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Leadership Philosophy and Development Plan

Paper Type: Free Assignment Study Level: University / Undergraduate
Wordcount: 7982 words Published: 26th Jul 2019

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Introduction:      Values, Beliefs and Attitudes

As human beings, throughout the course of our lives we develop certain values, beliefs and attitudes. Our family, friends, experiences and community play an important role in shaping who we are and how we see the world.

So, the first question arises here is what are values, beliefs and attitudes?

Values are something that inspires us to be more human. They are the guidelines, standards, qualities and ideologies that an individual or community hold in high regard. They are the essence of who we are as an individual, in fact its our values that actually help us to get out of bed every morning, help us to select the work we do, help us in keeping up with our relationships (which are quite hard to maintain at any age), help us in the company we keep. Our values help us in deciding every move we make, be it from a very small day to day activity or the groups and organization that we are going to lead (Rue 2001). Our values come from various sources like, family, social influences, workplace, education, religion, culture, significant life events (birth, death, divorce, losing job, financial loss or major accidents)

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Beliefs on the other hand are our experiences, opinions, judgements, faith (can be religious), expectations, the state of believing, having a conviction or acceptance that there are certain things which are real or true, it is also confidence or trust. They may be cultural, religious or moral. They are important as they also reflect who we are and how we lead our lives. At times we think that beliefs are real, however it is our beliefs that governs our experiences.

Attitude, it is person’s behavior, feelings, emotions and beliefs directed towards people, groups, ideas or objects. It is usually the way we think, what we think is the only way of doing something, so it is a belief about something and the attitudes that we feel very strongly about are usually called Values. Attitudes can be positive or negative and while showing an attitude, we will have a tendency to behave in a certain way.

It is imperative to be aware of your own values, beliefs and attitudes and how they can affect our lives. Before I discuss my values, beliefs and attitude in the light of Servant Leadership and Transformational leadership, I would like to first discuss about what these leadership styles are one by one and critical evaluate my own values, beliefs and attitudes in relation to these leadership models?


What is Servant and Transformational Leadership?

Servant Leadership discusses the need for a refined leadership approach, one that aims at serving others – including employees, customers and society. Its emphasis is on a holistic approach to work, encouraging a sense of community and shared power in decision making.

Who is a servant-leader? Greenleaf said that the servant-leader is one who is a servant first. In the Servant as Leader he wrote, “It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. The difference manifests itself in the care taken by the servant—first to make sure that other people’s highest priority needs are being served. The best test is: Do those served grow as persons; do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants? And, what is the effect on the least privileged in society? Will they benefit or at least not be further deprived?”

Based on the work of Greenleaf, Larry Spears (2010), CEO of the Greenleaf Centre of Servant Leadership have identified 12 characteristics of servant leadership, which are:  Listening, Empathy, Healing, Awareness, Persuasion, Conceptualization, Foresight, Stewardship, Growth, Building Community, Calling and Nurturing the spirit.


Transformational Leadership – James MacGregor Burns (1978) [1], first introduced the concept of transforming leadership, which is now used in organisational set up as well. It is more humane leadership style as compared to the traditional transactional style of leadership. It believes in making people rise higher through positive motivation, through example and strength of leader’s personality.

Transformational leadership introduces four key elements – Individualized Consideration, Intellectual stimulation, inspirational motivation and idealized influences.

My personal Values, beliefs and attitude in the light of all the three leadership styles: Values constitute the foundation of all the leadership styles

The values and beliefs with which I closely relate to the Servant leadership and Transformational leadership is:

  1. Every individual has a value and deserve trust, respect and openness – by this I mean, valuing, that each individual is different and has some or the other unique quality and being open in accepting that uniqueness, once your behavior shows that you genuinely value people you will take no time in attaining their trust, and respect. It is same for transformational leadership as well, where in you influence followers by showing respect and consideration towards them, considering differences in the skill set and style of working.
  1. Listening and observing closely and attending to needs of your follower’s – servant leadership also motivates actively listening. It is important to listen to others so that you can actually put into action the ideas and feedback received from team members. I would like to support this value from my past experiences as a teacher, listening to my students and observing them, made me feel more connected with them, and this in turn made me detect their strengths and weaknesses in developing their personalities. In the light of Transformational leadership my value of being able to listen to my followers or students’ needs and concerns, helped me in coaching and mentoring them and to make them realize their self-fulfillment and self-worth.
  1. Acting as a selfless guide or ability to Inspire and motivate – servant leader knows that by helping in guiding and mentoring the individuals who work for them, they will be able to help people to add more skills which will eventually improve their performance and also will help them in becoming a better human being – When I was working in a corporate setup back in 2007 or 2008 , in India ( New Delhi) , I remember nominating my team members or we can say followers for organisational and behavioral workshops and trainings , which helped them in increasing their skills and obviously it helped them in getting their raise at the end of the financial year and gave them opportunities for promotions. This value again is more related with one of the key components of transformational leadership, which is Inspirational motivation, providing followers with challenges and behaving in enthusiastic, passionate and energetic way.
  1. Holding myself and others accountable for their commitments – as a servant leader, you know and you believe that no one is perfect, including yourself, and everyone will make mistakes, because you do learn from your mistakes. With this mindset I have tried to push my team members and students for high standards of performance and quality.

Distributed Leadership – So what is distributed leadership? As Professor James Spillane of Northwestern puts it, distributed leadership is an “emerging set of ideas” that merely describes an alternative to the classic top-down structure businesses have had for decades.

What distributed leadership incorporates is the shared and collective decision making, as opposed to traditional style of leadership, where the orders and commands of the single superior leader are executed by the small teams or individuals

Values, beliefs and attitude in the light of Distributed leadership:

Distributed leadership is all about sharing, be it sharing of leadership, sharing of power. Various words have been used to describe this style of leadership like – collaborative leadership and empowering leadership. Distributed leadership focuses on getting the right team environment. that needs to be incorporated for distributed leadership to work in any organisation. For distributed leadership to flourish, Prof. James Spillane has laid down few elements that needs to be cultivated in the work environment – shared purpose, social support, voice and constructive feedback which is the foundation of distributed leadership.

Values with which I can relate myself with this style of leadership would be:

Motivation, Guiding, coaching my team members towards the shared purpose, by making each individual understand company values and goals

Encouraging, them to think of innovative methods of achieving common goal. By providing freedom, space, flexibility in deciding how to achieve the main goal.

Being Supportive, as discussed earlier as well about my values in the light of servant and distributed leadership, it is very important to be able to make sure that the team members provide emotional and physiological support to each other as well as a leader one should encourage suggestions, new ideas and feedback. Also appreciate and value the contributions that each member makes, to be able to boost their morale.

Conclusion: I learned that values, beliefs and attitude play and important role in our lives and being able to recognize, understand and articulate one’s own set of values and beliefs and how you exhibit those values and beliefs is in itself is a critical decision. Each study of values and leadership attempts to address how values impacts the way we think, feel and act, they not just linked with ethics, morals and virtues but they are the basis of how we perceive things and how we subsequently behave and act.

To create a strong connection between an individual’s personal values and his or her employer it is important for a leader to determine reliable and meaningful alignment of his or her personal values with those of his or her organisation. This powerful, meaningful and authentic alignment then creates possibilities for both individual growth and company efficiency.

Now I am more aware about my personal values and beliefs in the light of three leadership styles discussed above, and what I have understood is even if the environment or set up is different or you choose one style of leadership or many at the same time, the basic core values of a leader will remain same, in the past as a leader I could manage to be a servant leader or transformational leader or sometimes as distributed leader. It is important for a leader to be able to determine their personal values, critique them against their life purpose and other standards for the maximum benefit for themselves and others, and to then live those values reliably to produce similar values in the people and organisation they serve.

Personal, Philanthropic, Power and Influential Motivators

After the critical review of my values and beliefs (discussed above), the question arises what kind of a leader I would like to be? Or What attracts me to leadership? Or What motivates me to be a leader?

Leaders are motivated to lead for various reasons, depending on their personality and past experiences. Reasons should be more altruistic and pragmatic for any leader to be successful. I would like to examine my motivations to be a leader, which will give me better insight into my leadership style, that can help me in to be a better leader.

1. Personal Motivators

As per my understanding, it is related to the values and beliefs I have developed during the course of my life in regards to my family, dealing with relationships, friendships I had in past and will have in future. I learned during the classroom discussions that my mother is the whakapapa of my personal leadership motivation. My mother has been a great motivation, she has been a guide, coach for me throughout my life. As my father passed away when I was very young, and all the responsibility fell on my mother, I have seen her working hard for our needs, how she has always been so positive no matter what difficulties she faced, how she has listen to both my sister and me and made us realize our potential from time to time , how she proved everyone around her wrong that a female alone can beautifully live her life and raise her children with respect and dignity. It is her commitment and determination towards herself and us that made her fight all the odds and raise above the occasion.  Seeing my mother being a leader in her own way, bringing change in her and our lives, made me realize that she has been an evident motivation for me to be a leader.

Also, from my past experiences in regards to the relationships I have realized that I find it satisfying when my family member, friends, followers and students have come to me to seek advice, because they value my opinion, which made me feel driven to motivate others. Being a good listener, enjoying and evaluating on the input I have received from people have also motivated me to be a leader.

I feel very strongly that being a mother myself has been a great motivation for me to be a leader as it has taught me to be more resilient, forgiving, perseverant, tolerant, understanding, kind and farsightedness. These are the qualities or values I have inherited from my mother and I feel that I can apply these in my work place and for build a strong relationship with my team members and followers.

2. Philanthropic motivators

What is Philanthropy?

Helping poor people, especially by giving them money (Definition of “philanthropic” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press).

For further explanation, I would like to refer to a paper published by Marguerite H Griffin, National Director of Philanthropic Service for Northern Trust (Wealth Management), titled – Diversity of Giving: Philanthropic Motivations in 2016, she has explained how philanthropy is not only sharing or giving money, it actually goes beyond sharing money, which includes making gift of time, effort and expertise. It is imperative to know what is your motivation to give, consider the reasons for giving and reasons can be personal to highly practical.

For some the reason could be that person is an altruistic donor, who feels that it is a duty for everyone to give to those who are less fortunate, for some it can be an act of gratitude – many prosperous individuals are aware that as they have received the significant material benefits and they would like to acknowledge their good fortune by “giving back” to the society. Another motivation for giving is to instill the philanthropic values in younger family members, to transfer positive values in them.

How philanthropic is related with leadership?

As the society is growing more complex and the need for greater economic and social opportunity more distinct, the role of philanthropy has become more important.  As philanthropy is about change, it is systematic, proactive, it seeks to permanently alter the conditions that makes assistance necessary, making it a team effort instead of an independent one, it is a more focused, flexible and fortitude model. All these values can be related to leadership.

Do I feel motivated towards philanthropy leadership?

Yes, I do feel motivated towards philanthropy leadership as well, though not a large scale.

I feel that I do have values of bringing change, being systematic, proactive and I surely believe in team work. Furthermore, philanthropy is a very determinant and committed process and from my experiences I do have those values of being determinant and committed.

As I have discussed already that philanthropy is not always about giving or sharing your wealth, to me it is also about giving gift of time, effort and expertise. My motivation to give or share has come from, seeing my mother giving food or money to the needy whenever we use to visit a temple back in India , and also as she is really good in stitching and sewing , she has taken efforts to teach as much as possible to widows for free , so that that they can become financially independent and, be able to provide for basic needs , for their families.

As a mother, I am instilling the same values in my son, though he is too young to understand the joy of giving, however we as a family want to inculcate these values and beliefs for him to be a better human being.

Power as a motivator for leadership or does my values, beliefs and attitudes align with power leadership?

What actually Power is?

“Power is an ability or capacity to do something or act in a particular way “(Dictionary.Com/ Oxford Dictionary)

At first, I use to think power is only about control over people, resources, influences, strength etc. However, from the class discussions and through few readings I learned and understood it is much more then only control, if used in a right way and for the right cause, it is an asset, a competency and a talent, it is not bad in itself and as a leader one must use this tool effectively and should know how to use it effectively

From the above discussion, what I understood is of course power is one of the motivations for me to be a leader or power does attract me towards leadership, however I ask myself here what kind of power do I want to exercise? Whether I would like to exercise or enjoy power of position, charisma, relationship, information, expertise, punishment or reward. Most certainly I am more motivated to be leader of charisma, relationship, expertise and reward and my reason for operating as a leader in these roles comes from my values and beliefs and past experiences.

While going through the articles on power and leadership, I came across this article in an Indian film magazine – Femina, on Anushka Sharma (Indian Bollywood Actress), she said “the entire purpose of power is to empower others “and why I feel connected with this because, power should be used to empower people. One of the values I described above in the light of distributed leadership is encouraging my team members and followers/students to be creative, to ask them to take decisions, instead of telling them what to do because I had power as a manger or as a teacher to sum this up I would like to quote a saying by Steve Jobs” “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”

Influential motivators:

Without influence there can be no leadership.

While pondering over this for my assessment, I came to a consensus that it is a two-way and an ongoing process, two way because first you are influenced to be a leader and then as a leader you influence people , why ongoing because incidents , people have influenced you to become a leader you are today and you keep on evolving yourself as a leader either from your family members or by some eminent , distinguished , renowned leaders around you.

First, I Would like to discuss about my influential motivators for leadership, the renowned leader who has inspired or motivated me to be a leader is Mahatma Gandhi (1869 -1948), it is during my high school years when we were taught about the great leaders and freedom fighters of our country, I somehow got very much inspired by his values as a leader and a person. He was an Indian activist and a leader against the Indian Independence movement against British Rule. He led my country to independence and inspired civil rights and freedom movements across the world. I admire him and look up to him as a leader only because of his values and virtues, which I try to incorporate in myself , like (1) being truthful to yourself and others , as my belief is that can help a leader to win people’s trust and respect  , (2) learning from mistakes , it is ok to make mistakes – I have discussed this value in the light of servant leadership as well that we as humans we are bound to make mistakes and this is the only way we learn and encourage our followers to not to be afraid of making mistakes though learn from your mistakes (3) being resilient and perseverant –  be strong and stand up for your cause and people working with you.

Steve Paul Jobs (1955 – 2011)- and in the current time Steve Jobs have been my inspiration or an influential motivator for my leadership, what I found most fascinating about Steve Jobs is his representation of power and influence in leadership, he had an exceptional influence on others and it was that sort of influence that persuaded and motivated him and his followers to accomplish joint goals and bring change. He as one of the great leaders represent both power and influence dynamics exceptionally which has motivated, his followers to innovate and mobilize to accomplish great things.

My sister has also been an influential motivator, the values I have imbibed from her is how to care for people, in personal as well in professional life. Apart from being together at home before she moved to NZ, for almost 5 years we have worked in the same organisation.

Few of the qualities of my sister which motivates me to be a leader is the way she has always been someone who is a very patient person, which has helped her in actively listening to people and working on their needs, the way she motivated her team members to align their values and goals with the organisation’s values and goals.  She is proactive and multitasker which helps her to complete her work before the deadlines with precision and quality.

Coming back to influence is a two-way process, after discussing what has influenced me to be a leader, as a leader I aspire to influence my followers/ team members / students to accomplish personal and professional goals. I have received written testimonials from my team members and students, describing how I could influence them to be a leader (even if it was in a small way).


After interrogation of my values, beliefs and attitudes in relation to my understanding about my personal, philanthropic, power and influential motivators, I have developed more clarity on, my leadership philosophy and development plan. For me all the four – personal, philanthropic, power and influential motivators will always be present in my leadership style though one can over power the other, depending on the environment.

Leadership philosophy and personal development plan 

There are few questions I asked myself before I proceed with my leadership philosophy and development plan – What is my understanding and new learnings about leadership styles? What type of leadership style suits me the best? Who is a leader? What is leadership?

My understandings and new learnings about leadership and leadership styles

Servant Leadership?

The term Servant leadership was coined by Robert K. Greenleaf (1904-1990), in 1970 in an essay, entitled The Servant as Leader. Greenleaf born in Indiana, USA, spent most of his life in the field of management, education, research and development. He has distilled his observations of how things get done in an organisation in a series of essays and books on the theme of “The Servant as Leader”, with and objective of creating a better and more caring society.

In my first class on thought and action leadership while discussing about Servant Leadership, at first, I thought servant leadership is where the leader literally takes up a role of a servant, in a sense that, once you reach office a leader meets you at your car and opens the door and welcomes you to the office, may be brings coffee for you in the afternoon and ask if you need anything else? Then I learned no that isn’t servant leadership, it is combination and mix of a leader and servant.

It emphasis the following characteristics of a leader:

1. Attitude of a humble and selfless servant.

2. Development and retention of employees.

3. Treating team members as human beings, worthy of respect and dignity.

4.  Listening to their employees, fellow workers with open-mindedness.

5. Through empathy, kindness, healing and emotional intelligence, leaders develop and maintains good relationships.

6. By creating safe and positive work environment, leaders encourage innovations and enhances motivation.

7. Earn respect and trust when they place the genuine demands above self-interest and by placing benefits to workers and society above the bottom line

Servant leadership is a radical, humanistic and spiritual approach, rather than rational and mechanistic. workers are put at the center of concentric circles, rather than shareholders, it does encourage individual incentive systems, workers are motivated primarily through creating a caring and supportive workplace.

SL is different from the traditional, behavioral and situational model of leadership. SL is more focused on using power more ethically and humbly, developing an authentic relationship between leaders and followers and it strive towards creating supportive and positive environment.

SL has been the most influential model in the Christianity community, the reason is self-evident, Jesus Christ practiced servant leadership, even though he possessed the higher authority.

Also learned that, in the last ten years or so, servant leadership model has gained more acceptance and popularity, why it is happening because many management educators and number of leading writers in business management has noticed and observed that hard skills of information, management and science are not enough. We need more of soft skills, so that leaders know how to work with people and manage change.

SL has its limitations as well, common criticism of SL:

1.SL is too idealistic and naïve. In an individualistic consumer culture, many people will take advantage of the servant leaders’ kindness as weakness (Johnson, 2001)

2. It is too unrealistic and impractical. It would not work in many situations such as military operations or prison systems (Bowie, 2000)

3. It is limiting, as we need other leadership qualities as well like risk taking, courage, instinct.

4. I also feel it can be hypocritical, as people claim to be servant leaders though they behave more like manipulators.

What is Transformational Leadership?

This concept was initially introduced by James V. Downton, which was further developed by leadership expert James MC Gregor Burns. According to Burns – Transformational Leadership is a leadership style where one or more person engages with others in such a way that leaders and followers help one another to raise to higher levels of motivation and standards. It is a process of change and transformation. TL style is more concerned with feelings, values, morality, ethics and long-term goals. Transformational leader encourages followers to achieve more than what is expected from the followers.

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TL starts with developing a vision, a vision which is charismatic and powerful, by continuing selling the vison to followers, a strong network of high potential is created. Transformational leaders, are clear about their vision, know-how and in which direction to move and expect followers to move in the same direction. They always remain in the forefront, boost the followers with commitment and enthusiasm.

This type of leadership can be incorporated in organisations, corporate social responsibilities (CSR) activities, business schools, marketing, branding communities.

Transformational leadership is intuitive and widely researched model of leadership, like servant leadership, TL’s focus is also primarily on followers needs, values and morals, it is innovative, inspires to develop future leaders, enthusiastic work environment, people are more inclined towards leaders even if monetary benefits are less and also authentic transformational leaders showcase altruism high order goals, not treating followers as means to an end.

Limitations of Transformational leadership is it lacks conceptual clarity, it is potentially snobbish or not democratic, it is totally dependent on the ability of a leader and leaders might lack the character tics of a transformational leader. There can be pseudo transformational leaders as well, who can be self-centered, manipulative, encourage conflict – like Donald Trump (current USA President)

From my past experience I can recall an incident where I believe I have been a transformational leader – while working as a team leader in an organisation , WNS Global Service LTD in Gurugram ( India ), I was handling a team of 20 people and looking at the team performance of my team , I was given a charge of another team of 20 people , where the attrition rate was very high and it was impacting the business and earnings of the organisation. Initially I was nervous though I took up the challenge. Through my experience what I did, is I started taking one o one sessions with each and every team member, and try to figure what actually the problem is, what are the reasons for employees leaving every month. I learnt that, team members were under lot of stress and work pressure, as they were not allowed to take breaks, leaves, offs as per their convenience and urgency and work was not getting distributed equally. Once I got the feedback, I tried to make few changes in the way the team was working, totally removed the break timings, made sure that the work is equally distributed and also tried to motivate team members to work as a team, if one of the team members has completed his work, then to help other team members so that there are no backlogs.  By planning and strategizing and making an environment of positivity not only I managed to bring the attrition rate exceptionally low, I was awarded the best team leader for that quarter and received monetary benefits which I distributed among my team member and myself equally as it was a team effort.

What is Distributed Leadership?

Also termed as shared and collaborative leadership. It emphasis on practice of leadership as an activity rather than specific leadership roles or responsibility. It means, mobilizing leadership expertise at all levels in order to produce more prospects for change and to build the capacity for improvement. DL to be more effective, in practical terms, has to be carefully planned and deliberately orchestrated. Authentic DL requires high level of trust, transparency and mutual respect.

It is helpful in managing the organizational changes, it makes the alignment between leadership and management. The process of distributed leadership defines, associations, aligns policy decision making with implementation. It defines accountability and decision making through shared responsibility. It provides empowerment for the employees / workers of the organisation. By incorporating planning, review and alterations it allows reconsidering mission, vision and values. DL is also a critique to servant leadership style, it tries to break the romanticism associated with the servant leadership as distributed leadership is more effective in practical terms.

It slows decision making as more individuals are involved as compared to the traditional, servant or transformational leadership style. It slows execution, as it takes more time to communicate and to plan and evaluate when there are more participants

Conclusion: What I have understood and learned from the above discussion is that leadership first of all cannot be confined to one style of leadership. From my past experiences, class discussions, and qualitative review of leadership styles, leadership is about attitude and not a role, it is becoming an essential remedy of the modern era and its emphasis is on the ethical, moral and social responsibilities of leaders. Transformational leadership is most suitable for dynamic organisations, servant leadership is suitable for static organisations such as church, nonprofit organisations, non-government organisations. Distributed leadership is used primarily in schools, on battle grounds – soldiers take decisions in the fields.

Personal Development plan and leadership philosophy:

(by synthesizing all the information, insights, reflective writing, literature review)

Step 1: Who is a leader, what is required to be an effective leader?

Leader does not always have to be someone at a position of president, mayor, governor, principal, lawyer, teacher. A student, a housewife or home maker, a mother are leaders in their own way.

To be able to able to lead and knowing the purpose of leading, building relationships, empowering people, bringing change, respecting, accepting and appreciating human beings for who they are is leadership to me.

According to me below are the qualities that make up the skill sets, abilities, competencies, and experience of a good leader or I would like to possess or already exhibit as a leader:

1. Ethical behavior.

2. Being able to clearly communicate a vision to my followers.

3. Using creativity and intuition to navigate difficult and unpredictable situations

4. To be able to bring change.

5. Empowering


7. Determination/ Commitment

Step 2: Who am I? Self- Assessment

In this I have identified my core characteristics, these are my personality traits which helped me to answer who am I, to validate my personality traits I took a Myers Brigg Type Indicator (MBTI) – it based on the theory of psychological types described by C.G Jung which can be useful in people’s lives. After the test I discovered I fall in the category of Introversion + intuition + feeling + Perceiving. It is not a surprise to me that as person I am deep – felt valuing, quietly caring, compassionate, pursue meanings and harmony, creative, idealistic, empathetic helper, inquisitive, enjoys ideas, language and reading, independent and adaptable

Step 3: Identified my Core Values:

Which I have already discussed in the first section of the assessment, and they are as follows:

1. Change and Empowerment – as a leader it is imperative for me to be able to bring out change in myself and people around me, it makes me feel alive, it motivates me to be an effective leader

2. Valuing Individualism and Encouragement– I truly believe, that once you respect the people for who they are and enhance their core values and strength, in turn will help you to gain their respect and trust

3. Relationships – I have realized through the course of my professional and personal life, that how important relationships can be for any person to excel in his life. I have created some very beautiful relationships all along my life journey till now and I cherish them.

4. Advancement – to survive in this competitive world, one should keep updating himself or herself with new advancements and technology that, or else will be left behind, it is one of the professional codes one should follow or value.

Step 4: Personal Leadership Philosophy

While thinking about my leadership philosophy, I wanted to make sure that it reflects my personal traits and core values, it should seek to answer – who am I and what is my higher calling? I wanted it to be my physical reminder of where I have been, where I am and where I want to be? It should act as a forcing guiding for me to look back while working on my goals and action plan.

A personal leadership philosophy can propel one’s career upwards when we aim for high we to set the standards and bar higher.  What I’m envisioning is, as a leader my performance should influence, motivates, inspires, empowers and bring change and best in my team.

My leadership style, philosophy and commitment to myself and my followers

To meet the goals of my team and organisation, I will lead with compassion, enthusiasm and ethics. I

Will encourage and support my followers to reach their potential by providing them with challenging and rewarding work, and by giving as well as accepting constructive feedback. Whenever possible will include the inputs and suggestions of my followers in the decision-making process.

I believe in:

1.Growth – for myself and others, by bringing change, aligning my values with the organisation.

2. Empowerment – making people more confident and to be able to stand up for their rights or injustice happening with them or around them.

3. Positive environment – where workers feel motivated to accomplish their and organisational goals 4. Accountability – holding myself and other to take responsibility of our actions.

5. Teamwork – “united we stand and divided we fall”, one is us not stronger than all of us

discussing almost everything about my values, beliefs, attitude and what kind of leader I would like to be or what motivates me to be a leader, like to reiterate

Step 5: My current skills/ strengths and lacking skills required to be an effective leader.

From my past experience and the feedback which I have received from my peers, students and family, following are my strengths and capabilities and limitations,

My Personal Development Plan
Strengths and Weaknesses
Strengths Examples, showcasing the particular strength or weakness Action I will Make Measurement Criteria Timeline
Ethical I have tried to be ethical as much as possible, I don’t look for shortcuts, and I believe it is one of the most prominent value I have which I’m very much proud off, it gives me inner strength and satisfaction. I use to tell me students as well to be always ethical in all their dealings, be it personal or professional. In the university where I was working back in India , teachers were allowed to have food the student’s mess , signature one sheet used to be kept at the entrance, so that once you have finished your meal , you were supposed to sign along with your employee ID so that , money can be deducted from your salary for that particular day , and no one use to monitor if you have signed or not , even then I always made sure that I sign and mention my employee ID Would like develop more on this strength of mine, so that there are no slips Self-assertion, can use Johari window concept 6 months
Empowering I can recall an experience where I had a team member working with me for 2 years and did not get his performance appraisal, even once in two years, after persistently telling my manger that he might leave the organisation as he is not motivated, he needs monetary benefit and also told the team member to discusses the issue with higher management To be non-biased in my dealings in regards to the empowerment, make sure not to favor anyone Feedback from the team and family members No timeline- continuous process
Responsible Being a mother this comes naturally to me, I feel responsible for the wellbeing of my child like any other mother would be and it does reflect at when I’m at my work place , being responsible for your commitments , for your followers communication reengaging people and by ensuring that I and my team members have adequate resource, can help me maintain this strength and Feedback from the team and family members No timeline- continuous process
Cooperative For me success comes by being cooperative rather than being competitive or by overpowering or overcoming others. Have helped new joiners, at the workplace in settling down in the new environment, I use to share my notes on the syllabus to be covered in the class by focusing on leadership philosophy, or my vision as a leader and keep making changes if required to the leadership philosophy Feedback from, peers, team members and family No timeline- continuous process
Team Spirit The influence or the inspiration for this strength comes from being a sports person during my school days, I was a part of NCC group, which is National Cadet Corp, Indian Military cadet corps Organize more team building activities One to One session with the team members, that help in knowing if there is any communication gap or motivation gap to work as a team member No timeline- continuous process
Impatience from my past experience I have realized I’m not a very patient person, I react to things quickly. Me being impatient is very evident in my daily activities, like if I am reading a suspense or murder mystery novel, I get impatient to know the ending and before finish the novel, I skip few chapters to know the ending Phone a friend, talk to family members, mediate, yoga, physical activity that can help in being calm Self-Assessment 6 months
Take too much pressure and overthink from my past experience and feedback from my family I have realized, I out too much pressure on myself and overthink, this can hamper be in being an effective leadership as it leaders to stress and stress leads to aggressive and irritated behavior avoid complexities, by keeping my goals and vision as leader simple and attainable, also focusing can help me overcome this weakness Self-Assessment and feedback from peers, family and team members 1 year
Fear of Public speaking I have a stage fear and I feel as leader one has to be good orator to overcome my nervousness, I am already working on this, I practice in front of mirror and my family members Self-Assessment and feedback from peers, family and team members 1 year
Physical Vitality this is to increase my working performance and delivering my assessments well before the stipulated time I tried to walk as much possible, avoid taking escalators and public transport Self-Assessment and feedback from peers, family and team members 1 year

Conclusion: It has been almost 15 years that I have been working professionally, out of which from last 10 years, I have been in a leadership role. I never knew or was aware about the leadership styles and how important is to know who you are, what type of a leader would like to be and even before that do you even know who a leader is?

My understanding and awareness about leadership and leaders was kind of stereotype , where in I assumed that a male can be a  better leader because of his authoritarian nature , though few of my misconceptions  were cleared out by seeing  my mother and sister , how in their own way they were being a role model for me, my mother is still unaware  of this fact that she is a leader , who  brought change in her life and in her children , who thought of empowering herself and others around her.

This is the first time that I have developed a personal leadership plan for myself, and I feel it has given me sense of purpose towards life, made me realize what my values, beliefs and behavior is in regards to the certain things in life.


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