Project Management Leadership Self-Assessment
Reflecting on my leadership abilities, I could draw three strengths that I believe are characteristic of me. The first one relates to the attentiveness. I strongly believe that the details rule. They create the picture. The brand the person wears, the design of his/her glasses, or the notebook, as well as the shelf full of books, tells more than words. People often lie; details do not. I trust them more than anything else. The same attitude I have towards people. I am assured that the followers are more important than the leader when it goes about team-work. It is not hard for me to determine the preferences of a person. Often, I know what to expect from the person. Therefore, I always pay attention to the preferences of team members and while acting as a leader try to assign the field of work that corresponds to their skills and abilities.
Another important feature of mine is that I know how to listen. Actually, I can absorb the information the others share for hours. Frequently I ask as an interviewer for my friends. Within the working group I am attentive to everyone’s opinion. I do not force someone to talk, but still I encourage people to share their opinions and visions with others. I adore brainstorming when everyone can express their attitude towards the problem without the fear of being criticized by others. In my opinion, every person is unique and, thus, he or she can consider the issue from the totally unexpected point of view. Therefore, I am assured that every person should participate in the conversation and deliberation process dedicated to the solution of a particular problem.
Finally, the third strength refers rather to the technical skills that helped me to become who I am now. They include results-orientation, hardworking habits, and purposefulness. I have to admit that I hate laziness and waste of time. When there are no barriers I spent my time learning from others. This includes the reading, conversations with my friends, attending public lectures and master classes. I never compare myself to others. Instead, I reflect on my previous results and compare them to the current ones. It helps to reveal my growth or regress. This attitude towards time is also tightly connected with the results-orientation I mentioned. I believe that to do something does not mean to get something done. Thus, I always set clear goals, the deadlines, and the steps that I need to take in order to reach the goals. Another strength of mine is the ability to prioritize. Additionally, I am quite good at planning and multitasking. I am well-organized, though sometimes I am late since I missed few deadlines. Moreover, I always try to look behind and analyze the past mistakes in order to prevent their emergence in future.
Areas to improve
Of course, no one is perfect, thus we all need to learn. An old aphorism states that we should learn a lot in order to remain within the place we are currently at. Three areas which I need to improve are the communication, networking skills, and project and team management.
I have to admit that I am extremely shy person and it is hard for me to make friends. Still, I am lucky to have a couple of the true ones. Sometimes I remind an introvert. Nevertheless, I do not consider it to be a barrier for the leadership. Introverts have a lot of hidden benefits in comparison with extraverts. Yet, I need to improve my communication skills as I often need to have new people to cooperate with. Therefore, it seems to me that this area certainly needs improvement. And the latter might also involve my knowledge of human psychology, sociology, behavior, etc.
Another important point refers to the technical skills the leader should have. In other words, I need the theoretical and practical basis to lead the group. I do not consider that the leadership is the inborn ability. I am strongly assured that it could be cultivated in any person, of course; some of the leader’s decisions are passed at unconscious level. Still, there are a lot of specific schools, which offer lessons and seminars in leadership. Team building, as well as skills, allows one to create cohesive and effective groups. I truly believe that the leader should serve as an additional stimulation for the group members. The leader should identify the strengths and weaknesses of group members and assign the tasks that correspond to their abilities. Additionally, I consider the leader should support his or her subordinates and point at their best skills, thereby convincing them that they are capable of fulfilling a specific assignment. In fact, there are some reasons for choosing this leadership style. First of all, while being a leader of the group, I often try to listen attentively to the group members in order to better understand them. Secondly, in case of success, I always find the opportunity to praise them for their efforts either within the team or privately. While analyzing their previous performance rates, I always give short feedback and ask to prove input. Moreover, as I have already mentioned, I am a rather sensitive person, and I always see when someone experiences any kind of discomfort. Being a careful person, I try to remove this discomfort by all means, as I believe it might affect the performance of the entire group in a rather negative way.
Finally, I should practice my networking skills and create a base of social contacts of people with whom I will implement various projects and practices in future. I consider that the leadership skills are not enough. The leader must have a team and partners that will support his or her ideas and help to implement them in future.
In order to perfect myself, I am going to implement the action plan that will address the areas that need improvement and consist of the following. First of all, in order to improve my communication skills and combat all the fears and doubts I have, I am going to get an internship or work in the industry, which requires an ongoing interpersonal contact with clients. This experience will be quite challenging for me and might force me to step out of my comfort zone. Still, I believe that there are a lot of things that I can learn from others. The communication reveals various patterns that are inherent in the particular age, race, nation, sub-culture, etc. I am assured that this experience will enrich my knowledge in psychology. I plan to apply for the internships in several serving industries and hope to start working in August, 2015.
Communication skills could also be improved through the communication with people whom one hates or disregards. It is also beneficial to discuss certain issues with a person who does not share an individual’s opinion. I am assured that the truth is born in a dispute. Additionally, it helps to master arguing skills. To ensure that this goal will be reached, I have signed up for the discussion clubs. One of it will be held in two weeks. Furthermore, I have applied for participation in the debates over the political issues, including the voting rights of national minorities.
To address my need in creation of the strong network I decided to join professional organizations in my chosen field of expertise. These organizations are beneficial in many ways as they help to build strong professional relations with people from all over the world. Additionally, they frequently organize events, where the members can boost their skills and improve some areas of their knowledge. Furthermore, the members of these organizations are often exposed to the insider information and have access to the internship opportunities.
In order to make professional contacts, I plan to apply for various trainings, internships, and forums both within the USA and abroad. These educational projects create an amazing platform for communication and sharing of experience. The most important in this regard are forums for youth leaders, which gather together youth leaders from all over the world. At such meetings they can exchange ideas, provide examples and road maps for solution of common problems, etc. Moreover, here the leaders have the opportunity to advise on certain issues as well as to ask for advice to be provided for them. These forums take place in various corners of the Earth, ranging from European countries to Australia. I plan to apply for such forum as soon as it will be available.
As to the team building and personal traits of a leader, I decided to do the following. First, I have signed up for the leadership class that will start in September. The main concepts covered by this course are the ability to be a leader, leadership styles, tendencies, approaches, and others. This course also includes a number of practical workshops, where theory will be applied to practice. Secondly, I have applied for the voluntary position at one of the online mass media. The project I will work on includes a series of interviews with successful and talented managers, businessmen, politicians, public activists, and other people. I hope that within the framework of this project I will have an opportunity to learn more about leadership in the light of everyday activities. I am assured that these people will share some of the secrets of effective leadership. The project starts in October, 2015.
Self-study could also be effective in this regard. Thus, I have signed up for the online leadership class kindly offered by Coursera . The project is free and covers the issues, which are important for successful and effective leaders. Finally, in order to test all the abilities, I already have and going to master, I have decided to lead a group of children as a volunteer. I will teach them the basics of leadership and carry out the workshops to develop their abilities and understand the underlying nature of every participant.
I hope that all the above mentioned activities will help me to become an effective leader that brings positive and meaningful changes into American society.