Leadership. A 5-Year Personal Development Plan

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Leadership skill/behaviour to be developed Challenge it will help you contribute to Type of learning activity Learning outcome expected Period planned for the activity
Communication Effective communication means that tasks are understood by the employees, contributing to the objectives of the business. Learn about active listening by reading ‘Active listening’, ‘How to practice active listening’ by Cuncic (2019), and ‘Become a better listener’ by Grohol (2020) (Active listening, no date).
Practice active listening with friends and family, ask for feedback;
Practise active listening with colleagues
Improved active listening skills, measured through feedback from people before and after the learning activity on a scale from 1 to 10 July 2020 – September 2020
Empowering Empowering helps employees take responsibility for their actions, creating a better engagement. Read “When empowering employees works, and when it doesn’t’ by Lee, Willis and Tian (2018) and discuss empowering with fellow managers. Create a strategy for empowering the organisation’s employees March 2021 – May 2021
Motivation Employee motivation directly affects the productivity and outcomes of their performance. Learn more about the motivation theory developed by Maslow and Locke, enrol in a course about improving employee motivation Create an employee motivation plan September 2022 – September 2023
Creativity Creative thinking will help differentiate my organisation and solutions offered by it from others. Read ‘Creativity and the role of the leader’ by Amabile and Khaire (2008) and create a plan for improving creativity in my organisation. A learning session for the employees to support their creativity May 2023 – July 2023
Changing the nature of the workforce COVID-19, changing safety requirements and remote work opportunities Audit course “managing the future of work” (Managing the future of work, no date). Develop an understanding of challenges in the contemporary workplace and how to address them January 2024 – March 2025

Personal development plans (PDP) help reflect on one’s current abilities and shortcomings while also addressing the ways to improve and overcome these issues. In the table above, there are five elements of personal development that I would want to discuss to become a better leader. This reflection will outline the rationale for the 5-year PDP and link each aspect with the organisational challenges and objectives.

Communication is among the central leadership skills that allow one to facilitate sufficient work. The ability to “to clearly and succinctly explain to your employees everything from organisational goals to specific tasks” ensures that there is a mutual understanding between the leader and his employees (Doyle, 2019).

The skill of communication consists not only of one’s ability to speak but also implies active listening, which is the element I plan on working on. According to Moutafi, Furnham and Crump (2007), certain personality traits are prevalent with managers, with extraversion, which is connected to communication, being one of the critical characteristics. I will read an article by Doyle (2019) and Grohol (2016) to explore active listening in-depth, make notes, and practise the skill with my friends and family because I will be able to ask for their feedback. Next, I will try to apply active listening at work when communicating with my team.

Next, as I understood from the analysis of workplace scenarios I was a part of in the past, empowering employees is an essential skill for a leader as well. However, like Lee, Willis and Tian (2018) note, leaders should make distinctions between when to empower people and when this will not work or lead to anticipated results. In general, empowerment is associated with better engagement and commitment to the business (Burke, 2016; Burke and Richardsen, 2016). The theory I learned in this module, together with additional research and practice, will help me empower the team members I will work with in the future.

Motivation is a factor that directly translates into the quality of work, and a leader must be able to find ways of motivating their employees. This skill becomes especially important in uncertain times, for example, the ones we have now where people are afraid of losing their jobs, many projects are postponed or cancelled, and organisations are looking for ways to decrease their costs because their survival depends on it. To address this, I plan on assessing the factors that can motivate the members of my team based on the analysis of their traits.

In addition, Locke’s goal-setting theory implies the need to set particular goals instead of using vague phrases, which can help boost motivation and employees ability to understand and perform in accordance with these goals (Locke and Latham, 2019). Therefore, I plan on applying a comprehensive framework, such as SMART, to create and set objectives for my team.

Creativity is a trait that is uncommon in the field that my organisation work in. However, it is valuable and can lead to better performance. Mainly, the team members I work with have strong analytical skills that masterfully use data to make decisions and work through projects. However, I have noticed that in some cases, creativity would help design better products for our clients and make them less standardised.

As competitiveness increases, the ability to approach tasks creatively will become vital, and I think it is my task as a leader to show people how to develop their creativity. Moreover, creativity is applicable to leaders as well, since being able to think outside the box can sometimes be essential for successfully addressing challenges, which is why I included this competency in the development plan.

One of the main strategic leadership challenges that my organisation faces is the uncertainty associated with the COVID-9 pandemic, the need to restructure the workflow to account for remote work and create a safe environment for people who cannot work from home. Based on this strategic challenge, I included “improving my knowledge of the changing nature of the work environment” as one of the essential knowledge areas that I will have to improve. I plan on improving this area of expertise by auditing an online course from HarvardEx, titled Changing Nature of Work‘, that specifically targets the issues companies are now facing (Managing the future of work, no date). I also plan on reviewing how my organisation facilitated remote work for the employees, what were the challenges, what improvements can be made and whether some positions can remain remote even after the lockdown.

To conclude, as a professional, I understand the importance of developing personal and leadership traits, and the 5-year plan will help me achieve these goals. I plan on participating in different activities, such as reading articles and books, audit courses, practise new skills to work on improving my ability to communicate, set goals, and empower employees. In these uncertain times, this will help me reassure the team members and help my organisation overcome the difficulties.

Reference List

  1. Amabile T. and Khaire, M. (2008) Creativity and the role of the leader. Web.
  2. Burke, R. J. (2016) ‘Human resource management applications in the developing world: empowering employees’, Iranian Journal of Management Studies (IJMS), 9(4), pp. 795-800.
  3. Burke, R. J. and Richardsen, A. M. (2016) Women in management worldwide: signs of progress. Cleveland: CRC Press.
  4. Grohol, J. (2016) Become a better listener: active listening. Web.
  5. Cuncic, A. (2019) How to practice active listening. Web.
  6. Active listening. (no date) Web.
  7. Managing the future of work. (no date) Web.
  8. Moutafi, J., Furnham, A. and Crump, J. (2007) ‘Is managerial level related to personality?’, British Journal of Management, 18, pp. 272-280.
  9. Doyle, A. (2019) Important leadership skills for workplace success. Web.
  10. Lee, A., Willis, S. and Tian, A. W. (2018) When empowering employees works, and when it doesn’t. Web.
  11. Locke, E. A., and Latham, G. P. (2019) ‘The development of goal setting theory: a half century retrospective’, Motivation Science, 5(2), pp. 93–105.

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BusinessEssay. "Leadership. A 5-Year Personal Development Plan." November 20, 2022. https://business-essay.com/leadership-a-5-year-personal-development-plan/.