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It is important to note the terms “manager” and “leader” can be used interchangeably, but there are key and inherent differences, which need to be noted in order to properly outline the individual development plan. In order to be able to accurately evaluate me as both manager and leader, it is critical to identify my core strengths and weaknesses. The strengths are emotional self-control, organizational awareness, positive outlook, and teamwork.
The weaknesses are poor emotional self-awareness, no achievement orientation, deficient conflict management, and inability to influence. It is stated that managing and leading require different mindsets and can be useful depending on a situation and the context (Nguyen and Hansen, 2016). In other words, managers focus on managing organizations, directing and controlling subordinates, making quick decisions, and planning and executing activities, and are mostly transactional in nature. However, leaders influence, motivate, inspire followers through foresight by setting directions, which makes them transformational.
As a manager, my advantages are manifested in the fact that I have organizational awareness, teamwork capabilities, and emotional self-control, but my disadvantages are deficient conflict management. Therefore, I would rate myself 3 out of 4 as a manager because out of my four management-related qualities, three contribute to it, and one goes against it. As a leader, my advantages are a positive outlook, but disadvantages are poor emotional self-awareness, no achievement orientation, and inability to influence. Thus, I would rate myself 1 out of 4 as a leader because leaders are primarily focused on influencing followers.
In addition, they need to set directions and be strategic, and my lack of achievement orientations can be a problem. Since leaders are transformational and need to be actively engaged with the followers, poor emotional self-awareness will hinder my leadership capabilities. In other words, currently, I am more suitable to be a manager rather than a leader.
In five years, I want to climb my career ladder at Governance & Board Secretariat Department from a specialist to a Board Secretary, which is more of a top managerial position rather than a leadership-based one. Therefore, as it was identified previously, I prefer, and I am more suitable for managerial positions, and a Board Secretary. The given position can be defined as someone who should be an objective outsider; not a board member, with no voting rights, and with no agenda other than to organize effective board meetings and facilitate sound governance” (Newport, 2020).
In addition, a Board Secretary needs to possess certain attributes, such as organizational skills, insight and understanding, the ability to listen, communication skills, and the ability to multitask (Newport, 2020). Therefore, it is evident that my goal is centered around a highly manager-related occupation rather than a leader-based one.
My desired outcome is becoming a Board Secretary, where the pathway is manifested in a career ladder, which is mainly comprised of two intermediate positions, which are senior specialist and the Assistant Secretary of the Board. In other words, this is the direction, which I seek to become a Board Secretary. I will achieve my personal goals by becoming highly competent and perfectly suited for the position through the strategic acquisition of key knowledge and skills through my work. My mission statement is derived from Cal Newport’s book, which is to be “so good they cannot ignore me” (Why the board secretary is key to your company, 2021).
Thus, I do not want to be a Board Secretary, but rather become one by having the skills and knowledge to do the job in a highly professional and competent manner. My goals will be achieved through a deliberate process of self-improvement and proactive involvement in my current position, when requires knowledge and skills will be acquired in proper order. For example, firstly, I will work on my competence to become a senior specialist, who can be considered as a front-line manager with a tactical focus on execution at employee level operations.
I want to become a Board Secretary because I consider it as an ultimate managerial position, where I will have both power and influence to shape and change the companies and organizations for the better by facilitating and administering other key figures. My main driver is my intrinsic passion for management, where one can organize the processes done by subordinates to create a highly efficient engine, which results in real-world benefit for all parties involved. I seek the given direction in my profession because becoming a Board Secretary will make me highly competent and valued as a manager, which will inevitably open an array of opportunities. My ultimate passion driving my goals and development is being able to grow and succeed in life both professionally and financially by doing what I enjoy the most, which is management.
My long-term goal is to become a Board Secretary, which will be achieved through my mid-term goals, which are the Assistant Secretary of the Board and senior specialist. My immediate goal is to eliminate my weaknesses, which prevent me from moving to the next step of my plan.
- My immediate goal is to eliminate my weaknesses, which prevent me from becoming a senior specialist, which is an inability to manage conflicts. By eliminating this disadvantage of mine, I will be able to become a senior specialists and strive to become the Assistant Secretary of the Board through work, knowledge acquisition, and skill development. By becoming the assistant, I will be in close proximity to, and high levels of exposure to me desired occupation. I will be able to assists the current Board Secretaries, which will allow me to grow core competencies in order to become an outstandingly fit for the job.
- In order to eliminate my major weaknesses, I will need to undergo training or sessions in conflict management because it is the main hindrance to becoming a Board Secretary. As a senior specialist, I will finally have a low level of managerial experience as well as I will be able to expand my knowledge on the intricate organizational processes. The critical steps in a prioritized order are improving my conflict management capabilities, perfecting my managerial responsibilities as a senior analyst, and expanding the exposure to my desired position by becoming the Assistant Secretary of the Board.
- In one year, I plan to improve my capabilities in conflict management, which will be followed by applying to a senior specialist position in the second year since I will have ten years of experience as well as many professional and personal attributes. The third year will be mostly spent on acquiring knowledge and developing skills to be suitable for the position of the Assistant Secretary of the Board. For the majority of my work, I plan to spend as an assistant since I believe that direct contact with real-world Board Secretaries will naturally improve my competence. Lastly, with a baggage of 15 years of work experience and familiarity with a Board Secretary position, I plan to become one near the end of the five-year plan.
- My support team will be comprised of my colleagues and the current assistants, and the latter will act as mentors. I will also rely on my supervisor to handle the conflicts, which I might not be able to resolve before I will become competent enough to stop relying on them.
- I need a small investment in my own education on conflict management, and for a specialist position, I will require networking with my colleagues. My final goal will require time and effort in my daily work-related activities.
I know for sure that becoming the Assistant Secretary of the Board will greatly help me to become a Board Secretary. I do not know how I will transition from a senior specialist to the Assistant Secretary of the Board. I have no sufficient knowledge in conflict management, which holds me back from becoming a manager. Therefore, I need to obtain the given skill through education and deliberate practice at my work. I will need the help of my current senior specialist and supervisor in order to handle conflicts, which I might not be able to resolve. I do not know the clear path from a senior specialist to the Assistant Secretary of the Board, which is why I need to consult the current assistants. I will have to analyze the required skills and knowledge for becoming an assistant, after which I will need to work on them.
Newport, C. (2020) So good they can’t ignore you: why skills trump passion in the quest for work you love. New York: Grand Central Publishing.
Nguyen, N. and Hansen, J. Ø. (2016) ‘Becoming a leader-manager: a matter of training and education’, Development and Learning in Organizations: An International Journal, 30(6), pp. 10-12. Web.
Why the board secretary is key to your company (2021). Web.