Leadership Development Plan (LDP) is a tool used by the individuals to carry out their self-assessment exercise and identify the areas which need to be enhanced and improved (Northouse, 123). It is a vital instrument for effective career development because it acts as a guiding tool for getting engaged in activities which will assist a person in thriving in the career. Moreover, it provides guidance on availing the opportunities and handling the challenges for creating a satisfied and thriving career (Bennis and Joan, 24; Yukl, 36).
Almost all the organizations throughout the world are looking for competent pool of employees as it is believed to be the source of competitive advantage for them (Hickman, 71). In addition to the job specific skills, it is imperative to develop the managerial and leadership skills. Due to globalization and heightened competition, all prospective employees are required to develop effective capabilities of managerial and leader levels. Since self-assessment is the first phase of the LDP, it is crucial that the right tools are used for assessing the personality and behavior patterns. With the help of these techniques, individuals can make sure that they identify their strengths and weaknesses and carry out necessary initiatives for capitalizing on the requirements of the corporate world.
One of the most effective framework developed for evaluating the competencies of an individual is MBTI which was developed by Isabel Meyers and Katherine Briggs. The main idea behind this inventory model is that everyone needs to appreciate the individual differences and look for developmental opportunities so that the skills are further polished and refined. Considering the matrix developed by the experts, there are four sets of preferences of individuals which are as follows:
According to the developers, there are sixteen classes in which people’s personalities can fall. I believe that I belong to the class ‘ESFJ’ which means that I have high extroversion, sensing, feeling and judging capabilities. I believe that this reading is true to a great extent as I am friendly and outgoing person. I can easily express my feelings and make sure that people around me have a good time to cherish. Moreover, I make decisions on the basis of feelings which means that the decisions are already made either by my traditions, culture or engrained perceptions. Moreover, I have the ability of leading people as I am aware of the techniques of inducing others to motivate towards achieving the desired objectives. In various life situations, I get a bit hard with myself. There is a gap between my own perceived performance and my ideal behavior and due to this discrepancy I struggle against the feeling of guilt and depression. Sometimes, I get overwhelmed with these feelings and I end up in moments of emotional pain. I try to motivate myself by showing the brighter side of various aspects of my life such as my kind, unselfish and charitable nature. I am always ready to help people out and that is why I enjoy the feeling of being dominant on others. Since I am a judging person, my feeling aptitude forms my dominant aspect which is my personality’s extraverted side and on its basis most of my decisions and judgments are made. Furthermore, my perceptive side is enhanced through the knowledge acquired about the world from my sensory abilities which is my auxiliary process. Thus, sensing is my introvert side which rules my unconscious mind. Also, I have belief that I have two temperaments i.e. experiencers and conceptualizers. As an experience, I try to accept the challenging aspects of life and try to respond to them in an optimistic way. Likewise, I have conceptualizing temperament because I am keen about learning new things, acquiring unique and competent knowledge and set the highest standards. Since I am looking forward to challenging situations, I have the ability of guiding others and keeping them motivated towards solving a dilemma encountered. For instance, in one of our major projects, one out of four group members had to go for an emergency leave. Being the leader, I took the matters in my hand and told everyone that the report will be completed on time by setting realistic targets and inspired my group members to raise their morale so that the project deadline was effectively met. As a person, I am a strict follower of rules and regulations and make sure that all legalists are adequately implemented. However, I have difficulty in managing time because I lack the expertise of efficient planning and organization. Although I have clarity about the work which has to be done but due to my laid back attitude I tend to miss the deadlines. I have realized that I have excellent interpersonal skills but I lack effective verbal skills. I need to develop self-confidence in my personality so that I can clearly communicate my points and get my work done in highly professional and spectacular manner. On the other hand, I possess extraordinary writing skills which has provided me ample opportunities for writing in scholarly journals. Even my ideas are appreciated by my teachers and colleagues when they are explained in written reports. Thus, I have to enhance my oral communication so that I can deliver inspiring speeches for my team members and subordinates in the future. As my judgments are based on subjective facts, I have to work on analyzing the situations from both perspectives i.e. sensing and thinking so that objective aspects are considered simultaneously.
According to Schoemaker, Steve and Samantha, a strategic leader is one who possesses six chief skills i.e. anticipates future challenges and opportunities, challenges the issue form a wide array of options, interprets the information from various sources, aligns the interests of various stakeholders, makes decision on realistic grounds and learns from environment and experiences (134). In the article, the authors have given a questionnaire to carry out the self-assessment initiative. My analysis shows that I already possess three skills i.e. challenge, align and learn. As I have mentioned in my MBIT test that I accept the dilemmas in positive way and look at them as learning opportunities, it is evident that I have the ability of evaluating the problems from various angles and look for a wide range of practical solutions. Furthermore, these challenges enhance my knowledge which adds value to my learning base. Since I have the aptitude of leading teams, I believe that I can align the interests of each stakeholder in proficient manner. However, I need to work on other three requirements of becoming a strategic leader i.e. anticipate, decide and interpret. Since I make most of the decisions on the basis of my own judgments and senses as depicted from MBIT model, I have to acquire the expertise of evaluating the matter from 360 degree so that no aspect is overlooked. Likewise, I have to change my interpretation behavior so that I can make final decisions in strategic way.
Whenever any conflict or argument arises, I try to resolve them in transparent and negotiated manner so that everyone remains satisfied and contended. It is better that conflicts are dealt rather than ignored so that the problems are resolved on preliminary stages. Besides, solving the issues by conversation is the best solution because fighting or violating the policies will be harmful for both people and organizations. However, I need to develop good conflict resolution such as negotiation skills so that I can convince people to solve the matter at hand.
In the Appendix I, I have attached my Skillscope assessment sheet and I have found it to be my true representative of my personality. Surprisingly, I have found a lot of similarity in the self-assessment analysis and skillscope assessment. The key strengths and weaknesses identified by both evaluations are as follows:
After careful analysis of the personal attributes and getting feedback from external sources, I have realized that following are the five main areas for leadership development:
|Developmental Objective||Developmental Activities||Resources / Support||Time Line||Potential Obstacles||Evidence of progress|
|To develop competent oral communication skills for persuading everyone in the team to attain goals effectively||
||March 2014-May 2014||Cost and time duration||Feedback from teacher and colleagues|
|To anticipate challenges of the professional world||
||May 2014-July 2014||Refusal from teacher and colleague to provide required assistance.||Carry out self-assessment and monitor the ability of identifying challenges beforehand.|
|To make decisions by efficiently gathering and interpreting information||
||March 2014-May 2014||Time constraint, cancellation of the program and unavailability of the professional||Get feedback from the industry expert and colleagues|
|To create cordial interpersonal relationships for achieving group targets||
||May 2014-June 2014||Teacher’s unwilling attitude and lack of willpower to develop confidence||Monitor the progress by seeking feedback from colleagues and doing self-assessment|
|To acquire time management and organization skills for performing work with accuracy||
||April 2014-May 2014||Inability to manage time efficiently||Doing self-assessment and evaluating the progression of time management activities|
In order to be assured that all mandatory leadership competencies are engrained in the personality, I have identified the areas of improvement and I have developed LDP to carry out the required tasks. I will employ my best efforts to polish my competencies and make sure that I am competent and make productive contribution in the organization.
Bennis, Warren and Joan Goldsmith. Learning to lead: A workbook on becoming a leader. 4th ed. USA: Basic Books, 2010. Print. Hickman, Gill R. Leading organizations: Perspectives for a new era. London: SAGE Publications Ltd. 2009. Print. Northouse, Peter G. Leadership: Theory and Practice. 6th ed. London: SAGE Publications Ltd., 2012. Print. Schoemaker, Paul J.H., Steve Krupp and Samantha Howland. “Strategic Leadership: The Essential Skills.” Harvard Business Review January-February (2013): 131-134. Print. Yukl, Gary A. Leadership in Organizations. 8th ed. USA: Prentice Hall, 2012. Print.
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