Lessons in Personal Leadership Development: where do I go from here?

What have I learned?

What I have learned about myself and building my own authentic leadership through personal leadership development process and creation of my own personal leadership development plan is that there are many characteristics and considerations to take when assessing leadership qualities. Before taking this class I thought I had a good grasp on what makes a good leader. What I have learned is that leadership is not a simple as being defined by a few set characteristics. Leaders can actually be divided in to different types; such as compete, control, collaborate, and create. I also learned that leaders are defined by motivations, values, vision, and personality. But most of all I have learned that nobody possesses all of the leadership qualities covered in class, what really makes a good leader is the ability to find balance but recognize nobody is perfect.

Memo to Myself:

Always remember how naturally comfortable you are when it comes to stepping up and directing people. You are very motivated, energized, and work to the best of your ability. In addition, you are very organized, which helps focus on what’s important and what’s not.

Memo to my Team:

On behalf of your manager, I would like to leave you with a few words of advise that will help you take your performance from good to great. First, communication is key to success. When working in a team it is important to communicate goals, values and vision so that everyone is on the same page with the project. It is also key to coordination and understanding. I deem positive attitude as quality that will increase job performance too. Co-workers respect people with a positive attitude, and having a good attitude means greater work productivity and efficiency. Although the above things I listed are extremely important, one quality most people take for granite is passion. Passion is extremely important when it comes to performance, as it motivates and drives people to perform. Passion is the key to job satisfaction and an increasing quality of work so please do not take it for granite.

 

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Assessing My Current State of Leadership and Setting Leadership Development Goals

What is my CSL?

Beings I have done so many leadership exercises in class, I have decided to paint a portrait in words of what my current state of leadership looks like. When I took the CFV test, my result was compete. This means I am naturally active and energized, a producer and director, work hard, and aim to be the best. By reading through the FSL, I identify very well with authentic engagement, responsible freedom, and detached interdependence. More recently I took the “what motivates me?” survey. From this I have learned that I am motivated by activities in which I will gain some sort of reward. Similarly, I enjoy activities only if they will lead to my personal happiness and enjoyment.

I learned previously in the semester about my personality by taking the big 5-personality test. According to the test, I am an introvert, very open to experiences, but need to work on my emotional stability. As far as confidence goes, tests show that I believe in myself very much, so much so that I can be hard on myself when I fail. When I asked others for their input on my current leadership qualities, I surprisingly got all of the same feedback I did from completing the exercises in class (hard worker, passionate, but too hard on myself). Finally, in analyzing my most admired leader (my mother), I came to the realization that I admire her so much because she has the following leadership qualities I tend to lack: selflessness, reflectiveness, and self-control.

Overall, I am very energized and motivated as a leader when there is some sort of reward at steak. I would say that I rarely seek out leadership opportunities if there is nothing in it for me. That being said, I still care about others feelings and highly believe in respect in the workplace. As a leader I am very open to opinions and ideas of others as long as they will aid in achieving good performance. I am also very independent and not afraid to push competition out of the way. I naturally love being the smartest person, and want to be the best person in the workplace. Because of that I naturally lead and direct people, and genuinely believe I am the best person to do so. I am a very confident leader, but if I receive criticism or fail, it crushes me more than it should. Instead of accepting mistakes as natural and important to leadership growth, I take them as imperfections and degrading to performance. Another leadership quality I lack is the ability to be reflective and have self-control. In order to close these leadership gaps, I need to work on building interpersonal skills by involving myself more communication-oriented situations. Also, if I surround myself with people who have positive energy this may help stop me from being so hard on myself.

2 Leadership Development Goals

In order to develop my leadership to the next level I have come up with two goals that reflect my leadership vision of becoming a more effective and authentic leader and my CSL summary described above. The first goal I would like to establish is improving my interpersonal skills by volunteering myself in more face-to-face, communication-orientated situations. I believe this goal is measurable because it can be easily self-monitored. At first I may be uncomfortable, but as I keep pushing myself in to communication-oriented situations it will become easier and I will see progress in my interpersonal skills. This goal is attainable because it is not too hard. There are lots of opportunities in the community and workplace to involve myself in communication-oriented volunteer work. It is a time-bound goal because it is a skill I can acquire in a few moths time, as long as I volunteer my time constantly each week. This goal supports my leadership vision because interpersonal skills are absolutely necessary for becoming a more effective and authentic leader. Interpersonal skills means building relationships, and leading with heart, two things that I lack in my CSL.

The second goal I would like to establish is fining ways that will help me cope with failure so I am not so hard on myself. This goal is attainable because I simply want to find ways in which I can help myself not be so hard, not necessarily finding the solution just yet. It is measurable because as I find possible methods to cope, I can try them out and see what works and what does not while keeping a metal note of the results. This goal is time-bound because I can easily find and try out multiple methods in a span of six months. This goal supports my leadership vision of being a more effective and authentic leader because finding ways in which I can cope with my tendency to be hard on myself will allow me to lead more with purpose (organizations goals in mind), rather than leading on my own fear of failing.

Above in my CSL summary, the goals I described are actually formulated from the two leadership weaknesses I currently possess. Therefore, if I work hard and achieve theses goals they will help me develop in to a better leader. My goal is to fulfill these goals in no more than 6 months time, so I can re-evaluate where I stand as a leader, and reassess my goals semi-annually.

My Personality and My Authentic Leadership

My personality has always been a confusing subject matter to me. I know that everyone has a distinct personality, however I have a hard time trying to distinguish what my personality is. This is because I am one of those people who tend to change their personality to fit in with their surroundings. This assignment was a great opportunity for me to finally pinpoint some of my distinct personality traits and strengths to help me become a more effective, authentic leader.

The biggest thing I have learned from all of the personality test this assignment entailed me to complete is that I am an introvert, so in other words I am naturally reserved and uncomfortable with social gatherings. Knowing I am an introvert is good because building effective relationships is one of the major qualities of being and effective leader. So if I can focus on developing my social skills it will help me feel more comfortable communicating with others, ultimately leading me to become a good relationship builder. One way I can develop social skills is by going out of the way to talk with others as compared to just shutting myself off from people.

Passion capital was a term outlined in the previous assignment as being something that makes a good leader and contributes to success. Energy, intensity, and sustainability are the main components that make up passion capital, based on my personality results I would say that I naturally excel in the energy makeup of passion capitol. I have a very high intellect/imagination; meaning I have a lot of energy because I am very open to new experiences and adventure. My plan is to transfer the energy I have to others who might not have it or who might be lacking in it. I can do this by showcasing my work ethic and positive attitude, and by being a good example to others through these qualities. Energizing others will help me be an effective leader because positive energy spreads throughout a team like wildfire, motivating workers.

Another personality insight I had was that I am on the higher end of the grit scale, which means I am very strong in character, courageous, and passionate. Knowing that I have grit is great because it is such a respected quality and knowing I acquire grit gives me self-confidence. I plan on using this newfound confidence to push myself in to situations I am uncomfortable with. Even though it will be tough, grit means I will make decisions and learn and grow from them. In addition, putting myself in hard situations will help me gain more knowledge and experience, which are key requirements of a leader.

Overall I have learned that I am an introvert, motivated and energetic, and gritty. Although I would not deem all of these qualities as strengths, they can only help me develop my leadership skills to be a more effective and authentic leader.

Reflecting on My Personal Leadership Values and Vision

 

I have learned a lot about my leadership values through completion of the Rokeach and CVF surveys. I now realize that my terminal and instrumental values are very self-centered. My highest terminal values include health, freedom, and world at beauty; my lowest are equality, world at peace, and national security. My highest instrumental values include ambition, imaginative, and intellectual; my lowest are obedience, self-control, and cleanliness. Clearly, I value my safety and world beauty before the safety of others, I also value my reputation over anything else, including respect for others and cleanliness.

The Rokeach survey shocked me, so I concluded it wasn’t very accurate until I took the CVF survey. My CVF result was blue, which is Compete. This category means that that I am a director and a producer. I like motivating others, setting objectives, working fast and effectively, and I value hard work and my reputation. This ended up correlating between my Rokeach results because Compete involves more self-centered attitude than teamwork.

To further my personal leadership development I need to obtain certain leadership qualities I currently lack. First, I need to focus more on building relationships and being more open-minded. I also need to acquire flexibility, and internal orientation. Lastly, I must improve tough love because I am assertive and bold, but need to be compassionate and understanding. To gain the above qualities I will involve myself in charity/volunteer work that will put me in more team driven situations, and/or situations that involve collaborative group effort.

My Personal Leadership Vision:

I am the first to begin and end projects. My work is imaginative and optimal. High pressure- I thrive! I motivate and develop organizations.