Leadership Development Plan
Introduction With the current ever changing business environment, leaders are required to be strategic and resolute to meet the demands of the business of the environment (Byham, Smith & Paese 2002). The purpose of this paper is to create my own personal development plan based on the Central Michigan University (CMU) leadership competency model, leadership theories and personality tests. This will serve as a framework to allow me to identify my own weaknesses and strengths, and develop my leadership capacity, allowing myself to be able to achieve the vision I set for myself and the current business environment.
The vision I had for myself is to enter the Marketing Industry, focusing on business development, and ultimately becoming an entrepreneur. Business development has been said to be a synthesis of strategic analysis, marketing and sales (The Editor, 2012). The competencies required are ‘strong research skills’, to evaluate the business environment, ‘people and communication skills’, to build partnership and rapport with other organization and with a ‘deal closing instinct’, to ensure closing of sales (The Editor, 2012).
This leadership development plan will be helping me in preparing to be a future business development director or an entrepreneur at the end of my career. Lastly, I would seek a Major of the Singapore Armed Forces, who has seen me in a leadership role, to provide feedback on my personal leadership development plan. Central Michigan University Leadership Competency Model The Central Michigan University leadership competency model has identified leaders with several competencies such as skills, behaviors, abilities, knowledge and attitudes (Central Michigan University, 2004).
However, they recognized that in reality, it is impossible for every leader to acquire all of those proficiencies, but leaders are required to be aware of their strengths and weaknesses (Central Michigan University 2004). This allows them to further enhance their strengths and choose individuals to compensate for their own shortcomings. This model identifies five dimensions in leadership. The five dimensions are namely: 1. Self-management 2. Leading others 3. Task Management 4. Innovation 5. Social Responsibility (Central Michigan University 2004)
Each of the individual dimensions consist of the competencies listed above. Hence, it allows leaders to identify which areas are in need of further development. However, it should be noted that there are three advantages and disadvantages using competency to developed leadership. The advantage of competency models is that it provides ‘Clarity’, ‘Consistency’ and ‘Connectivity’ (Conger & Ready 2004). The benefit of ‘Clarity’ is the most applicable in this paper, as it allows me to fix distinct expectations on the kinds of skills, behaviors, abilities, knowledge and attitudes I wish to have (Conger & Ready 2004).
The disadvantage of using competency models is that it is ‘Complicated’, ‘Conceptual’ and is based on ‘Current’ environment (Conger & Ready 2004). The drawback that is most applicable to this paper is the ‘ideal conception of leadership’. The model believes that an effective leader holds all the core competencies. However, in reality, the nature of leaders is complex, and they are able to hire individuals to compensate for their shortcomings (Conger & Ready 2004). Therefore, in this paper, I will focus more on enhancing my strengths. Strength and Weakness
The first stage in developing my leadership development plan is to identify my personal forte and flaws that is appropriate to my vision. In doing so, I put myself through the CMU Leadership Competency Assessment (Central Michigan University 2004) and Myer – Brigg Personality test (HumanMetrics 2013). The first assessment I put myself into is the CMU Leadership Competency Assessment (Central Michigan University 2004). The CMU leadership Assessment Report (refer to Appendix A) indicates that I score high on Self-management, average on Task Management, Innovation and Social Responsibilities, and low on Leading Others.
By going in depth, I should focus on ‘stress management, ‘enhancing performance’, ‘forecasting’, ‘acting with integrity’, ‘social knowledge’. The above competencies are crucial in giving me a competitive advantage in achieving my vision. However, I am particularly weak in ‘interpersonal awareness’ and ‘solving problems’. The next assessment I took up was the Myer – Brigg Personality test, and the result indicated that I am an ‘ESFP’. This shows that I am an extrovert who enjoys working with others, set realistic goals, and enjoys a flexible and friendly environment (Myers & Briggs Foundation 2014).
Due to my past experiences when I am serving my national services, I can associate most with the authentic leadership theories. Authentic leaders are said to have a strongly definite purpose for their leadership (George cited in Kerfoot 2006). Their actions are based on their values, actions and words, which are consistent with, and have a common understanding with the followers (Kerfoot 2006). With the personality I have, embracing this style of leadership will be most productive and suitable for me. Leadership Development Plans
After identifying my personal forte and shortcomings, this brings us to the main part of the paper–my leadership development plans. The leadership development plans that I set for myself will be multi-staged. However, it will be based on the fundamental competencies required to perform in the job. Therefore, the time period of this personal development plan will be based on from two to five years’ time from now. My leadership development plan will focus on strengthening areas such as ‘Stress Management ’, ‘interpersonal awareness’, ‘Social Knowledge’, ‘enhancing performance’ and ‘Forecasting’.
I have confidence that by reinforcing my areas of strengths and improving on my weakness, I will not only be a far-reaching leader, but also an individual. The first dimension improving self-management is to further expand my stress tolerance. Stress tolerance is the capability to be able to perform under stressful situations (Central Michigan University 2004). According to Goodman (2013), stress level is built up over time and requires a period to recover. Therefore, to remove the stress inbuilt in my body, I will take up ongoing stress-relieving activities, such as sports and volunteering work.
It is also important that I have at least six hours of sleep every night (Goodman 2013) To increase my ability to leading others, I would enhance my ability on interpersonal awareness. One of the methods is to take up psychological course such as the ‘Diploma in psychology’ awarded by Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS) to increase my understanding on human behavior and psychological thinking (MDIS 2014; Central Michigan University 2004). This is crucial in increasing my effectiveness in close deals; by understand the body languages and mental process of a person.
This also helps me to nurture better relationship with my co-workers and business partners (Central Michigan University 2004). The next dimension that I wish to improve on is social knowledge. One of the methods that I would like to uptake is learning a third language. By understanding a non-native language allows me to communicate both in oral and written form with people who use that language. The third language I would like to learn is Spanish. As more than twenty countries uses Spanish as its official language making it the second most common spoken language in the world (Rosenberg 2013).
By learning a new language, it also increases my chance of moving business into Spanish-speaking market or going into a Spanish-speaking country as an expatriate. Lastly, in order to enhance my task management skills, especially in enhancing the performance of my future team. I need to shift my leadership style towards the direction of team management, the scale of 9. 9 based on the Blake and Mouton’s (1982) Leadership Grid. As currently my leadership style is 1. 9, where I using a country club style management. I am more focus on satisfying the needs of my followers.
This aligns with the result of my Myer-Brigg personality test, where I wish to work in a flexible and friendly environment, In order to enhance my skills; I can attend short courses such as ‘Managing yourself and leading Others’ by Harvard (Harvard Division of Continuing Education 2014). This purpose of this course is to impart the ability to recognize different perspective that is required to understand the strengths and shortcoming in me and others. This is crucial in management where leaders have to make decisions in uncertain scenario (Harvard Division of Continuing Education 2014).
At end of the day, it help is to increase our capability in managing and influence our followers (Harvard Division of Continuing Education 2014). However is noted that attending such a short seminar may not be enough. Therefore I plan to uptake a Master of Science in International Marketing Management that is being offered in Marketing Institute of Singapore (2013). Forecasting is one of the most important skills that are required to be an effective leader (Clayton 2014). However there is not a single perfect forecasting mechanism to predict the future. However there are few changes I can make to improve my ability in forecasting.
Firstly, forecasting should be done regularly (Clayton 2014). This helps me to identify mistakes and to account of newly developed factors from the business environment (Clayton 2014). Secondly, forecasting should be done in a team (Clayton 2014). This helps to me to identify factors that I would not notice by myself (Clayton 2014). Lastly, I would need to get advices from other people frequently. This is to ensure groupthink effect would not occur. This can be prevented by talking to clients on the latest trends and events and experts that are in and out of my industry (Clayton 2014).
By changing my method of forecasting, it means I got to take up a participative leadership style. As participative leadership allows the followers to influence the leader’s decision during the decision making process (Yukl 2013). According to Vroom and Yetton (cited in Yukl 2013) normative decision model, participative leadership provides a wide range of benefits. It helps to produce a ‘better decision quality’, ‘higher decision acceptance’, ‘higher satisfaction’ and ‘skill development’. By embracing participative leadership styles, it aligns with me being an authentic leader.
As is suits with my personality, values where I want to create a flexible and friendly environment to create higher satisfaction and acceptance among my followers. Secondly it also helps to shift my management style towards 9. 9 as mention earlier on based on Blake and Mouton’s (1982) Leadership Grid. Since every human has a need for achievement (McClelland 1976), by having a greater responsibility and autonomy in their work. This will result into a stronger motivational force to perform. Hence a more committed people while having a good team relationship. Feedback from Leader
I have sought a professional officer in the Singapore Armed Forces, who I have worked with during my days as a National Serviceman. He has seen me leading my own team to conduct the inaugural Mobilization Exercise for the SAF unit. Having seen him lead a team of NSFs during his tenure, I’m confident in his abilities and also He mentions that my deliberate LDP is both targeted and realistic. My LDP consist of two portion, firstly is my self-assessment and secondly, a deliberate LDP. As any personal development plan without an honest assessment of the current short comings would be futile.
Therefore my clear and concise self assessment using both the CMU Leadership Competency Assessment and Myer – Brigg Personality test are commendable. My choice to enhance ‘Stress Management ’, ‘enhancing performance’, ‘Forecasting’, ‘Social Knowledge’ and ‘interpersonal awareness’ will serve me well, specifically as a leader of individuals and a contributing core team leader. To achieve these goals, I have chartered a systematic and realistic timeline to accomplish these goals. However entering a business development industry, I have ignored the culture aspect which is deeming as important.
As the business world is getting flatter, understanding a new language does not fully allow me to understand a new culture. Incorporate feedback After seeking feedback, I intend to make changes to my LDP. To further improve on my understanding of different cultures, one of the methods is to socialize with different community. As social interaction is a powerful informal tool to help me to understand different customs, tradition and values. This can be done by doing volunteering work or attending social events to widen my social circles. Finalized Timeline development plan
The finalized part of this paper is to set the timeline of my development plan and the criteria to evaluate myself. The first dimension that I would change is on Self-management. As mention earlier on, I will exercise regularly, partake on volunteering work and have at least six hours of sleep every night. This will start now and be an on-going process for the rest of my life. The next dimension will be on interpersonal awareness. As the ‘Diploma in psychology’ is a 14 month course, therefore I plan to uptake this course once I complete my probation in my first marketing job.
Since this is a foundation of my work requirement and would serve me in the long run. The learning of a third language, Spanish, to improve on my social knowledge will be after I completed my Diploma in psychology. This will occurs around my second or third year of my career. Taking in consideration of the feedback I received, interaction of people in different community will be an on-going process. To improve on my task management skills, attending short courses can occurs during my free times as it does not take much times.
The best time I foresee is during my holidays and leaves to enrich myself. However taking up a Master of Science in International Marketing Management, the suitable time would be around the fourth or fifth year of my career, where I foresee myself leading a team of own and I would have completed the course I mentioned earlier on. As forecasting is a change in my leadership style and my methods. This will be an on-going process once I am able to lead my own team. However this can be evaluated over the years by calculating my accuracy in my prediction.
The increase of accuracy in my prediction will be deem as I have adequate competencies in this skill. Conclusion In this paper, producing my personal development plan, allows me to further understand on my strengths and weakness, personality and even the type of leadership styles that suits me. Since the LDP is formed towards my vision of being a business development director or entrepreneur at the end of my career. This will serve as a guideline for my own personal development into a more comprehensive individual and as a leader for the next five years.