Personal Leadership Development Plan Term Paper

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My personal leadership development plan is based my intention to use transformational leadership theory to promote healthcare-eldercare advocacy in my organizational behavior. As Shanks and Buchbinder (2012) show, “leadership development includes both formal and informal efforts” (p. 279). Completing courses online or at a university are formal ways to develop one’s leadership skills, while informal efforts can include anything from mentoring others to coaching and guiding staff members in new tasks or cross-discipline work. No matter the method employed, a personal leadership development plan should utilize a strategy for maximizing leadership effectiveness by implementing an appropriate theoretical support for the plan, recognizing one’s leadership strengths, correcting one’s leadership weaknesses, and identifying action items that will help close gaps between being the leader one is now and being the leader one seeks to become.

Transformational Leadership

Transformational leadership is a style of leadership that can be applied in virtually any discipline or arena (Doody & Doody, 2012; Atkin-Plunk & Armstrong, 2013). Its strong appeal is situated in the fact that those who practice it use vision, communication, and motivation techniques to encourage workers to identify with and strive towards achieving the organizational goals. Transformational leaders present followers with a vision of where the organization is and where it should be and then motivates these followers to rally behind the movement to the goal. Transformational leadership theory can support positive change and development in a range of settings and certainly applies in a personal leadership plan in healthcare-eldercare.

Warrick (2011) states that “transformational leaders are leaders who are skilled at leading, championing change, and transforming organizations” (p. 14). Their ability to transform workers from moderately productive to highly-productive employees is rooted in their vision and the way in which they communicate this vision. Other qualities of the transformational leadership style include: idealized influence, inspiration, intellectual stimulation, and individual consideration (Doody & Doody, 2012). A leader applying the transformational theory in healthcare should take care to provide followers with an ideal to work towards. The ideal influences their behavior and gives them a sense of something higher that they can rise up to meet. This is a way of teaching them about their higher self, in a sense. The leader then inspires the workers to reach for this ideal by giving them encouraging words and supportive communications. This support acts as their motivation to want to be the kind of worker represented in the ideal. However, the healthcare provider must also be intellectually stimulated to want to achieve the ideal. Emotional encouragement and support is not enough: the ideal itself should be intellectually rewarding. This means that the vision should offer workers an advanced knowledge or skill that can be applied professionally and help one to develop one’s career. Finally, the leader should demonstrate care and consideration for each individual worker, personalizing efforts to drive a team, department or organization by getting to know the challenges each person faces and finding ways to help that person overcome these obstacles. In this sense, transformational leadership theory truly helps a leader to become an effective force for positive change.

My Leadership Strengths

My leadership strengths include self-confidence, positive attitude, emotional intelligence (EI), vision, ability to motivate people, the ability to be a good role model and the possession of a high degree of empathy towards others. Each of these qualities and characteristics is vital to being a good transformational leader. Self-confidence allows me to approach problem-solving knowing that I can find the solution and apply it effectively: I believe in myself because I know that I am willing to put in the time and effort needed to analyze a situation, identify the issues, and draw on past experience and training to develop a strategy for addressing them. My positive attitude always helps to generate a friendly and upbeat atmosphere wherever I go. My emotional intelligence allows me to communicate effectively with peers and followers, as I am able to read body language and use body language as well as words to convey support, solidarity, trust, respect and other positive feelings to others.

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Instead of brusquely ignoring the feelings, natures and expressions of workers, I am able to use EI to see what it is that is being said to me and to say what needs to be heard so that everyone feels good about the exchange and comes away satisfied. My ability to envision the ideal and the way forward is imperative in transformational leadership, as is the ability to motivate and demonstrate the ideal in one’s own behavior. I regard myself as a good role model because I have embraced the principles I strive to get others to represent for the good of the organization, the patients, the staff and the community. And for that reason I display a high degree of empathy in all my exchanges with others because it is crucial to the success of a leader to be able to put oneself in another’s shoes and see the world through another’s eyes. This allows one to better understand the conditions that others are operating in and make adjustments to strategies that otherwise might not be as effective.

My Leadership Weaknesses

My leadership weaknesses include managing performance effectively, providing support and stimulation, and showing patience at all times with employees. Part of my drive to succeed is carried out in my enthusiasm to see others keep pace with me and oftentimes I forget that not everyone has the same drive or ability that I have exercised throughout my life. At times, it is important to recognize and accept that some need more time to process and develop and that in these moments patience is critical, because without it, a team’s morale may suffer—especially if members perceive that the leader is becoming frustrated and exasperated by their lack of improvement. In order to address this issue, I also recognize that managing performance effectively is a skill that I need to better develop so that I can stay on top of a team’s progress and help to be supportive during times where obstacles pop up. Giving support in creative and unexpected ways can be the difference making in stimulating workers to succeed and leaving them behind in failure.

My Plan

My plan for making the best use of my strengths and working to develop those qualities in which I am weakest is to engage in formal and informal exercise of my leadership development, as is recommended by Shanks and Buchbinder (2012). To that end, my personal leadership development plan is to take advantage of the number of….....

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Atkin-Plunk, C. A., & Armstrong, G. S. (2013). Transformational leadership skills and correlates of prison warden job stress. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 40(5), 551-568.

Doody, O., & Doody, C. M. (2012). Transformational leadership in nursing practice. British Journal of Nursing, 21(20), 1212-1218.

Shanks, N. H. & Buchbinder, S. B. (2012). Introduction to health care management. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning. 

Warrick, D. D. (2011). The urgent need for skilled transformational leaders: Integrating transformational leadership and organization development. Journal of Leadership, Accountability and Ethics, 8(5), 11-26.

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