Personal leadership plans are innovative tools that can help an individual to refine and direct his or her actions to achieve specific career goals. The tool allows individuals to shape their professional future by allowing them to develop certain traits that they deem essential for leaders in their career. Such goals need to adhere to the SMART goal approach by utilizing character traits of the individual. This paper provides a personal leadership plan that highlights my goal to be an effective leader using integrity and empowerment as I seek to become a leader who leads by example.
Leading by example is my personal vision. An article by Schraeder et al. (2005) found that organizational change is spurred when a leader offers training to subordinate and offers an example they can aspire to in the workplace. Leading by example is one of the important qualities of charismatic leaders. As a future charismatic leader, I aspire to achieve two goals during my MBA program. First, I would like to demonstrate my integrity as I pursue my MBA. Leading by example, requires irreproachable integrity. Integrity refers to the aspect of having strong moral uprightness and adhering to the right moral principles. My second goal is to become a leader who can empower others from the Ismaili Muslim community. The Ismaili community needs mentors and role models that can guide the younger generation to achieve academic and social success without compromising any core values. Future leaders need to develop these qualities and empowering these leaders can help grow the community.
My first goal is to demonstrate my integrity throughout the duration of the MBA program. Developing integrity is one of the cornerstones of charismatic leadership. Charismatic leaders spur others to excel when they lead by example (Manning & Curtis, 2010). However, leaders who lack integrity are unable to have the desired impact on others. A way to motivate others is by exuding integrity in actions, conversations, and decision-making. Personally, integrity is something to be maintained to ensure friends and colleagues recognize the charismatic leadership qualities over the course of the MBA and even in my business career afterward.
2.2 Rationale for pursuing integrity
Many academic scholars have investigated the importance of integrity in the workplace. According to Engelbrecht et al. (2017), integrity influences faith in the leader. They conducted a web-based survey seeking to ascertain the role of integrity in leadership. Their findings revealed that integrity was an important part of postulated relationships between employees and leaders. Likewise, Dvorakova et al. (2013) used a Czech Republic case study to show how leadership dishonesty is perceived by followers. The findings showed that integrity, generosity, and honesty were necessary characteristics of leaders in the country. Leaders who failed to show these characteristics were considered dishonest by their followers. Similarly, Hooijberg et al. (2010) examined the relationship between leadership and integrity when it comes to stakeholder perceptions. Their findings indicated that integrity had a greater impact on stakeholder perceptions than the leadership behavior exhibited by an individual. All the studies that have been highlighted point towards the fact that leadership relies on integrity. In public and private positions, leaders with integrity are revered more than leaders who lack integrity.
2.3 First integrity action strategy
Considering the importance of integrity in leadership, I believe there is a need to continue developing it during the MBA course duration. One of the main areas where MBA students lack integrity is on completion of coursework and assignments. Many students procrastinate, causing them to miss submission deadlines or submitting error-ridden work (Shek & Chung, 2015). My first action strategy seeks to avoid making these mistakes during by MBA duration. I will ensure that my personal schedule prioritizes schoolwork. If I can allocate the proper time to my studies, I will be able to avoid missing any assignment deadlines. According to Kaplan (2007), time is the most precious asset and how you use it gives insight into your leadership skills. Another common mistake that students make is assuming that they can do the same things that they did before enrolling for their MBAs. Unfortunately, this misconception leads most of them to fail because of not giving their studies adequate time and attention (Shek & Chung, 2015). Even though personal life is important, there is a need to ensure that schoolwork is not encroached on by leisure activities. I play many video games. Even though they are fun, they can be a distraction from schoolwork. Considering how busy my schedule is, I will avoid playing video games during weekdays and allocate that time to completing my assignments and getting my school notes in order.
2.4 Second integrity action strategy
In MBA programs, sometimes group tasks are assigned to help foster a shared responsibility for doing and presenting research. However, it is common for many group members to fail to contribute equally in assigned tasks. Unfortunately, these students are developing a habit that may detrimentally affect their performance in future careers. Most businesses are adopting a decentralized hierarchy in the workplace where teams are prioritized over individuals work (Manning & Curtis, 2010). Students who are unable to work well in a team face a lot of backlash from their team members and team leaders. A common cause of the poor performance is an overreliance on other members in contributing to project completion. Many such employees developed these habits while in university or college. I realized the potential pitfall for failing to contribute equally when undertaking group tasks (Shek & Chung, 2015). My action strategy is to ensure that I attend all team meetings and contribute equally to the assigned task. Furthermore, as a future leader, I need to support other members of my team to ensure that high-quality assignments are conducted. According to Collins (2005), leaders need to have all five levels of leadership. Level two is the trait of contributing as a team member. This integrity when doing group work will nurse reliability. It will improve my grade during my MBA and prepare me to be an effective team member during my career.
2.5 Evidence and feedback
In both action strategies, the evidence will be in my academic results. If I complete my assignments and allocate adequate studying time, my grades should remain high. I can also get verbal feedback from others when working in groups. My goal is to ensure that my GPA will always be higher than average. On some occasions, I will approach professors to ask them about my performance (Shek & Chung, 2015). However, self-assessment is important. I will always be my greatest critic to ensure that I maintain integrity even in situations that do not demand integrity, helping me become an effective leader.
3.0 Empowering others
My second goal is empowering others to become effective leaders. An effective leadership strategy that exists is transformational leadership
. Such leaders improve organizational productivity by motivating others and raising the morality standards in the organization. According to Pigg et al. (2015), learning to empower others is an important trait because it not only helps lead subordinates, but rather it helps improve the performance of peers. I aspire to become a leader, even when working with peers, and learning to empower others is the best way to develop this leadership trait.
3.2 Rationale for pursuing the trail of empowering others
Numerous different researchers have recently investigated empowering leadership. An article by Namasivayam et al. (2014) investigated the role of empowerment in improving employee commitment and customer satisfaction. The findings showed that empowering leadership significantly boosted psychological empowerment that improved employee satisfaction. In turn, customer satisfaction improved as employee productivity improved. Likewise, Ling and Zhang (2014) investigated the impact that empowering leadership had on creativity. The study showed that at individual and team levels, employee creativity was improved by empowering leadership. Similarly, Li et al. (2016) found that employee autonomy and change orientation were both influenced by empowering leaders. The research found that transformational leaders who empower others are more suited to spark change in both organizational strategy and organizational culture. Additionally, it is effective when encouraging autonomy in an organization or community.
3.3 First empowerment action strategy
The best approach to empowering others is by becoming an example. Excelling in my MBA will be an effective example to future leaders in the Ismaili community. However, I need to create a detailed journal that will be a record for others in my community to see. According to George et al. (2007), a life story provides important insight into the authenticity of a leader. Documenting my life story will give future leaders a biography that they can use to know the steps that I took to develop my leadership traits. Documenting the steps I take on my journey of leadership will provide a basis where future generations can try to achieve the same success. A detailed journal will not be complete without a task log that highlights the tasks that I was assigned during my MBA and in my career (Pigg et al., 2015). Giving insight on who I spoke to, what we spoke about and the result of my conversations can be insightful to upcoming Ismaili youths who need practical guidance.
3.4 Second empowerment action strategy
Aside from creating a detailed journal, I need to become a mentor to the upcoming leaders in the community. Mentorship has an important role in giving future leaders insight on the potential pitfalls that may exist and the proper channels that they should use to achieve success. Most successful leaders have mentors who help them navigate corporate or social problems. Empowerment is one of the 21 laws of leadership. My ambition is that I can meet regularly with the upcoming leaders from the Ismaili community to provide impartial advice on the actions that they should take (Pigg et al., 2015). In their first leadership events, I can take an active role and gradually move to a consulting position. Empowering others is important, especially in marginalized communities like mine.
3.5 Evidence and feedback
The first evidence I am achieving my goals is completion a detailed journal on the pitfalls that exist. If I complete my MBA without creating the journal, it will indicate that I have failed one of my leadership goals. Second, if the people I am mentoring are unable to succeed because of my bad advice, it will indicate that I am not fulfilling my goal to empower the community. Empowering others is a sight on transformational leadership and my failure to achieve these goals will indicate that I did not fulfill my leadership goals (Maxwell, 2007).
Personal leadership plans are vital in ensuring that the right leadership traits are acquired before attaining the leadership role in the future. In this instance, integrity and empowering others are traits that will help me grow into a charismatic and transformational leader. These two traits are important in helping me inspire others in an organization and providing a good example to others. The traits will equip me with the skills necessary to become a leader who leads by example.
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