Individual Authentic Journey Report Commerce Essay


In this report, the researcher has developed a personal development plan that he can use after his graduation so as to achieve his vision.

Every individual has a goal to be achieved. PDP is a systematic guide that helps the individual achieves the plan.

This report is divided into four sections: introduction, methodology, discussions, recommendations and conclusion.

In the introduction, the researcher has discussed about his vision and objectives and the limitations to achieve the same.

In the methodology, the data sources are described along with the structure of the report.

In the discussions sections, the interests and the SWOT analysis of the researcher has been detailed. Various theories that bring out the importance of leadership have also been discussed.

Finally from the discussed models, recommendations are drawn to improve on the characteristics of the researcher.


With about 35,000 research papers, it is very obvious that most of us are aware about the qualities that make a leader most effective. There are various perspectives of leadership that include, leadership as power, different personal characteristics of leaders, behaviors of a effective leader, their style, the situational models of the leaders and the transformational model of the leaders (Bolden, Gosling, Marturano & Dennison, 2003).

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This report brings out the critical analysis of self as an effective authentic leader in the near future. The various skills that had been acquired during the schooling and the graduation days have been discussed. A SWOT analysis has been done to bring out the various weaknesses and threats to achieve the goal. Various leadership theories that help to bridge the gaps have been discussed so as to improve on the self.

Aims and Objectives

The following are the objectives of this report.

To identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the self in becoming an authentic leader

Analyze the various theories that would bring out the roles of effective leader and comparing them with the identified weaknesses and threats

To determine the ways to overcome the threats and the weaknesses


The report critically focuses on the talents and weaknesses of the researcher from his schooling till the graduation that would support him in becoming an authentic leader. However the quality that would have appeared as a weakness in the schooling would have turned into strength in the graduate days due to his continuous efforts taken to change himself and vice versa. Thus the data collected may not be completely accurate.

Also different qualities are assumed as strengths for leadership by different authors and theories. There is no single list that shows the qualities required for an effective leader.


This report is mainly supported by secondary data. The information is obtained from different e-books, websites, articles and papers.

The primary source for the report is the researcher himself. The data about the researcher is compared with that of the secondary sources to examine his effectiveness as an authentic leader.

Structure of the report

The report begins with the introduction section that briefs the reader about what has been dealt inside. This is followed by the discussions on the various skills and interests of the researcher during his schooling and graduation days (inclusive of the childhood days). The researcher also brings out his vision and mission in this section of the report.

A critical analysis of the skills is done to identify the various strengths weaknesses, opportunities and the weaknesses of the leader (SWOT analysis). The various theories that support the researcher's characteristics are then discussed.

A deep study is done to show the areas of gap that have been identified in the researcher's aim of becoming an authentic leader. Finally solutions are identified from the theories discussed to bridge the gaps.


Sri Lankan work culture

Entrepreneurship is a social phenomenon. The entrepreneurs cannot ignore the various social factors that influence their entrepreneurial efforts. The human inferences are impacted by the culture (Hofstede, 1984).

There are seven main socio-cultural patterns observed in the country: lack of self-confidence, high dependence, working for livelihood, change resistance, respect for authority, kinship and acceptance of the status quo (Kao.etal, 1999; Gamage.etal, 2003).

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Sri Lankan society is not built individually rather through their family's self-esteem. Thus the country believes in collective values more than individual values. They have a "structured" order of social values. Thus they are more dependent on the social systems surrounding their work place. The country's code of ethics is guided by the Buddhist norms where 'Satisfactory living' is the main path. The education system in Sri Lanka is also a one that does not encourage self-confidence but it ensures self-discipline. The power distance between the teacher and the student is such that it makes sure that the student obeys their teacher and seeks them as role model in all aspects (Nanayakkara, 1984).

Hofstede cultural dimensions

The Sri Lankan culture is similar to that of Indian culture (Raju, 2007).

There is a high level of inequality in power and wealth in the country. This has been considered as a cultural norm upon the population.

Sri Lanka has high long term orientation. Thus the culture is perseverant and parsimonious.

The Masculinity rate in Sri Lanka is also high. This has increased the competitiveness and assertiveness amongst the female population.

The uncertainty avoidance parameter is comparatively lower than the world's average value. Thus the people here take initiative to undertake risky projects. They are more open to unstructured ideas and situations (Geert Hofstede cultural dimensions, 2009).


Inspite of the lack in self-confidence, I wish to become a leader and start my own business after my graduation. The main drive for this is the desire for social power of collectivism. The government sectors and the administrative services in the country still make use of the western bureaucratic system. This is a system where the seniors are responsible for making decisions in the business. The low level workers are not aware about the company's goals and objectives. This system is more individualistic in nature. This kind of a work culture is in conflict with that of the Sri Lankan culture.


To stand out as a specialized marketing manager and specialized consultant in the marketing field


To ensure that I completely contribute to the organization in which I work and acquire the best skills and knowledge through continuous learning process and also support the co-workers on the same.


To complete Bachelors in Business administration and Marketing with good results

To gain work experience as a Managerial trainer for about 2 to 3 years

To complete Masters in Business administration with this experience

Finally to make the best utilization of the skills obtained through the continuous learning and the experience for the promotion of the organization

Characteristics of a leader in Sri Lanka

The modern leaders in Sri Lanka are generally affiliated to the co-workers. Thus a collectivistic system is seen. The western dominance in the entrepreneurial culture is no longer seen in the country (Chandrakumar and Sparrow, 2004). The following are some of the characteristics that are prominent amongst the Sri Lankan leaders,

The work shows high affiliation to their family (Perera and Buddhadasa, 1992; Ranasinghe, 1996a and 1996b).

Apart from money, the business leaders tend to gain self-satisfaction (Niles, 1994).

The Buddhism influences on the country's culture develop a feel of socialism amongst the leaders and make them come out with good decisions.

Contemporary leaders have identified that personal characteristics are the most important for effective leadership. These include dominance (must be able to take charge of the work, have abundant self-confidence, be an extrovert), conscientiousness (must be able to take the initiative with full energy and have the drive for achievement), social tendency (must be good listeners to the co-workers and socialize with them) and also internal locus of control (be an optimist) (Killian, 2007).

Action plan

Based on the objectives, I have made the following action plan that would help me accomplish my mission and vision.


June 2008-December 2009

University (bachelors' degree in business administration)

February 2010- December 2010

Work (to gain experience)

February 2010- April 2013

University (bachelor's degree in marketing)

February 2011- December 2011


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September 2013-September2015


November 2015-till I get Retirement

From my childhood, I had shown interests in my father's business. I had been working constantly to develop those skills that are necessary for a leader in the Sri Lankan environment.

As seen in the above section, Sri Lankan education mainly focuses on self-discipline and team work. My participation in cricket has enhanced my team working skills. I had actively participated in group discussions and other oratorical competitions which turn have strengthened my communication skills.

Apart from extracurricular activities, educational and technical skills are very essential for an effective leader. My educational plans have been elaborated in the above table. To widen my technical skills, I had attended course in CSC computing and showed interests in web designing. This is an IT world. There are many job openings in recent time especially in managerial roles. Thus a highly skilled student with knowledge in IT and business are in demand. Thus the primary requirement for any leader would be high computer knowledge. My dedication for computing serves as an increased advantage for me to become a leader.

Also my communicational skills and the educational skills (that would be acquired through my degrees and certifications) would contribute to my efforts in becoming an authentic leader.

The above discussed attributes are some of my strengths that would assist me in the accomplishment of my vision and mission.

In this competitive world, there is increase in the competition amongst the individuals to achieve their goals. There is heavy competition observed in business atmosphere. Those with greater performance are academics and co-curricular activities are given the first preferences to others thus making it necessary for an individual to not only plan their academics according to their goals but also to continuously perform well right from the beginning of the course.

I have been putting efforts in my studies right from my schooling so that I would achieve my target with ease. This is well evident from the grades that I have obtained in my IGCSE.

Subject Grade

Accounts B

Commerce B

Mathematics B

Business studies C

English E

Apart from strengths, I lack on few personal characteristics in the management levels that are poor work ethic, lack of discipline and motivation, in decisiveness, shyness, and emotions.

Poor work ethics

Time management is the most important factor in any business. I am very poor in managing my time effectively. It is a well known fact that punctuality is very essential for any work environment. Thus I am trying hard to acquire those skills that would enhance my time management skills.

Lack of motivation

As I said before, due to the lack of external experience knowledge I fail to handle certain situations such as presentations, setting of an objective and leading a team because of getting stressed and nervous. The only way to overcome this weakness is through effective communication and self esteem.

From the identified weaknesses, I feel I should prioritize those skills that are required by me to make wise decisions. I must be able to overcome my shyness and be self-motivated to make good decisions that are required for the organization. This must be followed by effective time management. It is not just enough if wise decisions are made but work must be done on time to accomplish those decisions that are finalized.

The further sections show the importance of these two skills (decision-making and time management) that are very essential for the development of an authentic leader in Sri Lankan culture.

Importance of Decision-making and time management

The importance of decision-making is also seen in Mintzberg's ten managerial roles. One of the roles is interpersonal skills which emphasizes that the leaders must have the ability to lead the co-workers for the achievement of the results and they must also represent the various social and official activities of the organization. This is what exactly the requirement of Sri Lankan culture is as well.

Another role is the decisional role which emphasizes on the following,

The leaders must be responsible for the allocation of resources and funds for the projects.

They must be able to make improvements to the existing work and also come out with innovative thoughts.

Leaders must be capable of negotiating with the non-routine agreements.

Time management is another factor that is very essential for an authentic leader. A leader must have the ability to prioritize the work so as to achieve his target at the end.


The discussions above clearly shows that a democratic and a participative leadership style are the best suited for Sri Lankan work culture (Legacee management systems, 2009). Thus I am required to enhance my skills to meet these two styles.

A democratic leader is one who seeks the suggestions of its team members before making the final decisions. They tend to convey the changes in the work environment most effectively to the team members.

To get the instinct of this style, I must start working in teams and learn from others work. In both my bachelors degree I had worked in various team assignments and given my maximum output which has proved my team skills. By working in teams I have gained lots of confidence to raise my opinion to the other members, listen to their ideas and contributions and finally decide on what has to be done to accomplish the task given to us. This kind of team work is what the Sri Lankan organizations of today need as well. After my graduation I am planning to work in any marketing firm for around two to three years. I am sure this would be a practical application of what I had done in my bachelors.

During my work period, I would get to talk to my co-workers and learn more from their experiences and participate in team meetings and contribute as much as I can to my firm. Sri Lankan culture supports decision-making as a team rather than as an individual. Thus this would be the first step where I would get a corporate exposure to give a start for my career as a leader.

With this work experience, my next focus would be a Masters in business administration which is an added qualification for me to serve as a leader. In Masters Course, I would be part of various forums and brainstorming sessions where I would get to talk with several people and share the knowledge that I had acquired in my bachelors and also at work.

These would help me to work with groups for decision-making process. In this way I would gradually develop the skills that would make up a democratic leader which is the need of the Sri Lankan work culture.

Another leadership style that would suit my interests as well as Sri Lankan work culture would be the participative leadership style.

I had always been interested to research on innovation products. I had always been interested in unique things: enjoyed night life. Thus I wanted to lead an organization that concentrated more on innovation. In the Sri Lankan culture, the leadership style that would best suit a firm that concentrates on innovation would be the participative leadership style.

To be a participative leader, I should be social with my team members, be a patient listener and acknowledge their ideas as well to solve complex problems.

It is said that a music lover is generally very creative, outgoing, and gentle and have a high self-esteem (Reuters, 2008). I had been very interested in music since my schooling. Listening to music has been one of my hobbies since my childhood. This interest became much more aggressive when I entered my bachelors thereby increasing my thirst for innovation.

My interest for cricket showed that team work would bring definite victory in any field. I have understood the fact that dependency on just the key personals in a company may sometimes don't help the management. Each member in a team is very essential and must be an unexpected savior during the time of crisis. Thus my passion for cricket has in turn paved the way for me to realize the importance of team work.

My interests in body building activities also enabled me to gain self-confidence. After my graduation, I spent some time everyday in this activity so as to become confident in whatever task I take up. Confidence is one essential factor for any authentic leader. To increase my confident level, I ensured that I concentrated on body building activities on regular basis.

Given below are some of the ways in which I would improve myself so as to achieve my goal as a democratic and participative leader.

Decision-making ability

The Covey model shows that work environment plays a major role in any business. The business must satisfy all the employees' needs as per the Herzberg's need theory. This in turn would encourage the workers to perform better. A satisfied employee would be self-motivated and tend to communicate freely with his team members. Thus I must make sure that all my needs are completely satisfied to gain self esteem which in return to enable me to communicate freely.

Due to the lack of self confidence, I lack the ability to make wise decisions. Only if concrete decisions are made in a business can the leader move to the next step of formation of teams with the appropriate members and then ensuring coordination between the teams.

Decision making is made easy when the leader gets the support of its sub-ordinates. Being in a culture that is influenced by collectivism, I would adopt to the Vroom's normative participation model that would guide me to work on this skill along with the other co-workers (Killian, 2007).

I possess very good team working skills right from my schooling. I had already been a part of the cricket team and won several tournaments. This is an ideal example for my team working skills. Similarly in a work environment I should ensure that I co-ordinate with my sub-ordinates and get their opinions to finalize on an efficient decision.

Once I am done with my graduation, I can seek the guidance of my family and friends to make a decision about my first job. This would make me an efficient decision-maker. Any minute decision in my life can be discussed with my parents as the culture of the country says that family socializing is the first step that must be taken by a leader.

I have also shown interests in car racing, night life and body building. These are several areas where I meet more people. This in turn would help me to socialize with them and indulge in discussions with them to make further decisions in my life.

The following are some ways in which I can make wise decisions with the help of my colleagues,

I can make my own decision and discuss it with my co-workers.

I can also consult with my co-workers and other sub-ordinates before I make a decision.

I can meet different functional groups and brainstorm with them prior to the decision-making.

A meeting with the staffs can be organized and the problems can be spoken out. The limits for making the decisions must also be set. A consensus approach may then be used for the final decision.

The decision making task can also be shared amongst the team members and other individuals who are responsible for enacting the decision.

Another model by Adair shows that an action-centered leader would accomplish his work through the work teams and with good relationship with other managers and the staffs (Bolden, Gosling, Marturano, & Dennison, 2003).

According to Adair, the following are a leader's role,

Decide on the jobs to be completed (Task allocation)

Advice, work and review the people who are working on the allocated tasks

Co-ordinate with the entire work team for the achievement of best results

All my decisions from my young age have been assisted by my father who plays a key role in my life. I had been greatly influenced by him that I want to become an effective leader after my graduation.

To enhance my team working skills, I joined various computer application courses where I had to work in teams with my friends and complete several projects. This was an initial effort taken by me to socialize with those around me.

Poor work ethics

The Parkinson's law helped me to manage time most effectively. I found that I can manage time by setting early deadlines. In doing so I would complete my work earlier without much strain. This in return would satisfy my customers and clients. I must also be aware about the time budgets which would be an added advantage to manage time.

Work experience

As I am in my degree now, its high time I learn about my father's business. During holidays I can take up internships there to grow my practical knowledge. This could enable me to gain some experience which would serve as additional advantage when I seek job.


A PDP is just another name for a plan of action, only this one refers specifically to your aspirations regarding personal development. We make plans every day, but do not always write them down. In this plan, I have listed down all my strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. I have also identified those theories that talk about effective leadership and management and listed down the different characteristics that are required to become an authentic leader. A PDP allows you to set your own personal targets and find the best way to achieve them. I have also planned my future by making a note of all my past achievements and the present ones. I am now making sure that I stick on to my action plan that I have made so that I achieve my vision in a successful way. I would also like to say that these modules have motivated me to achieve this personal development plan faster in a systemically way.