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The term “leadership” comes with multiple definitions and interpretations. Leadership in the 21st century is changing and causing old measures of performance to become outdated (Clawson, 2006). However, Leadership Theories and Practice (LDR) enlighten students to understand the theories, applications, and importance of leadership. Throughout the LDR course and assessments, I will further discuss my learning in a reflective leadership plan. The reflective leadership plan will include the following factors about the author: leadership style, leadership strengths and weaknesses, leadership gaps, and how to fill those gaps.

In addition, the paper will provide my timeline, implementation method, and assessment. Leadership Style According to the assessment, “What is My Leadership Style? ” my score leans toward a task-oriented style along with a situational approach. The foundation of situational leadership is the theory that there is not a style that is the best leadership. According to Hersey and Blanchard (1977), a leader believes his or her actions and styles depend on the situation at hand. A situational leader focuses on contextual factors in the work required (Clawson, 2006).

Although a single and perfect leadership style does not exist, I feel transformational leadership will have an effective approach toward my followers. A transformational leader affects his or her followers into making self-sacrifices necessary in realizing the organization’s mission goals. Avolio and Yammarino (2002) describe transformational leaders able to provide a vision and future goals to the organization they are leading. Leadership Strengths and Weaknesses Leaders are constantly improving their skills to become more effective.

Through the multiple assessments in LDR, I find my emotional intelligence score is strength. Emotional intelligence (EI) is a crucial ability that controls one’s emotions during decision-making and people surrounding the leader. My high score on the EI assessment claims that I understands my emotions and is aware of the emotions of others. Goleman (2000) recognizes four fundamental capabilities of emotional intelligence: self-conscious, self-discipline, social responsiveness, and social skills. Leaders with the capabilities listed above not only aide in success but also can manage his r her own emotions along with the emotions of others. My weaknesses consist of components in my conflict-handling assessments scoring high on the avoiding component. I admit to avoiding conflict and situations that require confrontation. This is a weakness in leadership because the leader is uncooperative and unassertive. At the time of conflict, a leader should rise and resolve problems as soon as possible. A leader cannot lead if he or she shies away from conflict instead of pushing forward. I scored high on a second component of the conflict-handling assessment, which is compromising.

While compromising may seem as strength, it also can be a weakness. A drawback in compromising occurs when a person may compromise too much and run into accommodating. A person cannot always compromise a necessity needed to succeed (Yukl, 2006). Gaps A successful leader is someone who finds his or her weakness and works on improving them. Currently my gaps fall in acquiring desirable leader styles, improving conflict-handling styles, and balancing task and people orientation. Molinaro (2005) lists four aspects of gaps in leadership. They are the following: talent, values, development, and capability.

Leaders need to realize not only his or her weakness, but also the organization they represent. Gap Closings and Implementing Strategies An effective leader focuses on closing gaps and loop holes that may hinder performance. I realize my gaps in conflict handling style and leadership style need to be acknowledged and closed. In order for my gaps to close, I need to understand the assessment results taken during LDR. I also need to familiarize and implement management rules. Drucker (1986) mentions the following rules: meaning, risk, feelings, self, trust, and attention.

Wren (1995) briefly mentions characteristic traits of leaders as the following: integrity, job leadership, persistence, self-confidence, desire to lead, and intelligence. I believe understanding and implementing leadership characteristics and management rules will aid in closing gaps. A leader needs to continue education and increase his or her quantitative and qualitative skills as well. Timeline, Impact, and Assessment I will base my timeline according to the doctoral program’s length. I also believe three and a half years is a realistic timeframe to form, implement, and assess a reflective leadership plan.

Many plans and strategies will change along the road because of increasing knowledge and experiences. Mentors and experienced individuals will also help me along the way in achieving goals. I can practice my improving weaknesses in future team assignments and retake some of the previous assessments used to compare results. Assessments will also include a personal review of what is and is not working. With each class in the doctoral journey, an opportunity opens to demonstrate qualities and characteristics that have not been used.

Conclusion

Leadership Theories and Practice is the first class of the doctoral program that is informative and an eye opener. I now know what it takes to become a leader and all the components that follow leadership. I understand scholarship, practitioner, and leader model more and relates how everything is tying together. A successful leader is a leader who keeps improving, absorbing knowledge and adaptable to change.

References

Avolio, B. J. , & Yammarino, F. J. (2002). Transformational and charismatic leadership: the road ahead. Amsterdam: JAI. Clawson, J. G. (2006).

Level three leadership: getting below the surface. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall. Drucker, P. (1986), The Frontiers of Management, Truman Talley Books, New York, NY Goleman, D. (2000). Leadership that gets results. Harvard Business Review, 79-90. Hersey, P. , & Blanchard, K. H. (1977). Management of Organization Behavior: Utilizing Human Resources (3rd ed. ). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Molinaro, V. (2005). CLOSING THE LEADERSHIP GAP. CMA Management, 79(5), 20. Yukl, G. A. (2006). Leadership in Organizations. Upper Saddle River, NJ, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall.

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