Professional Development Plan
Leadership as a vocation requires a commitment to professional excellence and integrity, which can be achieved through establishing habits of self-reflection, life-long learning, and professional development. The purpose of this assignment is for you to reflect on where you currently are in your leadership capabilities; define where you want to go; and specify goals, plans, and a timeframe for achieving your professional objectives. Your professional development plan will be composed of three parts: Vision, Goals/Objectives, and Plans.
The ability to create, communicate, and compel vision is critical to inspiring and effective leadership. While ultimately many leaders are responsible for developing visions to guide complex organizations, effective leadership begins on a much more personal level—a vision of yourself as a leader. Who are you and who do you want to become in your field or sphere of influence? Once you are clear about that, you can then confidently establish how you will help others and your organization achieve their visions.
Your leadership vision is based on a number of factors including your attitude, values, personal beliefs, guiding principles, and how you behave. It may also be influenced by theoretical, philosophical, or religious frameworks and the leadership traits, values, and behaviors of others. A leadership vision is also dynamic. No great leader ever “arrived.” Those who have adopted leadership as their vocation can spend a lifetime in self-reflection in order to continue to learn and more effectively motivate and inspire others.
Spend some time reflecting below on where you currently are in your leadership capabilities, what you have learned about leadership in the course, and how you want to develop and improve as you continue your leadership studies and move forward in your field. Review the document “Essential Leadership Competencies” for an overview of the scope of effective leadership capabilities.
Then, in 300-500 words, briefly articulate your vision for yourself as a leader 3-5 years from now. Where do you want to be? What kind of leader do you want to become?
After you have stated your vision, create five to eight leadership goals/objectives you will strive to meet in the next 3-5 years. Try to formulate at least one goal/objective related to the four major leadership competencies included in “Essential Leadership Competencies”: self-leadership, leading others, leading an organization, and leadership as a vocation. Include a brief justification for each goal/objective to explain how it will help you achieve the qualities of professional excellence and integrity required of excellent leaders.
Specify activities you will engage in to achieve your goals/objectives. You may find it helpful to research professional development activities in your field or organization to determine what resources are available to you. Be specific about projects you will engage in either as student or as a professional and identify people in your life who can help you achieve your goals. Be sure to include a timeline of events.
Finally, include a method for evaluating your professional development plan at regular intervals. What milestones will you include in your plan to help ensure its success? How will you use methods of self-reflection to assess your progress as you move towards your goals?
Essential Leadership Competencies
Self-leadership provides an opportunity to achieve your objectives through your own thinking, feelings, and behaviors. Self-reflection is a necessary tool to improve the way you function as a leader. How do you plan to practice methods of self-reflection that contribute to the development of how you lead?
Recognition of characteristics of professional excellence plays a key role during interviews and performance evaluations. These characteristics must be visible to colleagues and stakeholders in order for you to benefit from them. Which characteristics of professional excellence do you currently have? Which characteristics of professional excellence do you want to have?
Emotional and social intelligence skills translate to communication skills. Leaders who are able to access their emotional center have an advantage over leaders who only rely on intellect. Emotional and social intelligence can be an area of significant personal growth.
Continued professional development delivers benefits to individuals, their profession, their community, and possibly the world at large. Most notably, continued professional development keeps you desirable in your current position and attractive to potential employers, if needed.
Organizational responses to change in the workplace are the result of individual leaders who are employed within the organization. As a leader, the ability to manage change is essential. How can you demonstrate flexibility and adaptability in response to changing or unknown circumstances?
An effective leader has followers and inspires them. This relationship is mutually beneficial. Leaders and followers support each other in order to achieve goals, vision, or objectives. How do you plan to inspire followership through the utilization of leadership and motivation theories?
Diversity can be a strength within a team and organization. First, diversity must be recognized and leveraged as a strength. Diversity provides fresh ideas and perspective for a team or organization. How will you analyze people’s strengths in order to leverage diversity to improve performance outcomes?
Communication and collaboration are increasingly important in a global and digital environment. Effective communication and collaboration among different stakeholders are prevalent in the workplace to meet business goals. What strategies for effectively leading teams and fostering collaboration among various stakeholders will you apply?
A great leader seeks to coach and guide in order to develop leadership qualities in others. Most leaders have had the opportunity to be coached by other great leaders. Coaching others enables people to improve their performance. What are some methods of coaching and providing guidance that help develop leadership qualities in others?
Leading an Organization
Analyzing organizational behavior can drive innovative change and encourage organizational growth, including improved outcomes. When new leadership is established, the leader often sets a vision. The leader must evaluate systematic interdependencies among individuals, team, and departments to inform their vision and apply innovation to improve organizational outcomes.
How can you develop and communicate a compelling vision to guide organizational development? How do you plan to analyze organizational behavior to determine systemic interdependencies among individuals, teams, and departments? How do you plan to integrate creativity and innovation to improve organizational outcomes through leadership?
New and existing leadership requires the leader and the followers to be of the same mind. How can you foster a climate of learning and development within an organization?
Organizational responses to technological advances and economic shifts contribute to change in the workplace. What strategies can be utilized for implementing and managing change within an organization?
Leading as Vocation
Numerous historical and recent events provide examples of leaders that did and did not understand they had a moral obligation to lead with kindness, compassion, and justice for the good of followers and the community. The outcomes of these events may directly and indirectly affect you, your peers, the community, and society. What are some guidelines to ensure you lead with moral obligation for the good of followers and the community? How do you intend to lead with kindness, compassion, and justice?
Leaders who consider leadership their vocation consider it a service to others and for the common good. How do you intend to implement leadership as a service to others that promotes the common good and contributes to the benefits of communities and society at large?
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