Sample Leadership Essays on Leadership Development Portfolio

Leadership Development Portfolio
The quality of management is among the factors that influence the success of a business. Today, the high rate of competition in the business sector makes it necessary for companies to ensure that they are ahead of the competitors. The primary aim of every business is to achieve a competitive advantage that increases its chances of survival in the market. Such companies are able to influence decisions in the market through factors such as market leadership. The market leadership results from the large market share that such companies are able to access. Among the factors that contribute to the success of an organization is sound leadership. The ability to formulate company objectives that are likely to steer the company towards success does not guarantee its success. The success of companies is determined by the ability of the leadership team to motivate the employees to work towards the set objectives. Regardless of the quality of the company objectives formulated by a company, ineffective implementation may lead to failure of the company. It is important for companies to invest in sound leadership that promotes full implementation of company objectives. Among the key factors that contribute to full implementation of the objectives is the quality of leadership skills possessed by the managerial team.
Good leadership skills entail the ability to conduct the company’s activities effectively through delegation of authority, effective communication and the ability to inspire other employees. From a theoretical perspective, it is easy for managers to implement company objectives but the situation is different when it comes to the real experience. Most of the managers are faced with the challenge of implementing the company objectives effectively due to poor leadership skills. To enhance the leadership skills for these managers, it is important for the individuals involved to develop their skills in leadership. Managers who have developed their leadership skills are able to overcome the challenges that they may face in different level of complexity on business.
The leadership skills enhance the ability of the managers to motivate the employees towards achieving the set objectives even if the business environment changes. Today, the business environment is not constant, implying that managers have to keep changing their strategies to succeed in managing the organization. It is thus important for individuals to invest in leadership development so as to gain the necessary skills. In my work as a manager, I have realized the need to develop my leadership skills so as to communicate effectively, delegate authority and inspire employees to work towards meeting the objectives of the company. In this reflective report, I discuss the leadership skills that I need to develop to become more effective in my work as a manager.
Leadership development enables one to expand their capacity to be efficient in executing their duties as leaders. For a leadership development plan to be successful, one must identify their areas of weakness in their day to day running of the business. They must identify the areas they need to develop, the reasons for targeting development in such areas and the suitable approaches to adopt in developing their skills. A leadership portfolio is the most suitable tool for one to achieve their development goals. This is because the portfolio helps one identify their leadership needs by assessing the current challenges at their workplace. The portfolio enables one to assess the effectiveness of their leadership skills from their knowledge about themselves and the feedback they get from their peers. Through the leadership development portfolio, one identifies their goals in leadership development and the most suitable ways of meeting the goals.

Current leadership skills and practice
Based on the self-assessment results, I believe that my leadership skills need to be developed for me to function effectively as a manager. I have some strong leadership skills that help me achieve the set targets, but I realize that I need to improve on some skills. The modern business world keeps on changing and the variations bring about changes that I need to have the ability to handle so that they do not affect my leadership skills negatively. Among the strong leadership skills, I possess is the ability to communicate the company’s objectives to the employees so that they understand the expectations of the organization.
The skill has been effective as it has helped ease my supervisory work as most of the employees are fully aware of their roles and the importance of their input towards the company’s overall success. The strong communication skills have also played an important role in enabling me understand the needs of employees because I have successfully established a two-way communication system where the employees can easily express their complaints or compliments. I have been able to establish an effective communication system within the organization, which has played an important role in motivating employees. The highly motivated employees are able to perform their duties diligently and thus able to meet the company objectives on time.
My ability to communicate effectively with the employees has not only enhanced the clarity of instructions, but also motivated them to work better. However, I have realized that my schedule is so tight that I am unable to meet some of the company duties that are very important to achieving the company objectives. The high profitability of the company over the years has led to its expansion and this implies added responsibilities for the employees. As a manager, my duties are increasing by the days and it becomes hard to meet all the expected tasks within a given time. I am aware that I need to delegate some of the duties, especially the routine ones so that I can concentrate on other tasks. The main challenge is that I am unable to delegate authority to junior employees for the fear that they may not perform the tasks as required thus affecting my inefficiency.
I highly value transformational type of leadership and believe that it is the most suitable for the company. According to Emery and Barker (2007, p. 77), transformational leaders are more effective at their work compared to those which adopt other types of leadership styles such as dictatorship or bureaucratic. Being a transformative leader requires one to develop their ability to be part of the leading team in the company instead of acting as the sole leader. The main focus of the leadership style is to develop the capabilities of all employees so that any of them can become a potential future leader. By applying the leadership style the company’s performance will increase due to the development of strong leaders. The employees do not only develop their leadership skills, but also their technical skills. This is because transformational leaders are able to identify all the needs of the employees and define the most suitable strategies to meet them. In the rapidly changing business environment today, it is important for companies to keep evaluating and developing the technical skills of the employees to make them competent (McCall 2010, p. 12). One of the ways through which the managers can develop the technical and leadership skills of the employees is by allowing them to perform other tasks different from their normal routine work. To achieve this, it is important for the managers to delegate authority to the junior employees.
The leadership theory is among the approaches that support delegation of authority in an institution. The theory proposes a continuum that shows that the ability of managers to delegate authority influences the performance of employees positively. The Tannenbaum and Schmidt Continuum shows the relationship between the authority of managers and employee freedom (D’Auria 2015, p. 54). The simple model indicates that high level of employee freedom that results from delegation of authority reduces the authority of managers. When the authority of the managers is reduced, the employees act with more freedom and are able to carry out their activities more creatively resulting to innovations. The modern business world requires companies to embrace creativity so as to develop more innovative and efficient ways of conducting their activities. Delegation is among the factors that reduce the authority of the employees thus leading to more efficient and effective work environment (Rozilah, Muhammad and Kamaluddin 2013, p. 390). The benefits that delegation of authority has on the company’s success are the motivation behind my desire to learn more about the art of delegating. I realize that the approach will not only enhance the quality of my managerial work, but also prepare future company leaders.
Leadership development goals
The identification of leadership skills gap is irrelevant if one does not have a plan on the achievements that they intend to have. It is important to formulate the leadership development goals so that one is able to evaluate their progress in the activity based on the extent to which they are able to accomplish them. In my case, I need to develop leadership skills that will enable me trust the employees more so that I can effectively delegate authority. I will be certain that I have achieved this by assessing my ability to meet the desired leadership goals. One of the leadership development goals is to be more confident in my leadership skills such that I am able to motivate employees, communicate effectively and most importantly, delegate authority. To identify whether I have attained the goals, I will review the feedback received from the employees and other parties I deal with regarding my services. The other leadership development goal is to develop my ability to think strategically such that I am able to picture the company’s success in future. The skill will be evaluated by assessing the extent to which am able to identify the organizational needs, how to solve them and the expected results.
I also aim at developing the ability to relate with the employees at a more personal level through delegation so that I can accurately identify their strengths, weaknesses and methods that can be used to optimize their abilities. The extent to which I effectively achieve this will be indicated by the feedback received from the employees as well as personal assessment on leadership skills. Another leadership development goal is the ability to manage the company remotely. I need to develop technical skills such as information technology that will enable me to manage the activities of the company even when I am not physically present. I will evaluate the extent to which I have developed the goal by assessing my information technology skills. By accomplishing the development goals, I believe that I will be able to effectively delegate authority and communicate even better with the employees. I am certain that the performance of the company will increase due to the effort of highly motivated workers.
Expected outcomes
For one to gain maximum benefits of leadership development programs, they must be able to identify their leadership needs, the goals and the expected results. I understand that I need to develop the ability to delegate authority to become more productive. To do this, I need to cultivate trust with the employees so that I will be able to conduct my activities effectively.D’Auria (2015 p. 51), suggests that the effectiveness of leaders is indicated by their ability to influence the employees to work towards achieving the company’s objectives in a timely manner. Such leaders should cultivate trust with the employees so that it becomes easy to influence their actions. In my case, I expect that at the end of the leadership development program I will have the ability to build trust with the employees so that I can comfortably delegate authority. I also hope that I will develop operational skills necessary to conduct activities in the company more effectively.
According to Urban and Naidoo (2012 p. 150), operational knowledge is among the factors that determine the success of a manager in their work. The authors define operational skills as the ability to identify how to conduct activities in the company using the most sustainable means. This entails learning about how the company conducts all its operations. As a manager, I must be in a position to oversee the functions of all the departments thus it is important that I have the knowledge on the operations involved. Although I will delegate authority to the junior employees, some of the tasks such as oversight of departmental progress will not be delegated. The delegation will only involve the routine jobs. The most beneficial aspect of gaining operational knowledge is that it will help me understand how delegation of authority is effectively done to ensure maximum benefit to the company and the employees.
Through the leadership development program, I also expect to sharpen my technical skills. The skills entail having adequate knowledge about the activities of a company as well as all the aspects of management (McCALL 2010, p. 15). At the moment, I am aware of the professional activities that I am expected to conduct in the company. However, I am not confident about my knowledge on the aspects of management in terms of the activities that I should engage in to succeed in the business. I hope that by the end of the leadership program I will have developed managerial skills and abilities needed to run the company. I also expect to develop decision making skills that are important in carrying out my managerial duties effectively. In my line of duty, I am involved in making sensitive decisions that have a direct effect on the success of a company. Through the leadership development program, I will learn about how to make objective company decisions. I believe that the leadership development portfolio will be helpful in making my work as a manager more productive.
In conclusion, it is important for individuals to enhance their self-assessment skills so as to identify the needs or the leadership gaps that they may need to address so as to enhance their effectiveness. The ability to develop an effective leadership development program is crucial to enhancing one’s competence in leadership. This is because one focuses on a single or a set of leadership skills that has the greatest potential to improve their efficiency at work. To develop an effective leadership development portfolio, one must identify the need to have their leaderships skills developed and the most effective ways to achieve this. By accomplishing the leadership development goals, one gets the confidence in leadership. In the face of the rapidly changing business environment, it is important for individuals to promote their leadership abilities so as to be able to operate effectively. The ability of an individual to identify the goals and expected outcome of the leadership development program is important because it makes it possible for the individuals to measure their progress. The failure to meet the expected outcomes is an indication that the individual needs to restructure their leadership development goals.

References
D’Auria, J., 2015. Learn to avoid or overcome leadership obstacles. Phi Delta Kappan, 96(5), pp.52-54.
Emery, C.R. and Barker, K.J., 2007. The effect of transactional and transformational leadership styles on the organizational commitment and job satisfaction of customer contact personnel. Journal of Organizational Culture, Communication and Conflict, 11(1), p.77-102.
McCALL, M.W., 2010. Recasting leadership development. Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 3(1), pp.3-19.
Rozilah, A.A., Muhammad, M. and Kamaluddin, N., 2013. Validity and Reliability of the Management Communication Style Scale. International Journal of Social Science and Humanity, 3(4), p.390-400.