Leadership as a vocation requires a commitment to professional excellence and integrity, which can be achieved through establishing habits of self-reflection, life-long learning, and professional development. The purpose of this assignment is for you to reflect on where you currently are in your leadership capabilities; define where you want to go; and specify goals, plans, and a timeframe for achieving your professional objectives. Your professional development plan will be composed of three parts: Vision, Goals/Objectives, and Plans.
The ability to create, communicate, and compel vision is critical to inspiring and effective leadership. While ultimately many leaders are responsible for developing visions to guide complex organizations, effective leadership begins on a much more personal level—a vision of yourself as a leader. Who are you and who do you want to become in your field or sphere of influence? Once you are clear about that, you can then confidently establish how you will help others and your organization achieve their visions.
Your leadership vision is based on a number of factors including your attitude, values, personal beliefs, guiding principles, and how you behave. It may also be influenced by theoretical, philosophical, or religious frameworks and the leadership traits, values, and behaviors of others. A leadership vision is also dynamic. No great leader ever “arrived.” Those who have adopted leadership as their vocation can spend a lifetime in self-reflection in order to continue to learn and more effectively motivate and inspire others.
Spend some time reflecting below on where you currently are in your leadership capabilities, what you have learned about leadership in the course, and how you want to develop and improve as you continue your leadership studies and move forward in your field. Review the document “Essential Leadership Competencies” for an overview of the scope of effective leadership capabilities.
Then, in 300-500 words, briefly articulate your vision for yourself as a leader 3-5 years from now. Where do you want to be? What kind of leader do you want to become?
After you have stated your vision, create five to eight leadership goals/objectives you will strive to meet in the next 3-5 years. Try to formulate at least one goal/objective related to the four major leadership competencies included in “Essential Leadership Competencies”: self-leadership, leading others, leading an organization, and leadership as a vocation. Include a brief justification for each goal/objective to explain how it will help you achieve the qualities of professional excellence and integrity required of excellent leaders.
Specify activities you will engage in to achieve your goals/objectives. You may find it helpful to research professional development activities in your field or organization to determine what resources are available to you. Be specific about projects you will engage in either as student or as a professional and identify people in your life who can help you achieve your goals. Be sure to include a timeline of events.
Finally, include a method for evaluating your professional development plan at regular intervals. What milestones will you include in your plan to help ensure its success? How will you use methods of self-reflection to assess your progress as you move towards your goals?