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Leadership Plan

Introduction Over the next several pages I will focus on how I will become a better leader. I will use theories to support my point of view while also putting together a comprehensive and realistic plan for how I plan to become the leader I want to be. I will also point out the strengths I possess today to help achieve my desired end-state: an effective leader. Leadership Theories In order to achieve the plan I explain later we must understand the leadership traits I strive to emulate. According to Pierce honesty and integrity are virtues in all individuals but have special significance for leaders. (2011) While this is a significant trait found in leaders I think our text sums it up a little better with this statement I will do exactly what I say I will do when I say I will do it. If I change my mind, I will tell you well in advance so you will not be harmed by my actions. (Pierce 2011) These statements set the foundation for my ability to be able to address the concerns I have as a leader. Being trusted by your team is one of the more important values in my leadership style. While we have learned through our text this is one of the most important traits seen in the most effective leaders I have seen this myself and it is a trait I hope to emulate more closely in my daily dealings. Strengths and Weaknesses To understand my plan to become a more effective leader we must understand the attributes I bring to the table today. During the course of this class I have asked eleven of my coworkers in different capacities to rate my leadership attributes. This was conducted as a 360 degree feedback session. The results of this feedback not only addressed my strengths, but also my weaknesses. The highest rated attributes as ranked by my sample group were I act ethically,

Leadership Plan

demonstrate a strong work ethic, I meet commitments, I treat people with respect, I present clearly and convincingly and display confidence and courage. Areas where my focus group identified I need to work on were to communicate openly and honestly, to know when to challenge, I needed to create challenging/enjoyable work and I need to build teams and relationships. Each of these areas had specific examples of what I needed to work on and I address each of these in my plan to become a more effective leader. From my strengths I plan to leverage my strength of acting ethically to establish to norms for my team. This strength was defined by my team as taking responsibility for my actions. It was recognized I do this as a normal course of action and it is seen as a strength within the team. The gaps I have discussed with my coaching partner throughout this course revolve around increasing my ability to effectively communicate with my team. As part of this I want to ensure that I am creating a welcoming environment when I meet with members of my team. I also want to ensure I am presenting all of the information my team needs to make decisions thus, increasing their lateral movement. Development Plan In the coaching session I identified three major steps I need to take to ensure I can communicate more effectively. The steps are to 1) Disseminate information in a timelier manner 2) Set aside office time on a daily basis to ensure communication are sent on a daily basis 3) Modulate information from senior executives and relate it to the employees. After the coaching session I realized I needed to prioritize and implement my corrective actions so, I could focus on each one until it was a part of my normal routine. The first thing I started working on was to establish a set office time every day where I would communicate the pertinent information daily. A subset of this was to take better notes throughout the day. This

Leadership Plan

resulted in my passing information on to stakeholders prior to them asking me a second time for the information. Implementation of this as part of my routine was implemented immediately. While I have implemented these changes it is important to realize these actions must be monitored and recalibrated on a reoccurring basis. I have decided to check with my peers, direct reports and my boss to see how I am doing on a monthly basis. This check-in will ensure I am completing the actions I said I would but, also ensures it is being interpreted the in-line with my intentions by multiple stakeholders. The final step I have in my plan is to modulate information from senior executives and how it relates to the employees. One of the challenges I have found over time is sometimes messages coming out from our executive team wasnt something the typical employee was going to pay attention to or understand. It is my goal to do a better job of showing employees how their individual actions contribute to the goals of the corporation. One of the first examples I ran into this happened just a couple of weeks ago. We had a corporate communication come out talking about 3rd quarter profits and what the dividend return was going to be. I took this opportunity to check with a couple of my direct reports to see if they actually understood what this meant to them. When I heard they didnt even read the article or watch the video from our CEO I asked why. They stated they assume in these presentations everyone has an MBA. While I didnt fully agree with their statement I understood they didnt comprehend what the message was trying to say. I spent the next couple of hours drafting an email showing them how this message pertained to them. Checking my Progress While I have taken steps to address my entire plan I have a long way to go. In order to do this as a part of my normal routine I am going to have to continue to work these activities on a

Leadership Plan

consistent basis. Of course these are not all of my goals to become a more effective leader they are the foundation I need to establish in order to achieve all of my goals. An example of this would be to ensure I am communicating effectively through both verbal and written communications. Once I have established the ability to effectively communicate I plan to build on my ability to actively engage employees in an effort to build more cohesive teams. Timeline In a manner of timelines I hope to have established more effective communications by the end of the year with consistent status checks throughout the following year. Within six months I hope to have increased my ability to actively engage employees and checking my progress by month seven. By the end of 2012 I plan to participate in another 360 degree feedback session to see how I am doing overall. I want to ensure I dont comprise my current skills by solely focusing on my weaknesses. Benefits How will this plan help my employees, organization and I? I think this will occur on the position of the person. For my employees I hope to become more reliable and be better informed. As part of this I think they will better understand the decisions I make and the though process behind them. For my organization I think they will get a better communicator open to working with other entities within the corporation. For me I think it will force me to make some key changes that will carry over into my personal life. While I am very confident in my daily actions within my corporation I think it is a matter of comfort. I have been doing the same job in increasing responsibility for the past ten years. I have had the benefit of being one of the people all new people are introduced too instead of me going out to meet them. By putting my action plan into action I will have to go out and

Leadership Plan

meet with people on a consistent basis to ensure I am reaching my goals. When I am successful I should be able to be a better communicator with both known and unknown entities. Conclusion Over the past several pages I have discussed my plan to become a more effective leader. One of the points I didnt make during my paper directly but I would like to do in closing is I feel to be an effective leader we must continually reflect on our actions and continue to learn from them. This is one of the key takeaways I have from this course and plan to use this to implement and achieve my action plan.

References

Leadership Plan Pierce & Newstrom (2011) Leaders and the Leadership Process. 6th edition, New York: McGraw Hill Publishers