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Personal Leadership Development Plan

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Anyone can be an effective leader – given the right tools, skills, followers and situation (context). The purpose of the following assignment is to guide you through a leadership development process. You will be asked to analyze your current situation, your leadership skills, and your personal career goals to produce positive change and improvement in your leadership and influence competencies.

There are five sections to this plan:

1. First, you will describe your “career-leadership” goal for the 12-18 months following your current educational experience (e.g., move into supervisory position, manage a team, become department director, become project manager).

2. The way you approach learning is an important element of your development as a leader. Your analysis of how you currently learn along with ways to improve your learning style is the purpose of this section.

3. Based on your self-assessment of your leadership style and the three individuals who have assessed you, you will analyze the results so as to gain an understanding of patterns and trends of others’ perceptions and how that may or may not differ from yours.

4. Your network assessment will help you understand how you currently use networks for business and personal reasons and how you can improve their effectiveness to help you as a leader.

5. Lastly, you will then highlight two areas of improvement – your “Leadership Improvement Goals.”

Note: The process should take you several hours and be worked on over several days – thoroughness is key here, not only to your grade, but also to provide you with a useful document and development plan to take away from this course.

I will be happy to meet with you individually to discuss your plans and goals.

Section 1: Your Career-Leadership Goal

In the space below, respond to the following question. What leadership capacity do you want to attain within the 12-18 months after completing your current educational experience? Be as specific as possible and give detail as to why this is an appropriate goal for you to aspire toward.

The following questions are designed only to prompt your thinking: Do you want to manage multiple projects or people?
Do you want to run a department or area?
Do you want to move into senior management within a particular function? Do you want to stay within your position but increase your ability to influence others to reach objectives? Do you want to take on your first leadership role?

I would like to join a firm, preferably in the Airlines or Life Sciences domain, as a Data Scientist and help them assist making business decisions utilizing various Big Data and Analytics technologies and tools.

I would like head a team of few data scientists and data analysts and hone my leadership skills. I would like to mentor them and in turn learn from that experience. I am keen on training as well as leading people.

I would also like to create an environment of sharing and building upon others ideas within my team. I believe such environment creates innovative capabilities within the individuals and the organization. I want to be a leader who promotes interaction within team and is actively involved in all discussions with them.

Section 2: Your Learning Style / Improving your learning style

Key Elements of My Current Learning Style
Current style: What works and what doesn’t
Key Elements of my New Learning Style

Tactile Learner

I easily remember things that I have done and seen, but have difficulty remembering things that I heard. I am trying my best to become an active listener and results are already showing up. Hands on Practice needed. I look for doing things practically rather than just talking about it. Though I think strategically, I find it hard to imagine the big picture. I am learning to think a step or two ahead of what would be the result of my actions and how would they be used in the bigger picture No pain, no gain. Put in the efforts to fetch the results.

I don’t interact with many people to arrive at a conclusion I will put in my best efforts to discuss with people and understand their opinion Section 3: Leadership Assessment (“Your Leadership Style”)

In this section, you will first develop a summary (your own and that of others) of your leadership assessments.

Complete your self-assessment (next page)
Select 3 work colleagues to complete assessments for you (see separate file with Leadership Assessment document to send to others). This survey will focus on your behaviors. Section 3, cont’d: Leadership Self-Assessment

Instructions: Read each item carefully and think about how often you engage in the described behavior within work settings. Indicate your response by circling one of the five numbers to the right of each item. Please be as honest and frank as possible.

Fairly Often
Very Often
1. Tells group members what they are supposed to do.

2. Acts friendly with members of the group.

3. Sets standards of performance for group members.

4. Helps others feel comfortable in the group.

5. Makes suggestions about how to solve problems.

6. Responds favorably to suggestions made by others.

7. Makes his or her perspective clear to others.

8. Treats others fairly.

9. Develops a plan of action for the group.

10. Behaves in a predictable manner toward group.

11. Defines role responsibilities for each group member.

12. Communicates actively with group members.

13. Clarifies his or her own role within the group.

14. Shows concern for the well-being of others.

15. Provides a plan for how the work is to be done.

16. Shows flexibility in making decisions.

17. Provides criteria for what is expected of the group.

18. Discloses thoughts and feelings to group members.

19. Encourages group members to do high-quality work.

20. Helps group members get along.

Section (3) continued: Scoring your Leadership Self-Assessment

The questionnaire is designed to measure two major types of leadership behaviors: task and relationship. Score the questionnaire by doing the following. First, sum the responses on the odd-number items (items #1, #3, #5, etc.). This is your TASK score. Second, sum the responses on the even-numbered items (items #2, #4, #6, etc.). This is your RELATIONSHIP score.

Section (3) continued

The following questions are designed to help you make a reflective assessment of your “usual” or current leadership behaviors.

1. What does the assessment tell you about how you balance task and relationship behaviors as a leader?

The assessment tells me that I am better at relationships than at tasks, with both the self-scores in moderate range. According to others’ assessments too I am better at relationships compared to tasks, however they rate me I the high range for both.

2. What differences are there between your scores and those of ‘others’? What do think these differences mean?

On an average the difference is 5 in each of them. It basically means that they rate me higher or precisely they think I am much better at tasks and relationships that I rate myself.

3. Were there differences to the scores that the “others” provided to you? How might you explain these differences?

On an average the difference is 5 in each of them. It basically means that they rate me higher or precisely they think I am much better at tasks and relationships that I rate myself.

4. Describe your leadership style based upon the score from both self and others.

Based on the self and others score, I appear to be a level 3 leader.

5. What were the top rated questions across both self and other?

i. Helps others feel comfortable in the group
ii. Shows concern for the well-being of others

6. What were the lowest rated questions across both self and other?

i. Discloses thoughts and feelings to group members
ii. Provides criteria for what is expected of the group
iii. Encourages group members to do high-quality work

7. What were the biggest (self and others) differences? Why do think these differences exist?

i. Communicates actively with group members
ii. Discloses thoughts and feelings to group members

The difference in first exists because others rated me higher than I rated myself. I believe my communication is not that good, however it appears that people believe that I communicate well.

The difference in second exists because others rated me higher than I rated myself. I do not disclose my thoughts and feelings to group members, however people think that I do though that’s not the case. Section 4:

Network Assessment Exercise
(adapted from HBS 9-497-002, March 29, 2002)

Network assessment tool summary steps

Steps 1, 2: List/consolidate contact names
Step 3: Describe closeness of relationship
Step 4: Determine network density
Step 5: Assess level, function, and diversity of your network contacts Step 6: Diagnosing your network

Step 1: List Your Network Contacts (no more than 6 per area)

a. Work or academic contacts (e.g. feedback on projects, support for initiatives, etc.)

b. Job search (e.g. those who have provided leads, made introductions, helped in decision-making, etc.)

c. Friends

d. Professional development while in school (those during the past year)

Step 2: Consolidate the list for those identified in step 1 (i.e. remove duplicates if any) and add to your network grid.

Step 3: Describe the Closeness of the relationship (very close/close/not very close/distant) in your network grid.

Step 4: Calculate network density
a. Total number of people in your network, N = ________
b. Maximum density (i.e. if everyone in your network knows each other). M = [N * (N-1) ] / 2 = _________ c. Total number of checkmarks on your network grid, C = _____ d. Density of your network, D = C / M = ________

Step 5: Summary
a. Total number of people in your network, N = ________
b. Number of “very close” relationships in your network = ________ c. Density of your network, D = ________
d. Characteristics of your network; number of people who are: i. From the same industry background = _________
ii. From the same company = _________
iii. Fellow students = _________
iv. Faculty members = _________
v. More senior than you = _________
vi. At your level = _________
vii. More junior than you (age or position) = _________
viii. The same gender as you = _________
ix. The same ethnicity as you = _________
x. The same nationality as you = _________

Step 6: Diagnosing your network

a. Assess gaps in your network
i. What groups are over- or under-represented?
ii. Who is missing?
iii. Upon who are you over-reliant?
iv. What relationships do you need to add?
v. What network areas do you need to add?

b. Based on your goals and other assessments, what strategies do you need to develop to support your growth?

Your network grid
VCL = very close
CL = close
NVC = not very close
DI = distant

Section 5: Your Improvement Plan

Improvements: Now, you are ready to target two goals for improvement. What are two areas of improvement in your leadership behaviors that will help you function more effectively and more importantly help you reach your career-leadership goal? For each area of improvement (i.e., leadership improvement goal), provide a brief explanation as to why that area of improvement is important for your career-leadership goal.

Leadership Improvement Goal #1
I do not interact with my subordinates much and never set proper goals for them. Whatever goals are set, they are short term. I will now always plan ahead of time and create a 6-12 months goals document for each of them. I will discuss with them what are they looking forward to do in their job and how they see their growth pattern.

This will help me build better rapport with them and also a vision to build a better team keeping in mind their career aspirations.

Leadership Improvement Goal #2
I only see myself practicing affiliative and pacesetting styles of leadership. May be a bit of coaching style too. I lack a lot in other three styles and I will look forward to work on and learn each and everyone of them.

I want to become an effective leader in each and every situation and I do understand that it will take a lot of time, patience and practice. I believe that I have the capability to turn around things for myself. I will be always be committed to learn more and become a better leader.

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