The objectives of this course were 1) to help you assess your existing leadership strengths and weaknesses, and 2) to help you develop a plan to address one or more leadership goal(s). The deliverable used to address these objectives is the Leadership Development Project. Below are the requirements for the LDP. The entire project should be no longer than 4 pages double spaced (including the goal setting chart). You do not need a title page.
Your paper should contain the following sections:
1. Analysis of Strengths and Weaknesses:
- Self-Assessments – In this section you should discuss the results from all of the self assessments you took during the semester (e.g., LTQ). You do not have to mention the results of all of the assessments but you must mention a minimum of six and you should choose those that were most significant or relevant for you; either because you had an exceptionally high or low score, or because it fit with a theme supported by scores from your other assessments or interviews.
- Interviews – In addition to the self assessments you will need to interview two people you have worked with recently (e.g., coworkers, supervisors, former supervisors, etc.) The important thing is to choose people whose opinion you respect and who will give you HONEST feedback. You will ask them to provide you with what they perceive to be your three greatest leadership strengths and three greatest leadership weaknesses, and to provide you with rationale for their choices. Perhaps ask them to give you some examples of when these behaviors have been demonstrated. *DO NOT argue with them or defend yourself, and monitor yourself to make sure you are not angry or defensive. Only ask questions to help you clarify their perspective.
- Strengths/Weaknesses Conclusions – Once you have the interview data and the self assessments you should look for themes or trends. What do you appear to do well as a leader? What do you struggle with? This is the most important section of the LDP because you will choose one or two weaknesses from here to focus on for your “Goal Setting” portion of the project. This is an integrative paper, a summary of what you will take away from the class. Please do not simply list your self-assessment scores. *A short one or two sentences is NOT sufficient for this section.
2. Goal Setting: What changes do you want to make? Based on the conclusions you were able to generate in the previous section regarding weaknesses, create at least one developmental goal for improving your leadership skills, and a plan for achieving that goal. Refer to the previous sections, and think about the things that you learned about yourself that you may have been surprised by or disappointed in. Your goals should be specific, measurable, challenging but attainable, results-oriented, and time-bound. You can use the attached sample as a guideline for creating your developmental plan.
Often the difference between an A paper and a B/C paper is the ability to summarize rather than “list” the results, and the presence of MEASURABLE and TIME-BOUND goals.