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In coming up with my own leadership development plan, the study paper will firstly provide an overview of my leadership style, its strengths and weaknesses. In addition, the paper will provide a brief history of my leadership style together with the recent activities I have undertaken, which have played a crucial role in improving these weaknesses and strengths. In the final part of the paper, there will be an outline of the plans relevant for the future growth and development as a leader.
Participative Leadership Style
There are several assignments and activities that have been instrumental in identifying my leadership style as participative leadership style. Also known as the democratic leadership, this is a leadership style in which each member of the group takes a more participative responsibility in the decision-making process. Researches and statistics indicate that this is the most effective leadership style in any group, and it mostly leads to higher productivity and better engagement of the group members. More so, participative leadership style boosts the morale of the group members, leading to better association. Participative leadership style comprises of the following characteristics, in as much as the leader reserves the right to make the final decision, there is free sharing of ideas and opinions among the members. In the event of any group task, it is important to encourage the members to participate through giving their ideas and opinions on the task. In the process, the members feel involved in the group activities and participate in the projects. Another notable characteristic in participative leadership style is the encouragement of equally rewarded creativity. In this case, an extension of attractive rewards will go to the group members for any creative ideas that they contribute towards the project. This is an encouragement strategy that will see the members increase their participation in the assigned tasks.
Democratic leadership style has several benefits, one of them being the innovation of better ideas and more creative problem solutions. This results from the group members' interaction and encouragement to be creative, while sharing their ideas and opinions. Allowing the group members to share their ideas will enable the leader to select the best possible idea for the assigned tasks. The constant involvement of the group members in the activities of the group enables them to be more committed to the projects, and care about the outcomes of the projects. Another notable benefit of democratic leadership style is the higher productivity among the group members. Since the group members will have a commitment towards the assigned tasks, the productivity will increase in the given duty (Greetham, 2010). However, participative leadership style has noteworthy limitations in planning for the leadership development. In cases where the members' obligations are unclear, or when working on an urgent project, there are high chances of communication breakdown and uncompleted projects. Participative leadership style works well, when all members have the necessary knowledge and expertise to make quality contributions towards the process of making decisions. In the event, the members lack the knowledge and expertise; the project will not be completed in time.
In regards to my values and personality, the participative leadership style is the most preferred mode of leadership. One can relate the participative leadership style with the roles one gets when one is in a group of people. In the event of a crisis or a problem in a group, I always advocate for seeking the consensus, whereby I allow everybody to air out his or her opinion on how to resolve the matter at hand. Using the transformational leadership questionnaire, it was evident that was a sociable person in addition to my three strongest leadership traits, which are feedback, understanding and achievement (Northouse, 2009). Democratic leadership banks on the essence of feedback from group members together with understanding of every person's ideas and opinions. On the whole, this means that I value other people and have a propensity to their individual needs. Similarly, I am effective at providing the constructive reaction to the efforts of other people, together with conveying enthusiasm and providing encouragement. According to the several activities I involved myself in, my ability levels start from my best to the least strong human skills, technical skills and conceptual skills. Additionally, I believe that my capability, which involves making things work out, depends on my strength. The most notable activity that displayed my participative leadership style was the in-class presentations. The main aim of these assignments was to provide individuals with avenues to develop interpersonal skills. On the other hand, I took a more technical approach to the assignment, which included ensuring the projects were ready for presentation at the right time. The role I played took the lead in making the PowerPoint slides that other groups were unable to make.
Leadership Development Vision
In the above section, we realized the notable values I possess, including human skills, technical skills, and conceptual skills with the latter being my weakest point. This section will analyse the aspects of my leadership that I would wish to develop. The main area that needs development in my leadership aspect is the conceptual area. Conceptual skills refer to the ability that people have to come up with ideas. According to my performance in groups, I need to improve in this area (Greetham, 2010). My weakness in this area includes not being quick at thinking creatively, analysing multifaceted situations, formulating abstractions and understanding issues. More so, to be an effective, democratic leader, one will need to employ the ability of solving problems.
Conceptual skills are relevant in any leader, and for this reason, I find it necessary to develop this aspect of my leadership style. It will be necessary to develop my strengths too, which are under the human skills. My greatest human skills include the performance, motivation and empowerment. According to the different activities I have taken part in, it is evident that I have the ability to bring others to the realization that they are a significant part of the larger group. Therefore, I need to capitalize on my ability to address others' motivation, as well my adequate consideration of managing performance or shaping objectives. It is almost certain that my interpersonal skills are admirable in the leadership context, and the more I improve on them, the more the leadership abilities are developed (Northouse, 2009).
Concrete Action Plan
In order to achieve the leadership development vision above, I will have to engage myself in more complex projects, so as to develop my conceptual skills. The first step in developing my leadership ability will be through identifying my strengths and weaknesses. In order to be an effective leader, I must improve on my conceptual skills, both in a group setting and on an individual basis. In regards to my basic developmental plans, I have embarked, and will push harder to improve my conceptual skills that I have by participating in several group activities that involve the complex ideas. This will include directly contributing my ideas and opinions to the projects, while at the same time not shying off, while faced with complex decisions. This will improve my conceptual skills, and combine with my tactical and human skills, and then I will increase my chances of becoming an exceptional leader (Northouse, 2009).
My second goal will be to increase the level that I interact with people at the personal level. This too will be through the group meetings and tasks either at home, school or work place. These group activities will be at a regular interval, so that my interpersonal skills can grow further. Through the group undertakings, I will have an excellent opportunity to discuss the common issues, and provide possible solutions to the problems. As for the long-term development, I plan to start my MPA program. Taking this course will offer me the ample avenues of personal interaction with professionals, and in so doing; my human skills will further undergo the improvement. More, I have recently enrolled for training under the umbrella of aspiring leadership program. This is a three-month program that intends to prepare people for the future positions as team leaders, and it has an emphasis on customer service, oral communication and interpersonal skills (Greetham, 2010).
This action plan will be extremely helpful in achieving my leadership development vision. Through the regular group tasks and assignments, I will be able to improve my conceptual skills, hence have the capability to tackle the complex matters. Conceptual skills haul the broadest application, because they comprise of practically everything. As a leader, I will require the strong conceptual skills, which typically mean having excellent cognitive abilities to think creatively and solve problems. Increased conceptual skills help a leader in examining interrelation of ideas. The above development goals should be able to create in me a leader that is easily approachable in sharing views and concerns openly; and the understanding of input contributed by employees; constructive and valid. Finally, I also look forward to being a democratic leader, whom others will emulate as a role model rather than look for in search of guidance. The above set goals in leadership development will be helpful in resolving problems and effecting change through positive interactions with others.