Leadership qualities, whether natural or nurtured, are distinctive edges that differentiate individual. Every individual possesses certain leadership potential but vary in the degree of actualization. Thus, to be a good leader, the development of leadership should be a continuous process that has to be constantly measured, reviewed and worked at to ensure that the priority of action is beneficial in the long term. In this report, I will measure my leadership potential and develop a leadership development plan by evaluating my current traits in comparison to the leadership development model chosen, and seek feedback from a personal mentor. With greater self-awareness and wider perspective, I will outline phase of action needed to attain greater opportunities and future career growth.
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Central Michigan University Leadership Competency Model
After reviewing the three leadership development models, I have chosen Central Michigan University (CMU) Leadership Competency Model. The five dimensions of leadership competencies – Self Management, Leading Others, Task Management, Innovation and Social Responsibility which I find particularly useful as it essentially focuses on the general concept of core competences like psychological attributes, attitudes and management skills which I relate to best in term of for work, interpersonal relationship and personal attainment. Also, it disregard the type of job industry unlike National Health Service Leadership Framework that is oriented towards improving healthcare services. I believe that CMU model will further develop my insight on my leadership potential, as well as enhancing my interrelationship with others in work or personal situations by understanding the dynamics of human behaviour. My plan will be prioritised on the certain core competencies from the CMU model that I find myself lacking or critical for my development.
Current Assessment of Strengths and Weaknesses
Before working on the development plan, I had to conduct an evaluation on my current strengths and weaknesses as a leader in relate to the CMU model. In order to assist the evaluation process, I have explored assessment tools like Jung, Mbti and Keirsey personality type indicator. However, I find the assessment to be generally generic and partly inaccurate. So instead I approached two of my close social contacts to give an opinion from their perspectives. From the discussion, I found most of the comments to be more accurate with my own self-assessment. One of my strength is the ability to remain goal orientated where it has allowed me to work through tough phases to reach my objective, though sometimes it leads to disappointment when I did not meet my expectation. Also, I have learnt to be self-reliance where I can work well without the need of constant guidance. Being independent has nurtured my other abilities like problem solving and decision making skills.
However, being independent may seem like a personal strength, but it can be a weakness as a leader. As being used to work independently in situations, I find myself lacking in communication with others when working in a team. It becomes a natural tendency for me to work alone in my own comfort zone, so sometimes there might be difficulty for me to express my idea and vision. Also, I lack in the aspect of self-confidence in even though I did my research or put in the effort in my work. Communication and self-confidence are the two most important aspects that I find the need to work on most in my plan to establish a firm foundation as a potential leader. As I believe that with improvement on the two aspects, it would boost other self-management and leadership skills as well.
In the various leadership theories, there are two concepts that I am able to relate to in my leadership development plan. Firstly, it is the skill approach where I believe that leadership qualities can be nurtured to develop a good leader. Also, I feel that the servant leadership theory is essential as it revolve around the interest of a community and ethical dimension.
Unlike the traits theory, skill approach depends on one’s capabilities to develop leadership qualities. Northouse (2009) believes that anyone can become a leader if effort were put in to nurture the skills in important aspects. As stated in Katz’s three-skill approach, she mentioned that technical, human and conceptual skills can be developed. The approach considers one as an effective leader when the three of leadership skills are acquired and used to accomplish a goal. According to Katz’s management skill diagram, technical, human and conceptual skills are required at different level depending on the management level. However, human skill is maintained to be important at all levels. Human skill is referred as the ability to work with people where leadership is focused on building relationship, motivating others and working together as a team. Where I feel is important as a potential leader, thus it is the focus of my leadership development plan.
In my opinion, leadership is far from just the interest of an individual but the well-being of others as well. According to Pedersen (2011), Norman Vincent Peale mentioned that “the man who lives for himself is a failure; the man who lives for others has achieved true success”. Being an independent person, I find that the servant leadership theory would assist in my plan to understand the importance of the growth as a leader along with the growth of others through communicating, listening and building interrelationship. The idea of servant leadership that was developed by Greenleaf has greatly influenced and supported today’s successful leaders. A successful leader is someone who places other people like peers or customers as the top priority. Unlike the traditional leadership paradigm, leadership is formed in a hierarchy structure where leaders manage by authority and fear. The modern servant leadership theory is based on five important aspects: trust, respect, mutual understanding, shared experience and common goal (Maxwell, 2003). Cohen (2000) feels that leadership is not about the position level. Servant leadership theory is not influenced by the power or authority, but the willingness to help; the commitment to build the growth of a community as a whole. In the servant leadership theory, a good leader is a student as well, where there are constant learning along with their peers through feedback and empowerment.
In relation to my leadership framework, I would like to improve on my interrelationship skills with others. I see myself as easy going and agreeable, however with a barrier of being introvert. So my key aspects to foster leadership relationship are based on building higher level of confidence and self-esteem, and to trust and communicate. For a change, the servant leadership theory made me realize that I might find greater success as a leader if I were to able to break the barrier of interaction and commit to excel with others.
Leadership Development Plan
My aim for the future is to be an entrepreneur in the service industry, providing a complete set of services for pets which include facilities like day care, grooming, training and veterinary clinic. In order to work towards my aim, I have to improve on my leadership qualities in the process. My goal-orientated personality has allowed me to focus on my aim. I have been constantly doing research and acquiring experience in the field like working in pet day care centre, pet grooming centre, veterinary hospital and clinic. Through the experience, I realise that nature of the job requires interaction with people from different countries. For example, many good groomers and veterinary nurses come from other countries like Taiwan or Philippines. Hence, I find it important to improve on my people skills in the process of working towards my goal.
I have set a list of priorities to work on the development of my leadership capabilities within the next 2 years. Firstly I will focus on my communication skill, as a potential leader I feel that it is important to be able to interact well with people and the ability to express my views and thoughts. Hence, in the timeframe, I want to step out of my comfort zone and improve on my interpersonal skill. Secondly, I need to work on my self-confidence. I feel that it is one of the most vital attributes for a leader to project a positive vibe by feeling confident in what they do. Therefore, in the process of working towards my goal, I need to work on my insecurities and start believing in myself. In order to build on my self-confidence, I feel that I should work on some personal qualities like being more initiative and optimistic as well.
For the purpose of the leadership development plan, I decided to seek feedback from my supervisor in my workplace as I feel that she is a good role model as a leader. From her perspective, she agreed on my self-assessment of my strengths and weaknesses as the focus to improve on. She feels that my weaknesses of lacking in communication and self-confidence are barriers in the industry I wanted to work in. She advised that I should focus on my self-confidence level first as she believes that with higher level of self-confidence it will boost my communication skills as well. Also, she feels that I should always be self-aware of my progress. She recommended that I should discuss about my progression with my close friends regularly so as to determine if my leadership development plan is effective. From her feedback, I feel that I should focus more on building up my self-confidence first. I will also incorporate her advice to gain more self-awareness in the process to ensure that there is improvement in my leadership qualities.
In order to work on the priorities I have set on to develop my leadership skill, I have listed out some activities that will assist in my progression. Firstly, in the development of my self-confidence, I should begin with simple action like thinking for positive about myself even in negative situation. I should work hard on being more optimistic by creating daily affirmation. I will speak up more and be more assured about my ideas, and if I do well I will reward myself, but if I don’t, I should just accept it and not dwell on it. With progression in my self-confidence, I believe that my communication skill will improve as well. I should not be fearful of making mistakes or expressing myself. I will work on this aspect starting from my peers, I will make an effort to contribute and express my idea in group discussion and participate more.
Meanwhile I should continue to
Describe how you will evaluate whether or not you have reached the level of development set out in your plan 5
Cohen, W. A. (2000). The New Art of the Leader: Leading with Integrity and Honor. Paramus,
NJ: Prentice Hall.
Maxwell, J. C. (2003b). Relationships 101: What Every Leader Needs to Know. Nashville:
Leadership, Theory and Practice by Peter G. Northouse. Chapter 3, Skills Approach. Sage Publications, ISBN 0-7619-2566-X
“Skills of an Effective Administrator,” by R. L. Katz, 1955, Harvard Business Review, 33(1), pp. 33-42.
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