Personal Development Plan as A Leader Essay
Personal Development Plan as A Leader
1.0 IntroductionThis report concerns the general framework of my professional and personal leadership development. The details I will be presenting are what I consider to be in my current or future role for my clients, my team, my organization and my self. It is followed by the narratives of what I look like at my best with the understanding of my previous experiences. Then employ literature to review why those two tasks are important for leadership development.
This report will reflect how I perform in current role with others and also the skills and strengths I have developed and discovered.
2.0 An effective organizational leaderThe success of an organization depends on people working together and sharing a common purpose. The leaders need to focus on the workforce to identify their individual human needs. Leaders are affected by the constantly changing environment in which globalization plays a key role. Accordingly, the workforce is in the trend of diversification. Hence, an effective leader is an individual who displays transactional and transformational leadership. To be an effective organizational leader, we must know the dimensions of two leadership styles.
In a study by Zhu, Chew and Spangler (2005) and Daft (1999), a transactional leader is an individual who clarifies subordinates role and task requirements, initiates structure, provides rewards, and displays consideration for subordinates. To meet these requirements within the business, the leader must be able to adjust the style of leadership to satisfy the subordinates. When subordinates demonstrate a low readiness level to achieve tasks, leaders need to adopt a directive style of leading that gives employees explicit directions on how tasks should be accomplished. However, when the readiness level increases, leaders should be able to adjust to a more delegating style of leadership that gives subordinates the responsibility for making and implementing decisions.
A transformational leadership goes beyond transactional leadership techniques. Tickle, Brownlee and Nailon (2005) state that a transformational leader has the ability to inspire and motivate people to do more than the call of duty, in addition, innovative by bringing changes within the business such as upsizing the business entity. Daft (1999) claims a transformational leader has the ability to get people to embrace a common purpose and to implement a visionary idea that will excite, stimulate, and drive other people to work hard. This involves the leader being able to listen, in order to learn what moves people. Leaders who motivate are able to communicate in a way that inspires people. There is often an aesthetic element to their visions. They not only communicate information, but also a sense of meaning that inspires people to follow, even if it may lead to sacrifice in terms of hard work, long hours and deferred rewards.
Anyone can be a leader, but a successful leader is an individual whose behavior more reflects the transformational leadership style with the use of personal power to influence people to achieve the goals of the business. According to Mastrangelo, Eddy and Lorenzet (2004) the combination of professional and personal leadership will create willing to cooperate environment within the organization which make the leaders succeed.
3.0 How I need to be in my current (or future) role?I need to beI am currently ?/10For my clients:ResponsiveCordialRespectfulTactful8896For my teamAble to adapt my leadership styleAble to effectively manage performance issuesClear about the team’s mission and visionContributing to positive emotionsAble to convey the key lessons of organizational effectiveness through stories of my own workplace experiencesTeam work collaboration356546For my organizationReliableInnovativeContributiveActing in ways that are clearly aligned with the vision, values, and strategyAble to get a lot done65546For my self
Cultivating the virtues of:EnergyOptimismCalmnessBuoyancyAssertivenessCouragePassionateTrustworthy75554467Table 1: how I need to beDepending on the profile mentioned above, to be a developing transformational business leader, I need to identify “how I need to be” in my current and future role. The left column of the table above is the four areas that I will focus on to develop my leadership skills. For each area, there are several criteria to assess my current personal skills.
The items listed in the “I need to be” column are my goals and criteria for monitoring process of my leadership development.
In the box of “for my clients”, I have put higher scores for my current role because from my previous education consultant experiences, clients are very important for business sustain. Therefore, in order to maintain an on-going maturing relationship with clients, I need to treat them with courtesy, respect and responsive, for difficult clients I need to be tactful.
In the area of “for my team”, I assessed myself at a lower medium level for my current role. I don’t have much group work experience from previous job. Therefore, this will be the most important area where I need to develop, because in current business organizations, team works and synergy are vital for completing multiple tasks. It is very important to learn how to convey the key lessons of organizational effectiveness through the stories of my own workplace experiences. And I currently lack of this skill. In a study by Tichy (2002), this is known as the narrative teachable point of view, which is the best communicated through engaging stories about who the company is and about what it can be.
In the area of “for my organization”, I regard “reliable” as the primary element, because to be an effective leader of organization, I need to be reliable to obtain trusts from the company and team members in order to perform tasks effectively and work with others by sharing the same objectives. Also, creative strategies and innovation skills are very important for company growth and expansion.
The area of “for my self” is designed to develop my personal leadership skills. The listed items are essentials to enhance my effectiveness. According to the evaluation, my assertiveness and courage are poor because of the lack of communication skills. I need to enhance my communication competency to be a confident professional leader. Other aspects such as optimism, calmness and buoyancy are the secondary area where I need to improve because those attributes are important to demonstrate a good personal leadership.
All the elements listed in the table are essential for developing a transformational leader and keeping the process on the right track. From the table above I will be clear about my weaknesses and resolve them.
4.0 Gaps between my worst self and the idealI think that lifelong learning is very important and we all have personal worst self and ideal self. Knowing my own strengths and weaknesses can be helpful for me to become an effective transformational leader. Discovering my worst self along with having the yearning to improve is a talent that I maintain.
Everybody has exceptional traits which distinguish the individual. Hence, I need to identify my ideal self in order to overcome my worst self. I believe that my ideal self has always made me be successful in projects I have attempted in my life. Therefore, recognizing ideal and worst self is a key point to bring success. For instance, when I come across a limitation in an area of necessity, I am able to improve that weak point. I deem that this characteristic is a strength that I have.
I implement my personal strengths in my job. They are problem solving, goal oriented and so on. I feel that these strengths have helped me go ahead in my career. For instance, it is easy for me to analyze a problem and come up with an effective resolution in a short period of time. Focusing on the whole outlook but not the problem itself enabled me to resolve many problems in the past. It seems that if one narrows the situation into smaller workable areas, the problem is solved more quickly.
I believe that the work that I produce is an indication of what kind of person I am. I like to make high values for my occupation and myself. I have found that my employer has always been satisfied with my work. For instance, I am able to work with colleagues to obtain the best outcomes in projects and problems solving in the workplace.
I consider myself as a goal-oriented person. I enjoy setting goals for myself and I like to work with my colleagues in setting these goals. I feel that once a goal has been achieved, we can rejoice our accomplishment as a team. For example, we have twenty students’ visas approved from immigration and we had a cocktail party to celebrate.
One area of worst self is that it is difficult for me to be an effective leader. Because I feel that it’s very hard to lead a team efficiently and I had some difficulties to work with unfamiliar people. My overall goal is that I can be an effective transformational leader.
I know how to learn, along with the understanding of how to learn the best, which is an important part in learning the goals that I have set for myself. As a student of RMIT University, from this course I learned how to improve my effective leadership skills so that I can improve that weakness.
This is my second semester at RMIT University and I will overcome the new challenges that I will face. I hope that the experience I will gain while obtaining my degree will continue to strengthen all my personal and professional skills as well as challenging me in the areas of weaknesses.
5.0 My best self narrativeMy best self narrative was when I overcome the nervous and dilemma and encourage myself to finish the tasks. I had a lot of presentations in this MBA course and still remembered the scene of my first presentation. I was standing in front of all colleagues and lecture. My hands started dithering and I could not remember what I prepared for the topic. Luckily, I had my keynotes. I started the PowerPoint slides, reading the topic and facing to all audiences. Suddenly, all the information was back to my mind and I talked to myself that I can do this. Finally the presentation was really good and I gained an upper distinction grade from this assignment.
Another best-self narrative is when I gained recognitions from my family and relatives. I have been studying overseas for 6 years and still remembered the first time when I returned to my home country. All my relatives went to my parents’ house and praised my abilities and talent for completing my IT bachelor degree and easily gaining the permanent resident visa. Because they thought that it was very hard to finish all the tasks by myself while I am very far away from family and without any support. From that moment, I felt that I had done something valuable, gaining recognitions from my family and relatives.
I believe that the successes of my best-self experiences were from the supports and encouragements of my family and friends, which constitute me a “can do” attitude. The recognition obtained from relatives gives me more confidence and ambitious dreams about what I want to do in my future. Also, my personal experiences of failing make me learn how to face frustration. Based on these experiences, I gained courage and fortitude for further problem resolution and kept my self at the best.
6.0 Best reflected self exerciseI have asked about 10 people from my friends and colleagues to conduct a best reflected self exercise and discover my strengths from their point of view. I have formed those views into a feedbacks table described below:Common themeExamplesMy interpretationInitiative to do my best.Made video for group presentation and spent hours on it despite having a lot of other work to do and took the initiative to do more than what was required to make it best.I like to contribute my best work to group by using my personal skillsWillingness to provide a helping hand whenever I can.
Made PowerPoint slides for one group and took the time to provide ideas and taught the group how to create new PowerPoint slides.I like to help others especially when they are getting into a hobble and don’t know how to do it.
Take care of othersOne of my friends was drunk from a pub, he phoned me and asked me to pick him up and send him home.
Another friend had a final exam; I went to his house the day before exam and cooked for him which gives him more time to study. I like to take care of my friends because I believe friendship is very important in my life. Also, good friendship will help me to make a better performance and synergy with others.
Creative,Aspiration,Sense of humor, Analytical abilityFind different ways to approach the tasks and provide ideas to give people a different image.
Bringing fun and joy to class, my jokes are always funny, bring a closer relationshipI like to find new ways to deal with different tasks and I have a personal belief to make everyone happy around me. Doing that will create a harmonious environment to work together.
Table 2: commonality of feedbacks tableThis feedbacks table will give me an idea of how the people around me think about me, which will help me pay more attention to the content mentioned above and keep developing more strength.
When I am at my best I tend to be creative. I am enthusiastic about new ideas and new ways of thinking. At the meantime, I ensure that I follow those ideas with appropriate executions. With the aspiration and analytical abilities, I perform tasks much easier. Friends think that I am willing to do the best with empathy, which brings my reliabilities and performing attitude to friends. One of my best strengths is willingness to provide a helping hand whenever I can; I believe that everyone does need help from others including my self. Therefore, helping others will gain help from others.
Colleagues think that I am able to take care of others and act as an older brother, which can show that I am a potential leader with a set of leadership skills when I am at my best. And they believe that I am able to identify the goals of tasks and allocate those tasks to group members rationally. So they feel more confident to work with me. Also, they mentioned that my leadership style is towards to transformational leadership that leaders encourage and motivate members by sharing the same goal and achieve the success.
I believe that those strengths mentioned above will enhance my understanding of the work situations that can bring out the best from me. Also, by acknowledging those strengths, I will be more confident to do my tasks and work with other people.
7.0 Leadership narrative
This section will discuss what event makes me realized that I want to be a leader and shows the shift to leadership.
I remembered when I worked as an education agent for a consultant company. The company has 7 employees including myself. Ken, the manager of the company, normally have a 7-week business trip to China every 8 months. Since I was the oldest employee in this firm and had been working in the company for over 3 years, he talked to me privately and asked me to manage the company and make sure everyone started working on time.
The first day after Ken left, some of the employees were very happy, starting coming to work a little bit late and taking a longer morning tea break. Gradually, they were getting even worse, the deadline of tasks delayed and they disappeared one hour early before company closed. I talked to them, and asked them to complete the tasks and come to work on time, but they told me that you were actually not in charge here and we were on the same level. Then I explained what Ken told me to manage the company and monitor the attendance. Also, I displayed my self as an example to work hard on tasks and keep coming to work on time. Eventually, they started turning back to the normal attitude as before, and we had a good time to collaborate with each other. When Ken came back, the performance was increased and he appreciated my excellent job while he was away.
The work mission and my manager’s trust are the key elements to drive me to get the opportunity to be a substitute leader and solve problems occurred in the company. According to this experience, I found that I had the potential skills and abilities to lead a group. From that moment, I started thinking about my future role in the company. I wish to be a good business leader.
8.0 Literature Review
The two tasks, completing how I need to be in my current (or future) role and re-authoring my understanding of my own key experiences at my best, help me to evaluate myself. And also I could see my self from others’ view. Most importantly, those two tasks inform me where I am right now, who I want to be and the approaches that I can take to step forward.
The literature review has been conducted in this section to explain why undertaking those two tasks increase the likelihood of experiencing the buoyant, positive emotions that support the effective leadership.
Tickle, Brownlee and Nailon (2005) believe that underlying and enabling transformational behaviors, is a set of core beliefs about knowing and learning which can be called “epistemological beliefs” means what knowledge is and how learning and development occurs. Tichy (2002) supports their point of view based on his experience with many outstanding business leaders at GE and states every successful business leader must have a teachable point of view, the ideas they have to improve the business, the values that will make those ideas work and the ability to energize employees.
In addition, Tichy (2002) mentioned the leader’s teachable point of view is best communicated through engaging stories of who the company is and of what it can be. Jack Welch is a good example to illustrate this point, he created a story for the future of the GE based on the elements of his own ‘who I am’ story, and employees shared the view from him and execute base on this view.
In a study by Morgan et al (2005), they define four steps to take in order to go through RBS exercise. Those steps are identifying respondents and ask for feedback, recognize patterns, compose your self-portrait and redesign your job. To have a better understanding of RBS exercise, Morgan et al (2005) suggest the first step is to collect feedback from a variety of people inside and outside work. The second step is to search for common themes among the feedbacks. The third step is to write a description of individual that summarizes and distills the accumulated information. The final step is to redesign personal job description to build on what is good at. Also, Morgan et al. (2005) state “the RBS exercise can help you tap into unrecognized and unexplored areas of potential. It armed with a constructive, systematic process for gathering and analyzing data about your best self, you can burnish your performance at work”.
Wright (1996) indicates transformational leadership involves a highly positive emotional and optimistic thinking response towards the leader. The values of those two attributes are very important for effective transformational leader. The optimistic thinking requires turning negative thoughts into positive, which will influence other employees, feel more comfortable and confident to work for the organization. Also it helps individuals to have a great level of energy with reduced stress and tension in organization when approach to any tasks. The positive emotions provide the confidence to leaders and reflect on the best self evaluation which is what you are like when you are at your best, similar to an “ideal self”. It focuses on increasing the advantage instead of concerning to improve the disadvantages.
An article written by Botaris (2003) discusses emerging key trends, such as leadership development of effective judgment. Effective judgment in the future will continue to change because people will change. Leadership effective judgment will have to become more strategic, more proactive, and more involved in the overall business (Bates, 2002). Transformational leadership style will be the best suited to those trends. Leadership development of effective judgment is a crucial function of management in order to facilitate the vision required for an organization to be successful. Effective judgment is the process of reducing employees’ resistance to change. Management directs employees’ efforts towards the accomplishment of the organizational goals and objectives.
Ibrarra and lineback (2005, p 66) states that “To know someone well is to know their story”. A successful leader needs ability to go on to point out that at times of change in the professional direction. The leader needs tell the story that makes sense of personal motives, character and the capacity to reach new goals. In other words, this is called narrative abilities, the narrative will make an enormous difference in how well the company will cope with change, how high is the level of motivation of employees, how devoted employees to organization. Having effective narrative style helps leaders become more assertive and influence in convincing other people to do the tasks. It is important to understand that “creating a story that resonates also helps up to believe in ourselves” (Ibrarra & Lineback, 2005, p.66). To make a smooth construction of narrative, Gibson (2004) discusses some examples and analysis for understanding who you have been and for identifying where you might need to go next. He argues that taking a narrative approach to career counseling is both theoretically and practically justified.
In a study by Cervone, Shadel, Smith, and Fiori (2006), they propose a model of intra-individual personality architecture called as KAPA: A Knowledge and Appraisal Personality Architecture. This model helps individuals to appraise themselves and situations based upon beliefs that they have come to experience as knowledge. The KAPA model will guide individuals to set goals and improve them. The KAPA model has three conceptual principles, notion of intentionality, distinguishes between two aspects of cognition and differentiates among alternative forms of knowledge and appraisal. I have used the KAPA model to appraise myself to test my personalities, skills and beliefs, please refer to Appendix 1 for my KAPA analysis.
In conclusion, I have identified my current (or future) role and evaluated myself at this stage. And my own experiences in the narrative stories show the constitution of my identity and the turning point to be a business leader. Then, the literature review explains the benefit to do those two tasks and importance to support effective leadership. From this paper, I have found out my strengths from others’ point of view and I have identified the gap between my best and worst self. The KAPA model has designed to help me improve my personal and professional leadership.
9.0 Appendix 1
What might be standing in my way
Steps I can take to move forward
Ways that I can measure and monitor my progress
Goals for the next 6 monthsLack of clarity about my organizational story in terms of what constitutes success and what that will look like and what that will look like and why it matterImprove communication skills and attending relevant seminars or courses and business leader forums to gain the knowledge and abilities.
Feedbacks from friends, family members and colleagues to see how effectively I influenced them through my ability of story telling
Understand the concepts to make my organizational story, and tell the story to my friends and family members.
Lack ofAssertivenessOptimismCalmnessBuoyancycourageBy taking relevant exercises or courses to practice and adjust myself. Feedbacks from friends and family members, monitoring diary.Complete at least one course on each of those elements and practice those learnings with people all the time.
Lack of collaboration with unfamiliar people.Talk to people I do not know, and try to get them close and familiar with their behavior and personality. After those approaches, I will fell more confident and comfortable to work with them as a team.Self evaluation with feedbacks from friends and colleagues, Team work performance.Understand unfamiliar people in the organization and try to work with them.
My personal KAPA analysis10.0 ReferencesBates, S 2002, Facing the future, HR Magazine, Viewed 9 February, 2007, .
Botaris, E 2003, Looking back at 2003: key trends in management development, Viewed 9 February, 2007, .
Cervone, D, Shadel, W, Smith, R & Fiori, M 2006, “Self-Regulation: Reminders and Suggestions from Personality Science” Applied Psychology” an International Review, 55 (3), pp.333-385.
Daft, RL 1999, Leadership Theory and Practice, Harcourt, Inc., USA.
Gibson, P 2004, “Where to from here? A narrative approach to career counseling”, Career Development International, Vol. 9, No. 2, pp. 176-189.
Ibarra, H and Lineback, K 2005, “What’s Your Story?”, Harvard Business Review, January, Vol. 83, Issue 1, pp. 65-71.
Mastrangelo, A, Eddy, E & Lorenzet S 2004, “The importance of personal and professional leadership” The Leadership and Organization Development Journal, Vol. 25 No.5, pp.435.
Morgan, L, Spreitzer, G, Dutton, J, Quinn, R, Heapy, E & Barker, B 2005, “How to Play to Your Strengths” Harvard Business Review, January, pp 75-80.
Tichy, N 2002, The leadership Engine, Harper Business Essentials, New York.
Tickle, E, Brownlee, J & Nailon, D 2005, “Personal epistemological beliefs and transformational leadership behaviours”, Journal of Management Development, Vol.24 No.8, pp. 706-719.
Wright, P 1996, “What Leaders Read1: Managerial Leadership”, National College for School Leadership, 2003 edition, Prentice Hall, UK.
Zhu, W, Chew, I & Spangler, W 2005, “CEO transformational leadership and organizational outcomes: the mediating role of human-capital-enhancing human resource management”, The Leadership Quarterly, 16, pp. 39-52.