Personal Leadership Development Plan Essay

Pages: 4 (1488 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Leadership

Personal Leadership Development Plan

As a managerial leader, I have many strong suits. I am a detached and rational decision-maker, which manifests itself in a number of key strengths. I have scored highly, for example, in setting goals and objectives and in presenting ideas. This speaks to the clarity with which I see the organization and its mission. I can translate that mission to goals and explain my ideas easily. I can organize the teams and power bases required to meet the objectives.

My rational nature ensures that I am adaptive. Change does not bother me and I score well in managing time and stress. These are both traits of highly rational leaders. Many of the points on which I score at moderate-to-high levels also relate to planning, organizing and negotiating. I have clearly demonstrated the ability to make the best use of my technical abilities to guide my leadership style.

Technical skill and vision, however, represent only a couple of the key traits of a leader. Edwin Locke proposed that vision and technical ability are important leadership factors, but that the ability to implement the vision is just as important (Locke, 1999). My most significant areas of weakness relate to this component of leadership. For example, I score poorly at managing projects and fostering a productive work environment. While I can conceptualize a project with my technical skills, I do not appear to have much ability to convince others to perform their tasks, which affects my scores. I am relatively weak at managing core processes, managing conflict, developing employees and understanding self and others. Each of these speaks to the human interactive element of leadership. The clear divergence between the types of strengths and weaknesses illustrates very clearly that my leadership style relies heavily on technical ability and much less on interpersonal skills.

My two weakest roles are managing projects and fostering a productive work environment. My weakness in these roles derives from my lack of ability in interpersonal skills. For example, I recorded a low score on aptitude/tendency towards a supportive leadership style. My relationship scores on the style questionnaire also were low. I am an ISTJ. My style emphasizes control, planning and structure, and as a result I have a natural tendency to de-emphasize the human elements of leadership. I am weak on most human competencies, such as understanding others, relating to others and motivating others. Because I am internally driven, I have little concept of how others might be motivated -- I naturally assume them to be internally driven just like me.

While fostering a productive work environment is clearly related directly to my interpersonal skills, it is a little more difficult to pin down my weakness in project management. Whereas motivation roles can be based largely on an understanding of interpersonal dynamics, project management seems as though it would incorporate both interpersonal and technical aspects. The technical side of project management incorporates a significant amount of project design, flowchart development and other tasks where I should score well. It may be that I perform as poorly as I do at project management specifically because I overstate the role of technical competencies in the task and understate the role of non-technical competencies. The role that interpersonal factors such a motivation, listening, and work environment play may render my technical skills nearly worthless in a project management environment. Indeed, Perce (1998) identified that the three most important skills in project management are negotiation, conflict resolution and interpersonal problem solving -- all three being oriented to the interpersonal.

The primary objective of my personal leadership development plan is to improve my interpersonal skills within 180 days. It is essential to my ability to leader in the future that I address my deficiencies of today with a sense of urgency and determination. Interpersonal skills can be difficult to acquire because they speak to the core of one's innate nature. However, by putting some basic interpersonal skills into practice, good habits can develop. Being aware of the problem is the first step, as it allows for weaknesses to be identified. I have reached this part of the process, and now need to focus on the individual competencies that are held by those with strong interpersonal skills. By imitating these behaviors and by being cognizant of the need to develop these skills, I can construct and execute a plan that I can follow.

The individual skills of those who perform strongly on interpersonal skills tests… [END OF PREVIEW]

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