Introduction for CMU Competencies Model
The crux of this report is to highlight my leadership competencies through the exploration of theories and models. Also, with the aids of the leadership development plan, I will be better off on preparing myself; a young undergraduate who is entering the workforce in the near future and have an aim to take up leadership role as an event manager in a major company.
The Central Michigan University (CMU) had developed a Leadership Competency Model which made up of five aspects, namely the social responsibility, innovation, task management, leading others and self-management. According to the model, leaders may not master all competent areas, but they are required to know the areas, know their shortcomings, and focus on developing the competences. There is also a need for these leaders to recognize the potential qualities in other people so that they can appoint people to fill up the gaps created by their weaknesses (Boje, 2000). These five aspects are key categories for leadership success and thus, the CMU model will be chosen and act as my guiding principal.
Furthermore, this model will assist me in addressing my strengths and weaknesses by completing the competency self-assessment test. The results of my competency test will be further illustrated in my next section.
Strengths and Weaknesses
The competency self-assessment test provides me a set of competency related survey and through answering it, one are able to identify their current leadership strengths and weaknesses. To further illustrate, the test is carry out with rating options from strongly disagree to strongly agree and with ending scores which range from 1 to 6 whereby 1 indicating that I rated myself low on the competency and 6 indicating that I rated myself high. Figure #1 below shows the ranking down from the lowest to the highest in accordingly to the five aspects of leadership competency.
According to the assessment, my leadership strengths would be honesty and integrity, suspending judgment, work ethic, responsible and self-reliance. Adapting from Richard Daft, ‘leaders need the traits of honesty and integrity to rebuild trusting and productive relationship and that being ethical is definitely essential to leadership’(Richard L.Daft, 2003, p. 40). Certainly, what I consider as my strengths are my work ethic and my sense of responsibility while handling tasks. To illustrate, I would not allow myself to sleep or being inattentive in a group meeting or break any rules in the workplace and once tasks were to assign to me, I will try my very best to complete it on time as I am intolerance of any sloppy and late works.
Although being honest and responsible are some of the favorable traits for effective leadership, there are also many other traits which need to take into consideration. With respects to my leadership weaknesses, I am lacking the ability to lead and make final decision, fear of public speaking, low stress tolerance and unable to communicate well with the community. Assuredly, these deficiencies depict that I am actually more to a follower than being a leader. According to Brain Tracy, "most of the traits for effective leadership can be nurtured through training and experience’ (Brian Tracy, 2010, p. 83). As such, I am positive on taking advantage of my current strengths and finding ways to overcome my weaknesses.
Leadership Development Plan
Adapting from Warren Bennis, ‘leadership is the ability to transcribe vision into reality through planning’ (Warren G. Bennis, 2009, p. 93). Thus, by mapping out the leadership development plan, I would be able to have a clearer guide on my competencies and work towards my vision. Moreover, I will be putting two of my weakest competency dimensions, which are ‘Leading other’ and ‘Task Management’ from the CMU model into my personal leadership development plan.
It is worth to remark that every industries or even cultural background will have different competency requirements. Therefore, to establish leadership development plan, one have to take into account both the industry-specific issues and person-specific issues.
Although I am still a full time university student, I had worked nearly a year as a part timer in an event management company named ‘The Event Artery’. Basically, this company serve as an event management agency which helps their clients to promote product and brand to their target community by organizing event. As for me, I work as a sales promoter in different events which require a very good communicating and persuading skill. Unfortunately, both requirements are the skills that I am lacking and I struggled a lot to adapt to the working environment. However, despite the inadaptability, I came to realise that event management is still the career that I would like to pursue as I wanted to challenge myself and improve on my management skill.
Being the only child in my family, I was very pampered and taken care of by my parents. Since young, I have all the things I want and seldom have to make any important decisions as my parents were the one who plans everything for me. Thus, this leads to my incapability to lead and become intolerance of stress. Besides, being a lonely child with no siblings to talk to, this had gradually turned me into a more introvert person. Hence, this explained why I am fear of public speaking and lack of public relation skills.
As I aspired to work in an event company, I have to be more outspoken and bold enough to communicate with the clients. In this regard, ‘many skills are required to lead or manage teams, however, communication skills are chief amongst these’ (Ruth Chamber, 2009). Hence, I decided to spend a year for communication training courses to improve on my presentation skills, public speaking skills as well as my writing skills.
In long-run, I aspire to work as top-notch event manager of my city in a 5 years’ time. As event management requires exceptional project management, presentation and persuasive skills, I plan to improve them to progress in my career ladder. These skills are powered by motivational skills.
The skills mentioned above are much linked to the skills I have evaluated in my Leadership Assessment Report. These skills include Task Management, Leading Others and Innovation. Events such as Conferences, Seminars, Product Launch Ceremony, Ground Breaking Ceremony, Concerts and Parties require the skills evaluated above to make a competitive position in the market. Motivational skills will automatically incline the improvement of other skills (Sansone & Harackiewicz, 2000, p. 66). Motivation is not just required by yourself to do the work with full compassion, but you must instill the same motivation into the minds of your subordinates and co-workers. Managing events needs strong nerves to manage any situation that require quick actions and proactive solutions. To improve my communication skills in a long-term practical basis, I will take the mentorship of a corporate trainer, and I will work under him as an internee on pro bono basis. His mentorship will eradicate my fear of public speaking. For the improvement in my writing skills, I will do internship in a Public Relations company.
Follower satisfaction and motivation studies have identified that the effective counseling and coaching skills is determined by the nature of the task and the personality of the follower. Subordinates felt highly motivated when they wanted a proper structure of the task and leader clarified and told details about it. After they have understood the task and it become simple for them, the leaders become supportive and considerate rather than directive and demanding (Giuliani & Kurson, 2002, p. 227).
The skills I have highlighted can also be enhanced in long-term by applying Two-Factor Leadership Theory. According to this theory, the leaders have two behaviors for a given situation. On one side, he is a task focused, where he identifies the path and goal. The second dimension is of being relationship focused, where he shows consideration to the people with whom he works (Messick & Kramer, 2005, p. 176). This theory was also tested by researcher at the University of Michigan, where they studied the dimensions of group performance to the dimension of employee and production orientation.
Interview and Feedback from Established Leader – Aleric
After the completion of my leadership development plan, I did a detailed interview of my direct event supervisor, Aleric, under whom I worked in ‘The Event Artery’. Although, various bookish knowledge is necessary to develop the skills and knowledge base, but practical knowledge learned from experience is worthwhile. When I took his advice on the leadership development plan I had constructed, he told me that I must put some timelines to it and should add an element of getting some practical experience as the requirement to develop my ‘Leading other’ and ‘Task Management’ skills.
According to him, I should focus on Experiential Learning. An act involves learning from firsthand experience. Theoretical knowledge about a bicycle will be of little use when a person is willing to ride it properly (Silberman, 2007, p. 367). The person must have an instructor and a bicycle with him, which will allow him to learn it. Therefore, he has guided me that if I am planning to improve my communication skills, I should take some short courses on communication and take the mentorship of a communications expert. He has rated experiential based learning as an excellent tool for I to improve.
Incorporation of Feedback and Plan
Based on the leadership development plan, short-term plan, long-term plan and the interview from a established leader, I am able to incorporate plans for my leadership skill development. This plan is covered in the following points:
- Spend a year for communication training courses to improve on my presentation skills, public speaking skills, as well as my writing skills.
- Applying Two-Factor Leadership Theory in own life. According to this theory the leader, have two behaviors for a given situation. On one side, he is a task focused, where he identifies the path and goal. The second dimension is of being relationship focused, where he shows consideration to the people with whom he works.
- I will put some timelines to my plan and should add an element of getting some practical experience as a requirement to develop my ‘Leading other’ and ‘Task Management’ skills.
- I will focus on Experiential Learning. It is an act that involves learning from firsthand experience, which is rated as an excellent tool for me to improve.
Plan Execution for the Future
Following is my timeline for my leadership development plan that will assist me to execute the things I have expounded above:
- First Month, which will continue to one year: Join a training school for my enhancing my communication and writing skills.
- Sixth Month, which will continue till six months: Take the mentorship from corporate trainer
- Second year, which will continue till third year: Internship at Public Relations Company
- Third year, which will continue till fifth year: Work in a renowned professional event management company that offers full-range services to the corporate and individual clients
- Fifth year, which will continue for long-term: Open up your own event management company.
Giuliani, R. W., & Kurson, K. (2002). Leadership. New York: Hyperion, p. 227
Messick, D. M., & Kramer, R. M. (2005). Psychology of leadership: New perspectives and research. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, p. 176
Sansone, C., & Harackiewicz, J. (2000). Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation: The search for optimal motivation. San Diego, CA: Academic Press, p. 66
Silberman, M. L. (2007). The handbook of experiential learning. San Francisco: Pfeiffer, p. 367