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Are you ready for leadership or just hungry for power?

Some have leadership thrust upon them. Others vigorously and viciously pursue it with open hunger and naked ambition. No matter how you may end up arriving at it, the question is: are you inclined towards it? Do you have the inclination towards leadership? Are you ready? And predisposed to it?

Maggie Mzumara

There are ways of appraising yourself to determine readiness. This week we look at how, using a quiz by Lester Bittel and John Newstrom, you can self-assess to determine whether or not you are ready. I focus in particular on managerial and supervisory levels of leadership.

Below are some questions to ask yourself to which your answers should be three options: Agree, Disagree, or Neither Agree nor Disagree.

1. I like to set my own goals and do things my own way.

2. I have a keen sensitivity to the interests of other people.

3. I see my work as a means only to an end, rather than as a main focus for my life.

4. When I know a job needs to be done well, I will do it myself.

5. I don’t want to take the responsibility for someone else’s work, good or bad.

6. I consider myself an attentive listener. I don’t interrupt.

7. Given a fair chance, most people want to do a good job.

8. I live according to the rule of the better late than never.

9. When working with a group of other people on a project I often find myself prodding them to get the job done.

10. I have a lot to learn about management and supervision.

11. Good employees work safely, obey the rules and are willing to give a fair day’s work.

12. My friends know that I won’t criticise them when they come to me with their hard luck stories.

13. People who break rules should be prepared to pay the penalty.

14. I like to show other people how to do things.

15. The thought of working overtime without extra seems extremely unfair.

16. Most of my bosses have been a hindrance rather than a help to me and my co-workers.

17. I consider myself to be a good explainer: I can make things clear to other people.

18. In handling my personal affairs, I rarely fall behind in what I set out to do.

19. When assessing a situation, I find that there is likely to be some good in it as well as the bad and the ugly.

20. When things go wrong, that’s a sign that a problem needs to be solved rather than a person blamed.

Scoring: Give yourself a point for each of the following statements that you agreed with 2, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, and 20. Give yourself one point for each of the following statements that you disagreed with: 1, 3, 4, 5, 8, 15, and 16. There are no points for statements with which you neither agreed nor disagreed with.

Interpretation: If you scored between 15 and 20 points, you are ready to consider the pursuit of a supervisory or managerial position. If you scored between 9 and 14 points, you should work towards gaining a fuller understanding of what a supervisory/managerial position entails. If you scored less than 9 points, it’s probably wise to look to other functions not necessarily those of leadership. You can, however, take up or continue your studies of management and/or leadership. Who knows, with time and effort, your leadership orientation could improve. After all, leaders can be made!

Maggie Mzumara is a strong advocate for women stepping into leadership positions. She is Founder and Strategic Co-ordinator for Success in Stilettos (SiS) Seminar Series – a leadership development platform for women. She can be reached on

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