A Strategic Plan for Personal Development - Research Paper Example

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Introduction Leadership, to my observation, is a quality that is partially inborn and partially cultivated. Before entering a discussion on my personal development as a leader, I need to ask myself whether I have that inherent part inside me. The answer I got is a confident yes because since childhood, when I look back, the most frequent vision I have of myself is either leading a group of children to save an animal hit accidentally by a truck, or to give a special tuition to the low-scoring kids in my class, or to prepare a mass-signed student petition to be sent to the principal so that poor children in the school get a scholarship, or to rehearse a play or musical to be performed on the sc…
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Download file to see previous pages Though the general notion is to think that leadership and power are synonymous, to me what Martin Luther King Jr. said makes more sense, “I am not interested in power for power's sake, but I'm interested in power that is moral, that is right, and that is good” (as cited in Ng, 2012, p.88). I look up to Gandhi as a model in this respect though I can in no way put a claim to achieve the level of his leadership legacy. It is important for my quest to find a leadership model that combines business or politics with personal integrity, that I learn what kind of a leader Gandhi was. As put by Nair (2010), “Gandhi wore no resplendent uniform, commanded no armies, and held no government position,” yet he had a whole nation behind him, ready to respond to his every uttered word (p.2). All this was achieved through non-violent means, which is nothing less than a miracle. Renowned leadership expert, Karl Moore has observed two key leadership qualities in Gandhi and added that they are also what many leaders of today lack- “leadership by example” and “persistence” (2011). It is the high standard of leadership practiced by Gandhi that I would like to set as my notion of perfect leadership, and aspire to at least work towards it with the self-reassurance that Gandhi was also an ordinary human being like I am. I believe, towards building and maintaining a peaceful world, which is day by day becoming a distant mirage, I owe this quest to myself, my future generations, and to my society. I envisage finding a high standard of leadership using the model of Gandhi as my idealized and ultimate paradigm. As a path for traveling in this direction, it is necessary that I seek the support of already evolved and well-defined paradigms for leadership. The leadership qualities that I look forward to cultivate include an ability to lead from the forefront yet walk with the group, exercise power where necessary yet make that power emerge from a common will, a vision of a world that is a more equal and just society, and the willingness to let others grow and become leaders themselves. Given the present situation where idealism looks good on paper but is mocked when it becomes real, I understand that it is a quite challenging task ahead of me. To make creative use of the scholarship on leadership that has been built by great academicians and visionaries, will be the best possible option for me to begin with. Hence I searched for theories, paradigms and models put forth by scholars in the field in an attempt to locate a paradigm that genuinely moves me and synchronizes with my vision of leadership. The paradigms that I found to be having the closest potential to achieving my end are, transformational, transactional and servant leadership paradigms. This is also in view of the fact that Gandhian model of leadership has been already described as transformational and transactional (Moore, 2011). Before I go deeper into the relevance of these paradigms for me, I need to consider some definitions of leadership. Academic definitions go as follows: “ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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