Being a leader is of vital importance in today’s day and age, in a time when immorality is on the rise and when leading by example appears to be a thing of the past. Leadership is not necessarily a skill that is bestowed on people who have high authority (Bolden, 2016). Leadership can also be cultivated, nurtured and practiced by individuals who do not hold managerial positions or authoritative positions but who are still confident and assertive enough in order to be regarded as leaders. The more leaders there are in the world, the better the world will be as a place. Yet developing and practicing leadership is not as easy as it seems. One really needs to set an example and do everything that is right and acceptable in order to be followed by others. One needs to lead an ethical and honest life, and make a commitment to uphold the truth and nothing but the truth in all matters (Aarons et al., 2015). In this essay, I outline my personal leadership development plan to be implemented over the next ten years based on the integrated personal development model. I highlight my various strengths while discussing this plan in detail, justifying in conclusion why I think I could make a good, effective leader and command respect in society.
1. Understanding the Qualities that Make a Good Leader
1.1. Committed to Goal Achievement
A good leader is somebody who needs to have a number of positive traits and qualities if this is a person who is to be looked up to. Firstly, a good leader must be committed to achieving the goals or aims that he sets himself to achieve. There is no point in harboring lofty goals, if one does not have the dedication and the commitment that is needed in order to realize such goals in the first place (Black, 2015).
1.2. Innovative Thinker
Secondly, a good and positive leader is a person who is able to think outside of the box. Rigid, conservative and narrow thinking does not make a good leader at all as such a person will be regressive in nature. The regressive and orthodox leader will motivate those working under him to stay in the background and be exclusive and conservative in their outlook, thus failing to instill in them the sense of adventure and risk taking that they need in order to face and overcome challenges at the workplace and elsewhere, readily (Clinton, 2018).
1.3. Broad Minded and Progressive
The good leader is an individual who is broad based and progressive in character and inclusive in approach to others. The best leaders are those who are able to unite people from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds under their leadership, not to mention diverse religious backgrounds, in order to achieve common goals. A leader who has positive qualities and who is a person that other people look up to will never be discriminatory in attitude to others and will try to be as open minded and inclusive as possible especially when dealing with a diverse group of people (Bolden, 2016).
1.4. Thinks of the Long Term
Thirdly, a good leader is a person who thinks for the long term, that is, a person who develops long term goals rather than settling for short term plans and agendas. The best leaders like to aim for the completion of work and the achievements of targets for over an extensive period of time instead of simply being satiated with meeting deadlines and goals in the short term. Such a leader is one who encourages those who are working under him to give their best all through the year and on all days of the week, rather than on select occasions (Frich et al., 2015).
1.5. Compassionate and Caring
The best leaders are individuals who are compassionate and who care about the people who are working under them. A good leader will never be oppressive in nature and will never demean or discourage the person or the people working under him. On the other hand, a good leader will do everything in his power to encourage those working under his supervision, so that they feel motivated enough to do their best under his leadership instead of feeling discouraged and wanting to opt out of a project or agenda at the earliest (Huntrodes et al. 2017).
1.6. Well Read and Knowledgeable
The best leaders are individuals who encourage learning and who want those working under than them to be as well read and as knowledgeable as possible on the issues or the areas that they are working on. Such leaders are people who will place a good deal of emphasis on both bookish as well as practical knowledge, so that the people that are entrusted to work under their leadership will acquire the information, the perspectives and the skills that are needed to carry out a diverse or wide range of tasks and duties with success (Clinton, 2018).
1.7. Reliable and Dependable
The good leader is a man who can be relied upon at any given point of time, but especially on the occasion of a crisis. Reliability and dependability are two essential characteristics of good leaders. Leaders are individuals who their subordinates look up to for guidance and support. It is therefore imperative for leaders to show that their juniors can rely on them in a critical situation, or when they are faced with challenging situations. The best leaders are people who can be reached over phone or in person at any given hour of the day, in order to help out their juniors or subordinates handle essential tasks and duties with perfection (Aarons et al., 2015)
2. Self Assessment
2.1. Identification of Core Values and Strengths
One of the most important strengths that I possess, which I believe can go a long way in making me a good leader is responsibility. I am one of the most responsible people in my work place and in my family and can be counted on for performing just about any and every duty without worry. The elders in my family as well as the younger members of my family know that they can count on me to get things done, even if I am not feeling well or am not too well disposed towards the chores that I have to perform or the duties that I have to carry out. As a responsible member of society, I make sure to lead a disciplined life, not allowing anything in my schedule to go awry on a day to day basis. Being responsible is one of my biggest strengths and it will definitely make me a good leader over the next ten years, given that I will be fully committed to the tasks that I do. As far as responsibility is concerned, it is not only the fact that I am alone responsible for the way that I lead my life or the responsibility that I show when doing my professional duties, but also the fact that I encourage other people in my immediate society to be responsible as well, that can make me a good and effective leader in the coming ten years. I do not like seeing others waste their time or not being committed to the work that they do, and I am assertive enough to let them know of the same.
2.1.2. Self Assurance and Strategic Thinking
Self-assurance and being strategic are two other strengths that I possess, and which I believe will help me go a long way as a leader. As a self-assured person, I know what my limitations are, and I know what I am good at. I will never be the type of person to impose on the people who are working under my supervision, but will instead encourage them to do the best that they can. Self-assurance is something that I believe every individual should possess in order to be able to lead life on his or her own terms. I cannot imagine being dictated by others in my daily life and would not want to dictate to others in turn. By being self aware and self assured, I have the confidence that I need to capitalize on all my merits to be the best that I can be at the work I do, and encourage those working under me or for me to do just the same. The fact that I have a strategic bent of mind and usually devise a strategy or a plan of action prior to undertaken any type of task is also something that I believe can really help me to develop my leadership skills. I am a well-planned person and have a plan of action ready to be implemented in both positive and negative circumstances. By being of a strategic bent of mind, I get to avoid disasters very easily and even in the event that a disaster occurs, I am able to take control of the situation quite readily instead of being at a loss as to what to do. Hence both strategic thinking and self assurance can have a significant role to play in getting me to be a good leader in the next ten years. Such qualities will enable me to perform my duties and functions in the manner that is desired and also encourage others to do exactly the same, especially those working under my supervision, who are directly answerable to me and to no one else.
Another important strength that I possess, which I believe can go a long way in helping me to be a good leader, is focus. My focus and my concentration skills are fantastic and I believe in going after what I want. It is difficult to get me distracted once I have decided that I am going to pursue a certain goal. I will end up achieving it no matter what. The focus that I have and how I use it to lead my personal and professional life, is something that I feel I can rub off on others too, being a good leader in the bargain. I can encourage and motivate the people who are assigned to work under my leadership, showing them why they need to take charge of their lives and their work and letting them know about the importance of not allowing distractions to come in the way of achieving important work and personal goals. Focus is not something that everyone is born with but it is definitely something that can be achieved by people over the long term. By following a well disciplined life and upon being adequately trained, people can be encouraged to be thoroughly focused on the work that they do, becoming diligent workers in the long run. The more focused I am in the work that I do and the more I harp on those working under me being focused as well, the better I will emerge as a leader over the next ten years.
Finally, a very crucial value that I possess, and which I believe will stand me in good stead as a leader in the coming ten years is significance. It is very important to be aware of one’s own worth, if one has to do a good job of leading from the front. If I lack the self worth that is needed in order to lead my life and do my work with confidence, I will not be in a position to encourage other people who are working under me to do the same. I have a lot of faith in my own abilities as a worker and as a leader and firmly believe that I can achieve anything that I set my sights on achieving if I work hard and dedicatedly towards such a goal. It is this same value that I can inculcate as a leader, in those who are working under me, giving them the inspiration and the positivity that they need in order to accomplish anything and everything that they wish to without doubting themselves even once. By establishing a firm and positive attitude in those who remain under my supervision, I will get them to progress, to proceed in forward direction and not let any challenges or obstacles come in their way.
3. Leadership Development Plan for the Next Two Years
I personally believe, that two years is a sufficient time framework within which to develop leadership skills and abilities, as it gives me enough time to get to know the people who are working under my leadership, on a personal level, and become acquainted with their traits, merits ad de-merits.
Based on the Whitman Grow Model, I have developed a leadership plan for the next two years as follows (Clinton, 2018) -
· To Keep people motivated always
· To be Persistent and to Teach Persistence
· To Cultivate Respect
· To Encourage the Hunger and Desire to Succeed
· To Foster Dedication and Motivation
Workers are likely to be prone to depression and disrespectful of a new leader
Workers may not have the incentive to work to potential due to extenuating factors like pay and work conditions
Resistance shown on the part of workers to the new leadership
Lack of motivation and depression on the part of workers to do their best
Getting to know workers on a one to one basis to get them to open up
· To be friendly with workers
· To encourage criticism
· To personally take on challenges and obstacles to motivate workers
Winning the confidence of the workers to ensure complete acquiescence in the long term
Highlighting the reasons time and again as to why workers need to be motivated to do their jobs in the best possible way, by placing special emphasis on financial and other incentives
4. Implementation Strategies for Effective Leadership
Some of the ways by which I intend to implement strategies and plans in order to emerge as an effective leader, are as follows –
- To be as friendly as possible in my attitude towards those working under my leadership so that they feel encouraged to talk to me instead of shying away when I call for a meeting or hold an important discussion.
- To encourage criticism and difference of opinion should this arise in the midst of meetings, discussions and briefings. It is necessary to encourage different voices to be expressed if the people who are entrusted under my care and leadership are to do their best.
- To lead by example and come to meetings on time and work as hard as people working under me are, so that those who are indeed working under my leadership feel encouraged in every way possible to do their utmost for me and everything that I stand for and represent.
- To be strict and disciplined with my workers so that they do not end up slacking in any way whatsoever. While it is certainly necessary to be easy going, leaders must also know when to tighten the rope to make sure that goals and agendas are accomplished in a timely manner.
- To hold regular meetings and discussions and to follow up on work via email and through social media platforms in order to make sure that I myself, as well as those working under my leadership are up to date with their work and are not lagging behind in any respect.
Being a leader and an effective leader at that, is quite an honor, given the fact that leadership roles are not easy to fulfill and that there is enormous respect and prestige associated with such roles as well. If a person is to be a good and effective leader and that too over a long period of time, it is necessary to be cognizant of one’s own skills, strengths and abilities so that one is able to inspire, motivate and get tasks done in a timely manner. As a leader, I believe that the best way that I can grow and develop over the next ten years is to recognize where my strengths lie, what it is that I can bring to the table in order to get my workers to feel motivated and to do the best that I can to inspire the team that is working under me, so that we are able to achieve our goals and ambitions quickly and easily.
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