Leadership’s scientific analysis began through having a focus on the leaders. The theory was originally based on the assumptions that various people are naturally born leaders and are endowed with the specific virtues of leaders which other people do not possess. However, researchers have since shifted their focus on leaders’ traits from the past since the behaviors of the leaders for the basis of analysis. The personal leadership development plan (PLDP) is productive because leaders are in a position to perform better with the full knowledge of their capabilities and traits. In addition, traits associated with learned or socialized patterns are connected to leaders who have laid down a personal leadership development plan. The paper develops a personal leadership development plan based on the outcomes from the leadership self-insight quizzes.
Outcomes from the Leadership Self-Insight Quizzes
The first self-insight quiz dealt with my view on leadership orientation. Tschannen-Moran (2009) described leadership orientation in a two-model perspective including task-oriented and relationship-oriented tasks. Task-oriented leadership is a behavioral approach that includes a leader focusing on accomplishing tasks in order to achieve certain set targets and goals. In the relationship-oriented model, a leader has a great focus on motivation, satisfaction and team member’s well-being. The highest score I attained from leadership orientation quizzes was nine, with my behavioral score being four and my initiating structure behavior being five. From the first behavioral scores quiz, it is clear that I am somehow strong in my views regarding how I see myself as a capable leader. From the second structured behavior scores, my score of five has further indicated that I am somehow strong in regards to views of initiating structural behavior as a leader (Hernandez, Eberly, Avolio & Johnson, 2011). Furthermore, despite not working under strong leadership yet, I still agree with the outcomes. Many of my models like the retired American President Barrack Obama had approximately the same scores at my age and later on, they became great leaders. Therefore, due to these great scores, I feel like I could be an effective leader with the right skills, knowledge and experience and in future, I could turn out to be a great leader.
The second quiz was related to an assessment of my leadership style and leadership behavior. Despite not being good at interpersonal skills, my scores were positive indicating that with minor key improvements I can be a future sustainable leader. From the quizzes in this category, my scores for false was three while for true was three showing a balanced equilibrium between my leadership style and behavior. The scores of five or four could be better off as compared to three and therefore I consider my score below average. When comparing the leadership quizzes and directions then come up with my leadership style, it clear that I only fit in ISTJ (Introversion, Sensing, Thinking and Judgment) type of leadership style. However, as a result of being inexperienced in working as a leader, it is clear that my condition of leadership for my style is ideal when working with a small group of people especially my peers. This means I will have to start at the bottom and therefore will gain experience of supervising others and solving a problem or making efficient decision-making. Furthermore, I will also be able to learn different ways of dealing with behaviors from diverse ethnicity, culture and race. According to Bass and Bass (2009) every successful leader in the world started from somewhere and therefore this will be a starting point of my journey in dynamic leadership but not downgrading.
The third self-insight quiz was whether I was in the position of taking a leadership role. My total score was high at eight clearly showing that my readiness level is high. Furthermore, with considerations of leadership styles used by my role models, it is clear that the majority of them use transformational style. For example, from my previous job, our manager used to group us by departments. Each group had goals to accomplish where monthly and individual performances were recorded. If a group or individual failed to key in a certain amount of data in the ERP systems then it was considered as “under quota”. Therefore, I developed an interest in becoming a role model in the way I used to see my mentors transforming and mentoring people to become leaders.
Key Strengths and Weaknesses
I have many strong strengths as a leader. The key strengths that I have manifested are being a rational decision maker, the ability to manage resources effectively, a good planner, task-oriented, articulate, structured, responsible, confident, determined and visionary. By being visionary, I have a high score in setting objectives and goals and presentation of creative and innovative ideas. According to Abbas & Asghar (2010), visionary leaders are dedicated to targets and goals. Therefore, through being visionary I am always able to lead the organization with a mission and later on translate the missions to goals by organizing power bases and teams to meet objectives. My rational nature ensures that I am an adaptive leader. Having this type of strength, changes do not bother me, as I am capable of managing both stress and time. Being structured am able to set effective parameters that assist the team to work within in order to achieve the general goals of the organization. Neubert, Kacmar, Carlson, Chonko & Roberts (2008) stated that “structure builds bond and cohesiveness in the organization”. Therefore, by structure I am able to unite my colleagues to combine diverse skills thus enabling me to be surrounded by people who are knowledgeable and optimistic in achieving organizational goals.
My greatest weakness in fostering a productive work environment is managing projects. This weakness is derived from my insufficient interpersonal skills. For example, I have been recording low scores in leadership styles aptitudes. In addition, my ability to respond to style questionnaires are also low. Furthermore, my leadership style of ISTJ that strongly emphasizes on planning, controlling and structure limits me. This type of leadership style is based on the tendency of de-emphasizing the leadership elements. Other weaknesses that I possess include low esteem and misunderstanding of others.
Assess the Need for More Information on Behaviors
For improvement, leaders at all levels need more honest information about their behaviors. According to Grougiou & Pettigrew (2009) feedback from other people can illuminate blind spots about behavior which cannot be seen without getting more information from others. However, the provision of feedback to seniors can be intimidating and no employee wants to take the risk. Creating an environment of open dialogue is important as it leads to a relaxed environment where members can share information about their leader (DeRue & Wellman, 2009). In addition, I will be specific when requesting feedback to ensure that members don’t scramble to provide an answer which they think is best on the spot. After acknowledging and mitigating concerns, I would radiate a sincere desire to learn and improve. After getting more information from my colleagues I have realized that their perception of myself is similar to mine as they reflected all my qualities.
Articulate Vision for Developing As a Leader
The vision for developing as a leader
As a developing leader, I aspire to be honest, confident and committed by ensuring that I know the way, show the way and go the way by ensuring that I communicate and delegate duties effectively.
a. Trust-I will ensure the establishment, development and sustaining of trust with the people I am to lead so as to ensure continuous development in team effectiveness. I will demonstrate genuine care for my people by letting them experience and see that I care genuinely for them and for their well-being. Through people feeling that they are cared for, they exhibit a feeling of being satisfied and being with the right leader thus making the organization successful through giving back their efforts (Yukl, 2012).
b. Productivity-I will make sure that I ensure maximum productivity whereby most organizations share this common objective which many leaders are familiar with, to ensure that they stay on the frontline. However, there is a common misunderstanding whereby many leaders believe that productivity is the only important objective. The aspect has therefore led to many leaders neglecting the building of trust and development.
c. Leadership development- I will strive to develop my leadership skills and those of my team members to improve the leadership culture and enhance sustainable growth so as to build a legacy.
Actions to Achieve Each Developmental Objective
a. Trust- trust is an important aspect which most leaders should aspire to achieve from their teams. I plan to earn trust from my team by talking about fear and trust as topics of business within one week into the formation of the group. Although it is a hard step to take, telling the truth to my team will eradicate the toxic culture which may be in the organization by ensuring that honesty is part of the meeting agenda. The main step I will take to enhance trust in my team is to ensure that my actions always speak louder than my words through proving that no organizational culture is perfect and practical teaching my team on the importance of trust in the effectiveness of any group. In addition, I will gauge the level of fear-versus-trust through the invitation of my team to share their thoughts on the directions we are willing to take. The aspect will result in team members being willing to confidently contribute to the group’s activities.
b. Productivity-productivity is critical for the success and growth of any team. In view of this, no leader can handle the workload by themselves and expect the team to be productive. Therefore, it is important for leaders to effectively delegate duties to achieve efficiency and success. To attain the maximum level of productivity from my team, I plan to give the team members ownership of the team’s activities from the very first day of the team formation to ensure that they all work together towards achieving the same goal. Inspiration and encouragement are also critical for the productivity of any team. Similarly, I will ensure that I understand the skills of all the team members in order to efficiently delegate duties. The aspect will lead to team members having duties which best match their skills.
c. Leadership development-developing and retaining leadership skills is critical for the development of leadership qualities. In addition, coaching and mentoring for leadership is crucial since team leaders need to keep members delighted and long enough to maintain the processes and culture of the organization. In this regard, I plan to implement well-developed mentoring programmes for my team within the first two weeks of the team formation. I will on-board onward through the provision of support and guidance to the members to achieve the development of experiences and talents which would assist the members in becoming better leaders in the future. I will integrate programs for coaching and mentoring the members through assisting them in the identification, selection and development of potential for leadership development. Coaching, mentoring and career development are important aspects for the growth of all team members and ensuring that they all work in tandem for the provision of resources for the team members to drive their own development. In addition, I plan to ensure that I guide, support and develop the expertise and talents of the team members in order to ensure that they are molded to the exact kind of team members that I need.
Resources need to implement the Plan
Resources needed for plan implementation
To fully implement my plan for trust, productivity and leadership development, I will require various resources. The human resource department plays an integral role in the recruitment of the best talent in the workplace. Therefore, assistance from the human resource department will result in better recruiting which will, in turn, improve the cultural fit in the team. Human resource officials should take hiring more like a courtship in order to ensure that the best talent is brought into the organization which will improve the organization’s productivity. A strong focus on the cultural fit before potential employees spend the first hour working for the organization can save the company time and money.
In addition, improving the skills of the employees will require training once they are screened, hired and on the job. Training is, therefore, a crucial part in ensuring productivity as it’s greatly beneficial to both employees and employers for achieving greater efficiency. To save time, I will hire a trained professional who will easily and quickly share their knowledge with the members. Furthermore, I would encourage autonomy by not micromanaging the members and seek the assistance and cooperation of other leaders in backing off from the team’s activities. The aspect will ensure that the employees are self-starters and train them to be able to work independently. I will also need to group the employees according to various aspects in order to ensure that mentorship programs are implemented accordingly by assigning several employees to a mentor who they can look up to in their career. Choosing the right mentor for a particular group of employees can be a challenging undertaking but is crucial for the implementation of the mentorship and coaching program which will also improve trust in the organization
Mechanisms used to Get Feedback of you Leadership Behaviors and Progress
Discussion with my mentors is an ideal mechanism for getting feedback on my leadership and progress. Bureau & Lawhead (2018) defined mentoring in leadership as identification and nurturing of potential leaders who have an ability to change the current situation. Through discussion with mentors, I will develop an insight of where I need to improve and understand my leadership behavior through intrinsic observation hence I become more aware of my experience. Furthermore, getting positive feedback from mentors is a clear indication that my leadership behavior and progress is good while getting negative comments about my mentor will mean the progress is not good.
Getting feedback from my peers will also assess the progress of my leadership abilities and behaviors. The assessment of the feedback will help in tracking down how I have perceived my leadership performance over time and it will be the guidance of what I should do to improve my leadership capabilities. Furthermore, getting positive feedback from my peers will be more energizing and motivating. It will be linked by a satisfactory environment that is exercising the leadership. The positive feedback from peers will improve my self-esteem because my set goals and targets will be attained and areas of self-development identified (Zheng, Diaz, Jing & Chiaburu, 2015)
Strategy to Review and Revise Plan In Future
The monitoring of the strategic plan will be conducted on every quarter and all the participants will be updated. The strategy will be informal and formal making sure I remind my colleagues on where I am, where we're going and what I intend to do in order to get there. My strategy will also be reviewed on an annual basis so that as a leader I can take stock of changes in both internal and external environments. Furthermore, reviewing my development plan will not only use formal departmental meetings but it will also consider something innovative that brings out a particular issue. The best techniques in this scenario will be using open spaces, hall meetings, appreciative inquiries and world cafes. The techniques are better for engaging people and also looking at emerging issues in different and new ways.
Furthermore bringing independent and credible external and internal stakeholders will be of assistance when reviewing and revising the plan. In addition, I will shift the flux and focus on my colleagues so that they are in a position of looking at issues that are facing their departments in a new way. This will assist me to tease out the issues and look basically at what weaknesses, strengths, opportunities and threats are facing and therefore I will be in a position of redesigning my strategic plan according to feedback that I have received from the discussion of my mentor and my peers.
It was recommended that I should look at improving my leadership features cognitive antecedents, extraversion and strong determinations. I should also try to aspire others to smoothen their success paths by driving towards achieving their own goals. This should be done by creating a mentorship program that is suitable and sustainable for people who have leadership abilities but have lacked mentors who are in a position of assisting them. I should also consider dealing with an aspect of group achievement so that I can form a desired and strong place for myself in the dynamic leadership world.
Therefore, my plan of leadership development must include all the positive skills and traits as mentioned in the paper and unwanted features must be excluded. Furthermore, in order to execute an effective development plan, I revised the current development plan to incorporate effective communication with stakeholders who are willing to support my leadership abilities. The revision on communication plan was a way of creating strong relationships with people who can provide resources needed to support me in the leadership journey. I also reviewed my funding process by bringing alternative funding sources that ensured that the resources are readily available to utilize any opportunities that arise.
My personal development plan makes me a generally well-groomed individual, inhibiting the desirable traits of the patient listener, empathy, agreeableness, leadership motivation and consciousness. The development plan tests my ability as a future leader. From the assessment of feedback from my mentor and peers through observation, a conclusion can be drawn that some of the leadership aspects need to be improved.
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