There were several lessons learnt while completing the Gap Analysis as part of the Leadership Development Plan. First, I made a great step towards self awareness. There were several prompts that made me examine myself and how I react in different situations. For instance, I reflected on my strengths as an individual at the workplace and whether I had leveraged on the same to achieve success. As it emerged, I was neither fully aware nor taking advantage of them to meet my goals. This challenged me as I take on the MBA program and other endeavors to begin at the very basic personal level in seeking success. Without understanding who I am and what good I harbor, it would be difficult to appreciate others and attain excellence. More fundamentally, self awareness encompassed the understanding of the various areas of improvement that I needed to focus on in order to become both a better person and employee. Of interest was the level of self management more so in relation to stress and criticism. I now realize the need to develop myself towards calmness when under pressure and appreciating criticism without being defensive. Thereby, one of the greatest takeaways from the Gap Analysis exercise was a clearer understanding of myself including what should be done better.
Apart from understanding myself, I realized that in order to be an effective leader, I needed to start paying attention to several aspects of organization strategy. It was quite disappointing to realize that I did not remember even some of the most obvious strategies in our organization, more so the directional strategies. The latter encompass the mission, vision and values that are emphasized on in every organizational document and meeting. Though the organization does not take time to explain to the workforce the essence of these strategies, I expected to at least remember the gist of them. The mission and vision are the fundamental building blocks of any other strategy and a number of organizational strategies are based on it. I shall now pay attention to all strategies in play at the workplace as this helps to develop as a visionary as demanded in leadership. The challenge of operating at the lower levels was preoccupation with daily activities and targets while forgetting the overarching strategies in play. I also learnt that my knowledge of the human resource paradigms in our organization were instrumental in good leadership. I was well acquainted to our human resource strategy, performance management system and other elements of people management that came up in the skills inventory. This was an area of strength that could be bettered while taking cognizance of improvement avenues.
In the end, the Gap analysis also exposed me to various essentials of governance, organizational leadership and ethics. I realized the essence of the organizational structure in place at the workplace and how it impacts performance. Governance holds the key to leadership and encompassed the all important element of monitoring periodic changes and their impacts on performance. On organizational leadership, I realized various rudiments like role description within the organization and understanding sources and uses of power. I was able to relate various organizational leadership and governance elements with my present performance and understand the path to improvement. Equally important was the element of ethics in which I examined the leadership ethics in the present state and attendant limitations. I particularly generated interest in understanding ethical conduct more and will look forward to the same in my comprehensive leadership development plan.
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