Professional Development Plan
Leadership as a vocation requires a commitment to professional excellence and integrity, which
can be achieved through establishing habits of self-reflection, life-long learning, and professional
development. The purpose of this assignment is for you to reflect on where you currently are in
your leadership capabilities; define where you want to go; and specify goals, plans, and a
timeframe for achieving your professional objectives. Your professional development plan will
be composed of three parts: Vision, Goals/Objectives, and Plans.
The ability to create, communicate, and compel vision is critical to inspiring and effective
leadership. While ultimately many leaders are responsible for developing visions to guide
complex organizations, effective leadership begins on a much more personal level—a vision of
yourself as a leader. Who are you and who do you want to become in your field or sphere of
influence? Once you are clear about that, you can then confidently establish how you will help
others and your organization achieve their visions.
Your leadership vision is based on a number of factors including your attitude, values, personal
beliefs, guiding principles, and how you behave. It may also be influenced by theoretical,
philosophical, or religious frameworks and the leadership traits, values, and behaviors of others.
A leadership vision is also dynamic. No great leader ever "arrived." Those who have adopted
leadership as their vocation can spend a lifetime in self-reflection in order to continue to learn
and more effectively motivate and inspire others.
Spend some time reflecting below on where you currently are in your leadership capabilities,
what you have learned about leadership in the course, and how you want to develop and improve
as you continue your leadership studies and move forward in your field. Review the document
“Essential Leadership Competencies” for an overview of the scope of effective leadership
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Then, in 300-500 words, briefly articulate your vision for yourself as a leader 3-5 years from
now. Where do you want to be? What kind of leader do you want to become?
After you have stated your vision, create five to eight leadership goals/objectives you will strive
to meet in the next 3-5 years. Try to formulate at least one goal/objective related to the four
major leadership competencies included in "Essential Leadership Competencies": selfleadership, leading others, leading an organization, and leadership as a vocation. Include a brief
justification for each goal/objective to explain how it will help you achieve the qualities of
professional excellence and integrity required of excellent leaders.
Specify activities you will engage in to achieve your goals/objectives. You may find it helpful to
research professional development activities in your field or organization to determine what
resources are available to you. Be specific about projects you will engage in either as student or
as a professional and identify people in your life who can help you achieve your goals. Be sure to
include a timeline of events.
Finally, include a method for evaluating your professional development plan at regular intervals.
What milestones will you include in your plan to help ensure its success? How will you use
methods of self-reflection to assess your progress as you move towards your goals?
Essential Leadership Competencies
1. Self-leadership provides an opportunity to achieve your objectives through your own
thinking, feelings, and behaviors. Self-reflection is a necessary tool to improve the way
you function as a leader. How do you plan to practice methods of self-reflection that
contribute to the development of how you lead?
2. Recognition of characteristics of professional excellence plays a key role during
interviews and performance evaluations. These characteristics must be visible to
colleagues and stakeholders in order for you to benefit from them. Which characteristics
of professional excellence do you currently have? Which characteristics of professional
excellence do you want to have?
3. Emotional and social intelligence skills translate to communication skills. Leaders who
are able to access their emotional center have an advantage over leaders who only rely on
intellect. Emotional and social intelligence can be an area of significant personal growth.
4. Continued professional development delivers benefits to individuals, their profession,
their community, and possibly the world at large. Most notably, continued professional
development keeps you desirable in your current position and attractive to potential
employers, if needed.
5. Organizational responses to change in the workplace are the result of individual leaders
who are employed within the organization. As a leader, the ability to manage change is
essential. How can you demonstrate flexibility and adaptability in response to changing
or unknown circumstances?
1. An effective leader has followers and inspires them. This relationship is mutually
beneficial. Leaders and followers support each other in order to achieve goals, vision, or
objectives. How do you plan to inspire followership through the utilization of leadership
and motivation theories?
2. Diversity can be a strength within a team and organization. First, diversity must be
recognized and leveraged as a strength. Diversity provides fresh ideas and perspective for
a team or organization. How will you analyze people's strengths in order to leverage
diversity to improve performance outcomes?
3. Communication and collaboration are increasingly important in a global and digital
environment. Effective communication and collaboration among different stakeholders
are prevalent in the workplace to meet business goals. What strategies for effectively
leading teams and fostering collaboration among various stakeholders will you apply?
© 2015. Grand Canyon University. All Rights Reserved.
4. A great leader seeks to coach and guide in order to develop leadership qualities in others.
Most leaders have had the opportunity to be coached by other great leaders. Coaching
others enables people to improve their performance. What are some methods of coaching
and providing guidance that help develop leadership qualities in others?
Leading an Organization
1. Analyzing organizational behavior can drive innovative change and encourage
organizational growth, including improved outcomes. When new leadership is
established, the leader often sets a vision. The leader must evaluate systematic
interdependencies among individuals, team, and departments to inform their vision and
apply innovation to improve organizational outcomes.
How can you develop and communicate a compelling vision to guide organizational
development? How do you plan to analyze organizational behavior to determine systemic
interdependencies among individuals, teams, and departments? How do you plan to
integrate creativity and innovation to improve organizational outcomes through
2. New and existing leadership requires the leader and the followers to be of the same mind.
How can you foster a climate of learning and development within an organization?
3. Organizational responses to technological advances and economic shifts contribute to
change in the workplace. What strategies can be utilized for implementing and managing
change within an organization?
Leading as Vocation
1. Numerous historical and recent events provide examples of leaders that did and did not
understand they had a moral obligation to lead with kindness, compassion, and justice for
the good of followers and the community. The outcomes of these events may directly and
indirectly affect you, your peers, the community, and society. What are some guidelines
to ensure you lead with moral obligation for the good of followers and the community?
How do you intend to lead with kindness, compassion, and justice?
2. Leaders who consider leadership their vocation consider it a service to others and for the
common good. How do you intend to implement leadership as a service to others that
promotes the common good and contributes to the benefits of communities and society at
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