Leadership Plan 1
Running Head: LEADERSHIP PLAN
Leadership Development Plan
Pacific Lutheran University
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Self-assessment tools. I completed several self-assessments. Even though these tools are
not completely objective, they are psychologically based and designed to produce valid results. - Leadership test: “Are you a leader?” Identified my strongest leadership skill as “role
model” and my weakest leadership skill as “street smarts.” (TestCafe.com, 2006).
- Advanced multidimensional personality matrix. This test reported that I am extroverted.
It also classified me as emotionally stable, able to bounce back after stress, and generally
composed (Queendom.com, 2006).
- Emotional intelligence: According to this test, I have “excellent” emotional intelligence,
thin the 99 percentile (Queendom.com, 2006).
- Work style assessment: This test measured forty different traits or skills (Queendom.com,
2006). According to this assessment, my strongest trait is initiative with a score of 91.
This means I “don’t seem to be the kind of person to wait around for others to take the
lead or show the way,” and am “willing and able to take action and make decisions
independently.” Other strengths identified are trainability (87), compliance (86), and
dynamism (84). I scored in the low 80s on coping skills, emotional stability, and soft
skills. As for leadership, this test scored my overall leadership potential at 77, saying I
“possess many of the qualities of a great leader.” In terms of specific leadership style, I
scored highest as a “trailblazing” leader (75) with sensible leadership (74) and “mover
and shaker” (74) following closely behind. In general, I am more of a generalist than a
specialist. (Please see appendix for complete results).
- Least preferred coworker (LPC) scale: I am a task-oriented leader (Larsen, 2008).
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- Leadership/Management skills and style test: These tests measured leadership potential
and skills (Queendom.com, 2006). I scored 86 on leadership potential and 80 on
- Jung personality test: This was a modified version of the Myers-Briggs personality test
designed to produce equivalent results (Flynn, 2008). My personality type is Extroverted-
Sensing-Thinking-Judging (ESTJ). (Please see appendix for detailed results). - Big five personality test: I took two versions of this test. Both versions classified me as
relatively high on extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness, and relatively low
on openness and neuroticism. (Low scores on neuroticism mean high emotional stability.)
Extraversion was my dominant trait on both tests (Flynn, 2008; Oliver, 2003). - Synergize leadership test: This assessment measured ten key elements that drive success
and failure (thinktq.com, 2008). I scored 8.5 out of 10 which suggests an ability to “bring
out the best” in others. According to this test, I have a big picture perspective and tend to
take the lead. In terms of leadership style, I may be seen as difficult, rather than
facilitative, because I don't consistently make it easy for others to help me. I also can
become withholding, rather than empowering, because I am not always willing or skillful
at delegating major responsibilities to others.
- Alternative responses to conflict: This assessment was designed to determine conflict
management style (Class handout, 1998). I have the strongest preference the
compromising style, which is closely followed by collaboration. The conflict
management style I use least is avoiding/withdrawing.
Past leadership experiences. I was team captain for my high school and college
swimming and diving teams. A noteworthy fact about these leadership experiences is that my
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teammates nominated and voted me into the role of captain—I did not nominate myself. I
interpret this as my teammates viewing me as a leader and someone they would be willing to follow. In retrospect, I think I led by example as a role model for my teammates. I was certainly more conscious of my actions both inside and outside of the pool knowing I represented the team as captain. According to Robert House’s path-goal theory of leadership, my dominant leader
behavior was support since I was friendly and showed concern for my teammates (Robbins & Judge, 2007). I also saw myself as a motivator and encourager, and often led the team in getting “fired up” before competition.
Additional leadership experiences I have had in the past are through church involvement. I served as a mentor for two high school girls going through confirmation class. In high school, I was a member of the youth ministries leadership team. One of my major projects for this team was to help plan a mission trip to Mexico where we built houses for families in need.
Past teacher evaluations. To gain insight into my strengths and weaknesses, I looked at
evaluations from clinical instructors in nursing school. Here are a few quotes from my evaluations: “Hali and her team demonstrated teamwork, effective time management, and
attention to detail.” Emily Mize, Community Health. “You have great critical thinking skills and
are not afraid to ask questions.” Brenda Frank, Family/Childbearing. “If I were a manager, I‟d
hire this student for qualities such as eagerness to learn, team-player attitude, and willingness to take difficult patients.” Mary Ann Carr, Adult Health II. “One of Hali‟s strengths is her ability
to critically reflect on her clinical days…She truly demonstrates the ability to look at a situation and to learn from it.” Janet Dubois, Adult Health I. “Hali is a „go getter‟ and facilitated many
good discussions” Sharon Shull, Pediatrics. Looking at these comments, I find common themes.
For example, more than one instructor commented on teamwork capabilities. Another theme is
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willingness to learn, critical reflection, and “go getter,” three traits that I would categorize under
“initiative.” This is consistent with initiative as my strongest trait in the work style assessment.
For subjective data, I analyzed entries from the reflective journal I have kept over the course of the semester. Selected entries are categorized according to the context of interaction.
Class interactions. I often speak first, especially if the discussion is slow to start. I have no difficulty sharing in class. I find it easier to present my input than to eloquently express disagreement with other class members, and sometimes I will be silent even if I disagree. I find myself wanting to advocate for other class members when they are trying to speak but are being overpowered by more dominant class speakers. For example, a fellow classmate her hand raised several times in class and everyone kept speaking before her. However, even though I wanted to advocate for her, I failed to speak up and later regretted my silence.
Work interactions. When I was a student nurse in the emergency department at, I
experienced difficulty delegating to the ER technicians. I think this was partly because I perceived a lack of official authority (since I was not yet a nurse) and partly because I felt I could accomplish tasks more quickly by doing them myself than by tracking someone down to ask for help. One recent work interaction I am particularly proud of was a deliberate decision based on recent class discussions about gossip and professionalism in nursing. A coworker asked me to share details of a party I attended, and I declined, telling him that I prefer to keep work conversation professional.
I recently had the opportunity to be involved in the process of “Chest Pain Accreditation” at Good Samaritan Hospital. Due to my involvement, I have been more informed than some of my coworkers about new developments in the ED. One new development is controversial in
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terms of implementation, and employees have been complaining and making negative remarks about this change. I have been doing my best to counteract negative comments with positive ones and attempting to inform skeptics about benefits of the change. These interactions have sparked a desire to improve my skills in helping people accept and embrace change.
Group interactions. I have noticed that I almost always emerge as the leader for group
projects, whether or not I intend to lead. For example, on my last group project, we divided the work equally and one of my group members called me for advice on her section. We were making final changes to our power point and two of my group members asked me if the change was appropriate. They were both looking to me for approval. This is when I realized that I was the leader, because people wanted my input on portions of the project to which I was not “assigned.” Even if I do not lead a group meeting, I will often take the initiative to email the group afterward to summarize what we decided at the meeting. In another group activity during class, small groups were asked to come up with an answer to a specific question within a short time-frame. I noticed the conversation going off on a tangent, so I politely stepped in to redirect the group and refocus on the task at hand. I was reluctant to do this because I did not want to seem bossy, but the group actually thanked me for reminding them of our goal. I have also noticed that I frequently volunteer to take on the more difficult parts of a project. From a time management perspective, this can compel me to spend too much time on a project when it could be done more efficiently by sharing the work. This tendency is related to my lack of delegation skills. I think I try to take on the more challenging tasks because I seek control and do not trust others to accomplish a given task.
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I scored higher in leadership potential than leadership skills. Even though both scores are fairly high, my potential is still better than my actual skill. According to the above assessments, I possess many personality traits of a leader, but this means I am likely to emerge as a leader and
not necessarily that I will be an effective leader. The fact that I am a leader is not new
information. It is almost as if I have no choice—I am a “natural” leader whether I like it or not.
Therefore, if I am a likely leader, it is even more crucial that I develop skills in order to be effective. My strongest leadership skill as role model is consistent with my history as a role model in sports and a mentor.
One gap in the data is a lack of detail on my personal leadership style. Another gap is that I lack leadership experience in the field of nursing, so it is hard to determine the way I function within my profession. I would like to know more about my style, because I still am not sure exactly how I can be most effective. For example, the work style assessment scored me basically the same on trailblazing leadership and sensible leadership, even though these two styles seem very different to me. One trait trailblazing and sensible leaders have in common is that they are both strong under pressure, which I think is accurate for my personality. An inconsistency is that I scored high on conscientiousness on both Big Five tests, but it was one of my weaker skills in the work style assessment. Another possible incongruence is that LPC classifies me as a task-oriented leader, but other tests report that I am good with people and relationship-oriented. I was surprised to learn I am a task-oriented leader, because I think of myself as people-oriented.
The data strongly suggests that I am an extrovert. Not only am I extroverted, but I am more extroverted than most people. Basically, every test I completed classified me as extroverted and this is accurate. The fact that I am more of a generalist than a specialist is congruent with my
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ultimate goal of becoming a clinical nurse leader, which is an “advanced generalist” role. “Street smarts” was one of my lower scoring qualities for two separate assessments. I think this is
accurate for me because I feel that I lack resourcefulness and understanding of how the world works. I lack practical knowledge in certain areas, mostly because I have lived a sheltered life and have never needed shrewdness for survival.
My Myers-Briggs personality type was interesting. I am described as judging (as opposed to perceiving), even though I was actually 50% each way and the computer randomly broke the tie. I was also fairly close to being 50-50 on sensing versus intuition. When I reflect on my own personality, I often have this difficulty. I am rarely one way or the other and usually quite dichotomous. Although this confirms the assessment that I often find myself in the middle, with few extreme personality traits, it renders it difficult to confidently make assertions about my leadership style. I would like to take the full length Myers-Briggs test to compare the official results with the test that I took which was just based on the actual test.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Based on the above assessments and analysis, I have identified my strengths as initiative, people skills (a category encompassing communication, extraversion, agreeableness, teamwork, and emotional intelligence), stability and stress management, critical self-reflection, and “teachability” which refers to trainability and willingness to learn. My weaknesses are street
smarts, closed mindedness, and time management with a specific focus on delegation. Another skill I would like to learn is how to lead people through change. A trait I recognized as both a strength and a weakness is boldness. I am a strong personality, not easily embarrassed or intimidated, and typically unafraid to speak my mind. These “bold” traits can be positive
leadership qualities. However, boldness taken too far can be dangerous. For example, I can be
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too quick to give my opinion when I should be soliciting the opinions of others who have good ideas but are less likely to share. I also tend to be rather blunt when offering criticism. I want to harness and refine my boldness in order to be an effective leader without being overpowering.
One positive aspect of my leadership analysis is that some of my strengths are useful for acquiring skills I lack. For instance, I may not be street smart, but I am willing to learn and I scored high in “trainability.” So, in theory, it is a realistic goal for me to learn to be more street smart. Furthermore, people skills will allow me to seek help from people that do possess the skills I lack in order to gain missing competencies.
My first priority is time management because improvement in this area will allow more time to improve in other areas. This goal is easy to implement immediately, and will improve my academic performance. My second priority is improving street smarts, since this was one of my most apparent weaknesses. Next, I want to work on transformational leadership skills. This will be important as I start my new job as an emergency nurse and even more so after I finish school and become certified as a clinical nurse leader. My last priority is to open up my mind and become more creative. I put other goals before this one because becoming more well-rounded is a life-long goal that I want to work on constantly. This goal is less urgent because my “closed-
mind” does not seem to be holding me back at this point in my leadership career.
Goals and Objectives
I have set four major goals to acquire missing competencies and strengthen areas of weakness. Goals are numbered by priority. Each goal has related measurable objectives.
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1. Improve time management, especially delegation skills.
a. Limit internet communication (i.e. email and Facebook correspondence) to two
checks per day or a maximum of one hour per day for all online communication. b. Complete a time management assessment to identify additional time-wasting
thactivities by November 30 2008.
stc. Purchase a new planner by December 31 (when my current planner expires) and
use it to list daily goals as well as commitments.
d. Delegate at least two tasks per shift using the full delegation cycle (Youd, 2008),
stto begin during my first RN residency shift on December 1 2008.
e. Complete a “delegation worksheet” for the next event I am in charge of planning
(Christmas gift exchange) that includes the task, whether it can be delegated, and
stto whom it was delegated. Evaluate worksheet after the event by December 31.
2. Improve transformational leadership skills.
sta. Read a book on transformational leadership by February 1 2009.
stb. Read a Mahatma Gandhi biography by March 1 2009 for an inspirational
example of a transformational leader.
c. Attend the “Art of Communication” class offered by Multicare’s Institute for
Learning Development in early 2009 (date to be determined).
d. Investigate the Sigma Theta Tau mentored leadership development program. Find
a mentor who would be willing to participate in the one year program with me by
e. Re-read How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie to develop
thleadership skills by December 15 2008.