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Developing leadership skills is important for me because given the circumstances that I have shifted to the field of Business Administration from a technical background that does not require having control over some one or to manage or interact extensively with others. Now I seek the future prospects of becoming a manager in an organization and therefore during my tenure of Masters Degree I need to develop leadership skills that would allow me to be a successful in my future endeavors. "Not all leaders are managers but all effective managers have to be leaders". It is my self assessment that I am not a born leader and if you are not a born leader then there is only one option for you to develop your skills to become one.
My personal values, vision and mission
My mission is to develop a good balance between different skills that would help me become an effective leader i.e. problem solving skills, decision Making, planning, and managing my power and influence. Having a strong influence; in my opinion is very essential. If you have the ability to convince others with their manner of speech and action, then the possibilities of success are limitless. I want to be successful and professional. I believe in being authentic, words should match with actions and building trust with others. I believe is having success by hard work, even though most of the times I do not feel like it but it is under my conscious that without hard work there is a thin chance of success.
Challenges/problems I want to address
Being a leader involves an extensive interaction with people and developing essential skills to have an influence over them which is something that I have never been through so it is a primary challenge for me. I am used to solving problems haphazardly which seems to work for me but in the broader aspect I have to streamline the process and learn to deal with complex situations in a professional manner. Another challenge for me is to make decision under emotional stress; I always have to cope with the after effects of such decisions. I also need to figure out a leader icon that I should follow or maybe develop myself into one for the fact that I believe that what works for someone else might probably NOT work for me, every individual is unique and there is only the hit and trial method available to find the best fit.
Measures of success
My measures of success will ultimately be the fact of achievement of my goal of becoming an effective manager. But there needs to be milestones set to reach my final goal which would be how much my belief, morals and ethics match with my practices. I will measure my success with how satisfied I am with my performance at work and how satisfied I am with my actions with other people around me.
Current assessment of yourself as a leader
My current strengths and weaknesses as a leader
My current strengths include good technical skills that come as a part of my current experience. If we talk about emotional intelligence, Self-Awareness is something I am quite confident about. In any situation I have a full understanding of my mood, emotions and I have the habit of visualizing scenarios prior to my actions. Self-Regulation is something I am not so proud about because my emotional grip becomes lose at times of anger, consciously I am fully aware of my situation but "I`ll just do it anyways"â€¦ So this would count as my weakness. I have the habit of solving problems with my analytical instincts mostly that comes with experience. I am only hoping that I am correct which a weakness is in fact but at the same time I am never without a reason for my actions which is a plus. I am motivated by the fact of wanting to be someone who is known and not someone who is an unknown entity. I like to remain social and have a sense of empathy for the people around me, I have good listening skills for that matter that allows me to understand the emotional makeup of other people and I am able to treat people accordingly. Building networks with others is something I find hard to do as I normally do not find a common ground; I cannot persuade others nor have a very strong influence unless I am closely related. My greatest weakness by far is that I do not feel confident enough of myself for tasks that are new or have potentially high level of difficulty. The feeling of "what if I`m not able to" also haunts me in situations or tasks known to me. May be because I am a little too much aware of my weaknesses. I don't like to take initiatives unless I am very much sure of what I am standing up for. In a team I am rather willing to take part as a supportive entity rather than a leading one.
Insights from my Management Behavior Traits Influence
Behavior wise I see myself as both as Job centered and Consideration. As said in my strengths I am friendly and I want people to trust me and respecting. Although it is only my self assessment as I have never been in the scenario of practicing my leadership, I see myself as both. When it comes to work, I would want the job to be done, it makes me uneasy to have a task at my hand and it is not complete or seems like it might not be completed in time. The factor of weakness here about my self confidence comes into play. If I am able to counter this weakness, I can take my part as a leading entity in a team.
Challenges and opportunities for improvement
Challenges and opportunities for improvement are my weaknesses themselves. Coming over your weakness is itself a challenge and eliminating your weakness or figuring out an encounter for the weakness is an opportunity for one's betterment and growth with an increased chance of success. I would consider my weakness of confidence to be the greatest of all because once I am past that point they only task ahead would be to stretch my arm and grab my milestones for success.
Feedback I have had from the class, work and other arenas
I am not very sure about the signals I get from work, class or other arenas that would help me evaluate myself of being a potential leader. People seem to trust me once I have proven my abilities to them like for example being a multimedia artist; I had to prove my skills at various occasions. Once I had performed the task people would give allot of attention to what I had to say and would follow my advice. But this I think is pretty obvious because once I have proved then there is no point of thinking that I was influential or maybe I do not consider it very influential. I am considered opinion leader in the areas where my expertise lie. I have been given feedback may times about being trustworthy and helpful by my colleagues and this helps me a little with my confidence problem but becomes a problem again as I feel a sense of responsibility on my shoulders bearing the trust of others that I would not want to break.
Leadership Development Plan
Objectives of my plan
Following are the key objectives of my Leadership Development Plan
Identify critical areas of my personal characteristics that are required for grooming and essential to work on for becoming an effective leader.
Identifying main obstacles in the way to achieve my ultimate goal and defining a plan to encounter those obstacles.
Determining what traits and behavior specific actions needed to be worked upon for an effective execution of plan
Defining what methods will be used for learning and improving my skills.
Outlining a guideline that would act as a source of evaluation for every step I take towards my goal and letting me know how much distance I have covered and what is still there to cover.
What inspires me about my plan/why am I willing to change
My source of inspiration is that I want to be successful as an effective leader and this plan will help me define what needs to be done to reach my desired state. It is of great importance to me because I have decided to take a turn in my life; from a technical field limited to a narrow scope to the field of management that would open up a new horizon for me. I was determined to make this change with better prospects in the long run. It was a big decision for me and almost a blind leap, but if I do not develop the essential skills and train myself to be effective in the field of management, it will be of no good and I will only regret having to take a sharp turn from a fast moving lane.
Behavior-specific actions I plan to take
I will strengthen my communication and behavior according to values. I believe that there is nothing compared to an authentic leader, people admire and are inspired by leaders that behave consistently according to values, and in particular, the value of integrity.
Opening myself up to others and influence people through my ideas and my behavior, rather than through the use of my position power or simply by the demonstration of my skill. I will show trust in the people and work on the consideration factor even further.
I am not very good at showing enthusiasm for individual and group accomplishment. So I will try to learn how to react and praise positively.
To supplement my employee centered behavior I have to learn to step aside and let others do their jobs, make people feel needed, important, and powerful so they can accomplish their objectives. Ensure that I have the right people in the right jobs to match their abilities and maximize success.
Opening myself to accept changes and also learning to identify positive and productive changes and involve people at all levels of the organization in implementing a change initiative.
I would help people around me to find a perfect fit between their skills and satisfaction level and giving them the authority to make the changes they need to be successful.
Actively engage my role in teaching others and devote time to coach others to develop and improve performance.
Anticipated resistance from self and others
Bringing a change always attracts a sufficient amount of resistance from within self and people around. The behavior specific actions I plan to take highlight three factors clearly that I am looking forward to bring changes, autonomy and delegation, mentoring. Following my idea for behavior development, given a mechanistic situation I will have to face a lot of resistance for the first two. Even in a different scenario people are not always willing for changes and being delegated. Personally I would not feel any resistance with mentoring, I always like to share my knowledge with others and it helps build rapport. But when it comes to delegation and bringing about changes I feel resistance because at the moment I am not able to be much of an influence and not open to ideas I feel attached with. Developing a delegation skill will require to fight with my nature of getting the job done even if I have to get my own hands dirty.
How I will monitor and evaluate results
I will monitor my result based on the feedback from the people around me and keeping my plan as a reference checklist for what milestones I have covered and which ones still remain. And ultimately it comes down to how satisfied I am with my performance regardless of what stages I have checked out with respect to my behavior, traits and skill. Satisfaction will most definitely come along with these aspects but unless I am not satisfied, it will not really matter.
Sources for learning
Development of leaders tends either to be purely conceptual or purely applied. Little academic work connects the theory of leadership development to the interventions used in leadership development programs and initiatives. For a starting point I will first need to grab hold of concept of leadership and its implications and dependencies. I will have to study about successful leader's lifestyle, their values and ideas; match them with my own to see where I stand and what steps to take myself further. Another important source of learning would be the results of my actions and choices I make during my tenure of leadership development.