Self-Leaders: Independent Performers or Team Players?


  • Christopher R. Bearden


The use of teams to achieve organizational goals requires companies to employ individuals that are competent at both performing individual tasks and working well with others. This study examines the relationship between performance strategies and the performance perceived by teammates and supervisors. Previous research on individual work-role performance and performance strategies associated with self-leadership indicate a positive relationship. Self-leadership can be conceptualized as a set of self-influence strategies used by individuals to increase personal effectiveness. These strategies include functions such as self-goal setting and positive self-talk. In this study, self-leadership, expert ratings of individual work-role performance, and peer-ratings of team member effectiveness are compared with one another in a correlational design. Participants were aerospace students at a southern university engaged in operating a simulated flight dispatch center for course credit. A positive, statistically significant relationship was found between perceived team member effectiveness and expert-rated individual performance; however, the self-leadership strategies measured in this study were unrelated to the criterion variables. A follow-up investigation using confirmatory factor analysis indicates that the instrument used to measure self-leadership was not valid. Suggestions for future research are made.