Personal Strategic Development Assessment

MY LEADERSHIP JOURNEY – Wafa Siyam

Leadership as defined by Northouse (2013), Is a process whereby an individual influence a group of individuals to achieve a common goal” (p.5). The definition focused on the “influence” and “the common goal,” whereby, strategic leadership defined as “Individuals and teams enact strategic leadership when they create the direction, alignment, and commitment needed to achieve the enduring performance potential of the organization” (Hughes, Beatty, and Dinwoodie, 2014, p.11). The Oxford dictionary defines strategy as, “a plan of action designed to achieve a long-term or overall aim”(Oxford livings dictionaries, n.d.). Effective leadership is necessary to guide through the process of acceleration and change. Transformation of healthcare organizations into learning organizations will occur only under the guidance of leaders who can convey the demonstration of emotional intelligence and ethical behavior, as well as technical competencies (Imbenzi, Williaume, & Page, 2013, p.14). The challenging point facing my leadership context is continuity of aligning the organizational goals for the success of the institution with each employee’s ideals with their integration, promotion, and tenure.

In the light of transformational leadership development skills and navigating personal and professional strategic leadership skills, I adopted the Personal Strategic Development Assessment (Atha, 2018) to assess my strategic leadership context. (See Appendix A for the complete set of items). Considering strategy as a selection of choices influences the best decision, in certain events [circumstances], when achieving a specific goal to the precise extent. Circumstances must take into consideration the surrounding conditions.

As an effective leader, I usually define the details, find meanings, the reason for it and “why” behind it, take personal responsibility, and maintain positive emotions. Also, being proactive to choose the best I can do based on my values to respond to the situation. Sharing my thoughts about the situation and seeking advice and learning opportunities from one’s hardships and choose personal growth. Moreover, equipped my leadership skills to meet the challenges of change and turn them into positive opportunities. Self-awareness and responsibility toward the circumstances helped me understand my strengths and weaknesses, thoughts and beliefs, emotions and motivations for the betterment of the situation.

The challenge starts when collecting and making sense of information about the internal and external environment surrounding the circumstances; trying to satisfy the wants and needs and reach the conviction. Knowing my strength and working on my weakness throughout the process of discovering my core values, helped overcome the situation and get ready for something new and different.

Essential strategies when handling emotional turmoil are discerning and labeling negative feelings, choosing to be happy, and the reason is, I allowed myself to be exposed and vulnerable. Therefore, I decided not to get stuck in those emotions and feelings and have the motivation and courage to face fear and uncertainty. The motivation to change the circumstances has a positive impact situated underneath the reality of my personal growth and leadership skills.  Stress management is an important aspect of our lives to maintain our physical and mental health and improve our resilience to personal and professional life stressors. By identifying the source of stress and addressing the issues, I come to understand the problem and reach resolution. I ask my self, what can I do? Using my toolkit to manage stressors start firstly by eliminating unnecessary stressors and take control of my environment. On the other hand, altering the situation by adjusting my standard or be willing to compromise and create balance. Secondly, accommodate the situation and try to view it from a positive viewpoint, look at the big picture and take the time needed to understand what happened and reflect on it. Appreciate all good moments in my life including my positive quality and gifts. Thirdly, cope with the stress and look for the opportunity for personal growth. Fourthly, moving and assessing my personal growth with vigilance and intuition. Fifthly, connect to others and networking, set aside a leisure time. Finally, manage the time better and maintain the balance with a healthy lifestyle. Being aware and mindful of any stressful situation and think about a way of coping, restoring my energy, set priorities, schedule my time, prioritize my tasks and smoothly manage my daily life.

The needs and wants for changing or strengthening my response to any circumstances stemmed from having a purpose, keeping an open mind and being curious about the possibilities that change the promises and help the development of transformational leadership skills. Being flexible and practical when looking at the big picture. Creating a structure to provide flexibility, stability, and support while transitioning. It’s interesting to note, time is another need and wants when changing responses. It’s the well-being and individual’s desire when change happens to allow drawing upon our own generative, perceptions, self-healing and capacities driving success. Critical thinking is a personal strength rooted in my leadership context and practiced in making an evidence-based decision. Questioning, assessing, and evaluating my core beliefs about the change, helped me in conveying the wanted message of changing. Additionally, being avidly positive, perseverance, patience, persistent and focused with purpose are strengths assimilated and incorporated in supporting and structuring my leadership skills. On the other side, my weakness is over-committing my self to my job, family, and friends. As well, I learned to delegate the responsibility whether at home or on the job. I learned to let go of the desire to oversee every little step.

Mission, Vision, Value

As an emergent leader, my personal/ professional mission and vision result in caring, leading, and learning together. My vision adopted from my workplace is Excellence in healthcare, every time, create and collaborate the leading and caring through building an emotionally intelligent organization. My values are respecting people, be compassionate, dare to innovate, collaborate, and serve with purpose.

Personal Strategic drivers

There are three strategic drivers when applied, will add a positive impact to my potential. Firstly, it is Strategic personal development. My leadership aspiration is to serve a unique purpose and the focus and base direction emanates from my sense of caring and service. My personal/professional mission and vision subsumed in my core values, thereby, conceiving those overarching result to reach my potential. My purpose is to embrace and improve patient care, and the solution depends on understanding and applying the principles of patient-centered care and manage resources substantively. “Strategic change by nature requires a shift in the connected, interdependent patterns of choices that the organization has made in the past” (Hughes et al. 2014, p.47).

Secondly, it is the evaluation of my development. The continuous evaluation of my development and obtain useful feedback from a diverse variety perspective would help reach my potential. Further, scanning the nine core of Transformational Servant Leadership (TSL) competencies as the guiding educational philosophical paradigm (Mitchell, Strong, Williaume, & Wu, 2017, p.44), I am striving to excel in team leadership, Innovation, people development, service, quality orientation, relationship, and collaboration. Furthermore, exploring other areas in the leadership competencies, when prioritized, to add more values, and influence my strategic personal development.

Thirdly, it is driving cultural transformation through service to high results strategy and weaving those values into the DNA of my leadership context resulting in developing a culture that brings public health interest and always places patient safety first. Improve the health and well-being of patients through robust, diverse approaches and appropriate opportunity for the diagnosis and treatment. Identify the suppressors are compromising the patient care chain from moving to high value result in healthcare. However, bringing the attention to performance and peer pressure will result in building acceptance and engagement to patient care service philosophy. “Strategic leaders need to help people navigate the change process, assisting in learning new skills and capabilities, working with others in different ways, and acknowledging and authentically managing emotions through that change” (Hughes et al. 2014, p.47).

Driving the change, leading the shift, departure point, and differentiation

According to Ungerer, Ungerer, Herholdt, 2016, p.15) and their seminal work, I identified some old economy thinking and practices in the past that require adjusting to becoming a more effective strategic leader. My old economy thinking includes Leadership as position and hierarchic power. When leadership is perceived as title granting access to a platform for personal gain, rather than a privilege or partnership resulting in an opportunity to serve; we will continue to find ourselves in a crisis of leadership. Recognizing the limited resources and being driven by repeating ideas and languishing the challenges because the title makes my leadership context unable to see beyond the patterns set in the minds within the restrictive practices in the organizational structure. Poor leadership cripple business and ruins economies and loses its uniqueness and purpose. A new initiative into my leadership context may have a unique insight and opportunity for growth and make an effective change into my organization to fulfill the Vision, Mission, Value. Christo Nel developed a view of new economy leadership practices as a response to old economy way of doing things. He states, “every facet of leadership practices and organizational life is an extension of deeper underlying values” (Ungerer et al. 2016, p.15). As a result, adopting new economy thinking through practicing servant leadership and stewardship in one side, and unleashing energy and diffuse leadership on the other hand.

Navigating solutions for crafting the big picture required a valid change to my leadership process. The transformation to a new-economy value perspective as an emergent leader, whereby, needed leading differently by serving the interest of others – where patient care is the potential. Planning to have effective change and use the genuine ‘both/and rather than either/or leadership’ to embrace  a paradox thinking (Ungerer et al., (2016, p.15) approach and learning opportunities like curiosity, Inquiry, humility, open to a new advice, and collaboration with others (Hughes et al. 2014, p. 21) to reach an optimal solution.

The strategy learning is the process in my leadership context required to adapt to a new learning. “The critical issue for a strategic leader is knowing how to make changes that progressively build on each other and represent an evolving enhancement of the organization’s well-being” (Hughes et al. 2014, p 21). It is necessary to have a mindset that understands how to craft the big picture (Hughes et al. 2014, p 22-23) and it is the evaluation, feedback mechanism collecting the practical applications and experiences and the insights of strategy collaborators (Ungerer et al. 2016, p. 19).

Additionally, it’s the iteration in a continuous cycle in the organization strategy process; “that views successful strategy as operating in an ongoing state of formulation, implementation, reassessment, and revision” (Hughes et al. 2014, p. 21-23). What does it really mean to “be more strategic”? How do leaders, through their behaviors and interactions with each other, create the direction, alignment, and commitment needed to make the strategy come alive in the organization? “how they become a better strategy maker” in their organization, especially as they balance the tensions inherent in a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) world? (Hughes et al. 2014, p. 20). All these questions need a careful answer when considering an improvement. The steps needed in becoming a strategic leader are adopted from Hughes et al. (2014) and their imperative work. I have come to understand these strategies to a certain extent and manifest them at the appropriate time and proper measure in keeping balance.

Assess internal and external environment (p.23) Enhance and improve the sensitivity and awareness of my context in helping to understand the situation and satisfy critical wants and needs. For instance, what demographic trends might be important (p. 23)? Internally, revisit strengths and weaknesses and align how my capacity matches demands. My mindset is ready for something new and different and finding momentum.

Clarify mission, vision, and values and maximize them to involve more aspirational dimensions to engage others and create more meaning and purpose (p.25).

Discover new drivers and prioritize them to help clarify in excelling directions and differentiation (p.26). Capacity, quality, research, and development are drivers, I need to adapt to my leadership competencies (p.29).

Develop leadership strategy (p.32), which involve human emotions, beliefs, desires, capabilities and leadership culture that has a positive impact on how direction, alignment, and commitment are created (McGuire & Rhodes, 2009; as cited in Hughes et al. 2014, p.32).

Execute, perform, and learn from a focused strategy that can be translated and coordinated formally through effective communication, assessing and finding indicators related to my strategic drivers, looking for patterns and trends and understanding how to maximize those drivers. Revisit and reassess and start the cycle all over again (p.35).

Having all of the above states function in a circle with continuous arrows between them and “viewing them as operating in an ongoing state of formulation, implantation, reassessment, and revision” (Hughes et al. 2014, p.23) adds more insight into visioning and the effectiveness of my leadership process. Therefore, developing an accepted opportunity to experience the learning-base platform and engaging in the iteration of these states over time, make changes that progressively build on one another; thereby, guiding and informing decisions when taking action. Further reflection suggests finding and discovering new drivers to anticipate the effective changes. Achieving long-term performance and accountability as a new finding is underlying in capacity, quality, research and development (Hughes et al. 2014); whereby, making understanding to do what is required today to matter tomorrow. Leadership is engaging others to “create shared direction, alignment, and commitment (DAC) (Hughes et al. 2014, p. 41). “Conceiving of leadership as its outcomes (DAC) allows the flexibility that the ways in which those outcomes are achieved are varied and context-dependent” (Van Velsor, McCauley, & Ruderman, 2010; cited in Hughes et al. 2014, p. 41).

New Venue

              Leadership is a journey requires a destination that coming from a well-planned direction when team members have shared purpose, knowing the goals, priority, and plan to achieve those goals, so there is a common understanding about why various decisions are made and how they connect. In conjunction, alignment exists when decisions are coordinated coherently with the overall strategy.

Finally, Commitment and delegation are two traits I choose to hold in balance towards the approach, and bring the loyalty and expand the efforts to invest more towards the need of the organization over and beyond the energy I spend to meet my own individual goals (Hughes et al. 2014, p 43). Conceiving strategy (Hughes et al. 2014) as a learning process (p.23), Integration of thinking, acting, and influencing (p.50), informing future thinking (p.49), welcoming engagement of others into “the strategy-making process to produce a better strategy that could have been developed in isolation” (p.49), and weaving them together leverage the power of the people towards ultimate performance potential (p.50).

Furthermore, creating a culture built on service, excellence and transformational approach develops cohesiveness, collaboration, and sustainable relationships for a tremendous turnaround in any organization. “The transformation would require commitment from all of us as leaders” (Northouse, 2013, p. 223). Leading is not a position; Leading is a decision based on selected views of strategy combined with critical thinking, humility, and influencing others with presence over a position. The mastery of leadership competencies is a learning process that requiring ongoing discovery, discerning, evaluation, differentiation, and positive change. Leadership is a set of dynamic skills.

References

Atha, D. (2018). Unit 1 learning activities. Retrieved from: https://create.twu.ca/ldrs501/assignment-1/

Hughes, R. L., Beatty, Collarelli-Beatty, K., & Dinwoodie, D. L. (2014). Becoming a strategic leader: Your role in your organization’s enduring success. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Imbenzi, G., Williaume, D. & Page, D. (2013). Transformational servant leadership. Unpublished manuscript, Master of Arts in Leadership, Trinity Western University, Langley, Canada.

Mitchell, K., Strong, H., Williaume, D. & Wu, T. (2017). Leadership competency framework. Unpublished manuscript. Master of Arts in Leadership. Trinity Western University: Langley, Canada.

Northouse, P. G. (2013). Leadership: Theory and practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

Oxford living dictionaries (n.d.). Retrieved from: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/strategy

Ungerer, M., Ungerer, G., & Herholdt, J. (2016). Navigating strategic possibilities: Strategy formulation and execution practices to flourish. Randburg: KR Publishing.

Appendix A

 Personal Strategic Development Assessment

  1. Assess you as a strategic leader.
    1. What is your general response to the circumstances you presently face in your life?
    2. How do you handle the stressors you face?
      1. Personal
      2. Professional
  2. What are your wants and needs for changing or strengthening your responses?
    1. Personal
    2. Professional
  3. What are your strengths and weakness with regard to the desired changes in your life?
    1. Personal
    2. Professional
  4. What personal mission, vision and values do you practice?
    1. If you do not have a personal/professional mission, vision or values, take the time to develop one and explain why the mission, vision and values statements developed align with you and the future personal/professional development you desire?
      1. Personal
      2. Professional
      3. Collectively
  5. What key strategic drivers will help you create significant impact for achieving your potential?
    1. What areas will you abandon for your future development?
    2. What areas will you excel in?
      1. Personal
      2. Professional
  6. Explain the personal/professional culture you want to develop from the mission, vision, values and drivers envisioned and how they align with your present/future success.
    1. Personal
    2. Professional
  7. Conclude the assignment:
    1. Identify some ‘old economy’ thinking and practices you continue to use in your leadership and the outcome(s) you’ve experienced as a result. Include how you plan changing those habits to ‘new economy’ thinking and practice to create an effective personal/professional strategy with the outcome(s) you anticipate as you adopt ‘new economy’ habits in your leadership practice. (Ungerer, Ungerer & Herholdt, pp. xiii-105)
    2. Provide a personal assessment of needed personal development to become a better strategic leader based on your review of the chapter 1 material. (Hughes, Beatty and Dinwoodie, pp 21-51)
    3. Outline the present strategic strengths you discovered and how you can align them to become a better strategic leader