do. You still have to manage them in an effort to achieve common goals.

  • I like how John Maxwell explained that leaders starting out have their subordinates follow them because they have to and if they did not, they would not be paid. Once those leaders get beyond a certain point or through growing pains, they learn and develop into leaders that subordinates want to follow. Being a good leader will have subordinates produce out of a desire to succeed and because success follows that attitude.

    • Having a good leader should always motivate your subordinates to strive to do better. Of course you will have your bad apples that don’t like to follow the rules but the majority does.

    • I really enjoyed the five level of leadership by John Maxwell, I believe it is because I could relate to some of what he was saying. In the position level, most are excited for the new promotion and for all the positive changes they are going to make. However, the first thing supervisors at this level learn is that the members are truly following them because they have to. It isn’t until they get to know them and the supervisor get to know the member that they begin to want to follow the supervisor. I also liked the fact that in this level the supervisor is continuing to grow and move up the ladder of leadership.

  • The most interesting part of this module was the discussion of Rensis Likert’s Participative Leadership style.

    I have seen firsthand the positive difference that can be made when a Participative Leadership approach is implemented. Employee morale and buy-in / ownership is improved, resistance to change is lowered, and overall satisfaction is higher.

    Unfortunately, more often I have witnessed the aftermath of leaders who did not utilize a Participative Leadership style. Employees are mentally or emotionally checked out, spend as little time in the office as possible, and do just enough to get by.

    While the Participatory Leadership style is not appropriate for every decision or circumstance, utilizing it when appropriate or possible could go a long way toward increasing employee engagement.

    • I agree that keeping your people participating in their tasks and in some cases, utilizing their skills to promote their own growth and success is extremely important. If they believe in what they do and continue to succeed, their morale is positive and they will become more productive as members of the agency.

    • I believe that the Participatory Leadership style is a great way to run an area if the supervisor has the ability to have the right people in that unit and who are wanting to take on the responsibility and authority. Unfortunately, there are some individuals who only want to do the minimum work they have to to get by.

    • I definitely agree with you on this. Allowing staff at all levels to participate in decisions is vitally important. When people at the lowest level of the ring feel they have input and choices, it builds trust and respect for their leaders. I too have seen many projects rolled out, ones that were created by mid or upper management (you know, the ones who don’t have to use the thing), and it’s a major flop. Getting buy-in from staff is essential to making effective change. Good leaders should be reaching out and asking for opinions/ideas and including those things in the final product of whatever that change may be whenever possible. By doing this, leadership teams show that they respect, trust, and value the opinions and knowledge of those in lower positions in the organization.

  • I am a Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPAC) evaluator and am testing the system.

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