Personal Leadership Plan
La Trobe Business School
La Trobe University
10 April 2015
The reason for this essay is to prepare a Personal Leadership Action Plan that helps build a foundation for future leadership objectives and identifies realistic goal, actions and timelines. The plan will included an overview of my career and then future career aspirations to provide an insight into the current state of my leadership journey. I will identify personal and professional strengths and weaknesses identified by various diagnostic tools and questionnaires. A basic action plan a the conclusion of this document will highlight my future direction.
At the age of 21 I was in my final year or university and had been accepted into Ericsson’s graduate program for the following year. My first role I was made a sub project manager but three months of exhibiting the values of professionalism, respect and perseverance I was promoted to total project manager reporting directly to the board of directors. This is where I learnt the importance of lobbying and performing root cause analysis. After two years in this position I was given the opportunity to get back into technical work and to travel. I believed this would be the best career move because I would gain a much deeper understanding of Ericsson’s core business. It was after I had moved back into the technical area that I telecommunications we privatised and the .com crash occurred. For the next seven years I moved to Sydney where I worked on the front line with Ericsson’s only client, essentially helping keep Ericsson’s in business. I performed shift work in a network operations centre with a handful of other Ericsson engineers but under this pressure I learnt to be humble, organised and independent. I learnt how to understand client expectations and dealing directly with their customers.
It was at the end of the seven year stint in Sydney that I decided to start my own online travel business. I paid developers over the next eight years to build a customer friendly travel website. I also setup a business model and training program for partners. I coached a team about 10 people on how to engage new clients. I also went out to hotels and proved the business model works with 100% signup rate for hotels. The lesson learnt while building this company is it is easy to get clients involved but it is very difficult to get customers, the website needed to solve a customer problem by at least being easier to use or having content that helped them make a decision. The root cause of closing the company is because I was traveling with Ericsson and I could not spend any time with the developers to help this design and test a website focused on customer experience. It is very important when building a company that you work closely with developers to keep the product vision on track. You can see how Steve Jobs starting a new company with his own money, he called it NeXT, and how he had the correct customer focus and great teamwork allowing each member to use their strengths. (EverySteveJobsVideo, 2014) You can see in the team that as the founder he took the role as the “Plant: Creative, imaginative, unorthodox. Solves difficult problems”, (Belbin, 2012). The rest of the team filled in the remaining eight team roles outlined by Belbin. My company had the same team role dynamics but we lacked engagement and proper follow up with the website developers relying too heavily on trust.
Continuing to refocus on my career in Ericsson I was moving out of technical expert roles and back into leadership positions based on my both technical expertise and understand our clients when working in network operations in Sydney. The last five years I have been involved in very high profile projects in the capacity of team leader. I have also been involved in changing Ericsson’s strategy for global delivery or their core products. Because the culture of the company is solidly founded on professionalism, respect and perseverance in most cases the teams I have been assigned have performed their jobs but in every case I have had to keep the team focused on the overall goal and at times on the expectation for that day.
It is important to always keep in mind during my career that “Vision must be based on your customers… Steve Jobs, even in the earliest days, understood that every powerful business vision has to focus on the customer experience, not just lowest cost or most impressive technology or other isolated competitive advantages.” (Elliot, 2012)
I have a very strong interest in developing new business opportunities. I believe it is very easy to foresee future customer expectations and build a product that meets their needs. I have been working on a business opportunity IPTV for Ericsson for the last four years and only now is the opportunity being regularly reported on the news. In the next five years I aspire to continue to communicate this business opportunity. In the next ten years I plan on building a business case and promoting the opportunities of virtual reality (VR) when the goggle and taptic suit technology becomes available. (Cline, 2011) To help me improve my public speaking skills specifically my introduction and conclusion, I will join Toastmasters technospeakers in Doclands, Melbourne. (Anon, 2015)
To help me develop the skills and tools to move forward in my career I am doing and MBA. In the MBA I have identified the traits of leadership style in Goleman (2000); Coerciveness, authoritative, affliative, democratic, pacesetting and coaching. I noticed these styles indicate the behaviour you need to exhibit during the team building period but need to be employed flexibly whenever needed. This also works very closely with Belbin’s (2012) model of nine team roles.
For each of the 16 leadership competencies (Zenger, Folkman, & Edinger, 2011) have identified a range of competency companions, personal capabilities which if consciously developed, will strengthen the core skill. I have a good fit with Ericsson at the moment, I found in my leadership effectiveness assessment regarding competence, passion and company needs is innovation and this is a large focus for Ericsson current vision. (Ericsson)
The Johari window reflective self awareness tool I found I have a high willingness to disclose and I also solicit feedback. In my experience totally honestly is always appreciated as long as it is constructive and genuine.
My Career Oriented Inventory survey shows that I have a entrepreneurial anchor with managerial anchor. I would also add that I am heavily evidence based and I try to minimise risk by working with others with diverse backgrounds to get their insights, I then change my mind as needed based on new evidence.
Ericsson has a tool called ITM which we input and review with our manager twice a year, this includes looking at feedback like 360 degree surveys.
I need to keep reading and using citations as evidence to convince people around me. Although Ericsson has an excellent culture that was successful during it’s monopoly period it still needs to prove itself during the Oilopoly. I believe it will need to change it’s culture and focus a lot more on teams, presentation skills and with change the culture to have all management focused on their listening skill. I hope to show management the value of Belbins Team roles at work, diversity in backgrounds and fostering new business opportunities.
My long term plan is to create and run profitable customer focused company driving innovation and coaching my team to success. This goal can be achieve in Ericsson or anywhere. I have also thought to start my own company again. Work life balance is also very important and will be important for me to balance family and work. Financial security will also be an important and hopefully positive side effect of all the other actions I plan on taking.
|Goals||Action||Completion Date||Measure of Success|
|Improve academic qualifications||Complete MBA||Mid 2016||Receive a certificate of completion for MBA course|
|Improve public speaking||Engage in more public speaking and team development initiatives.||End 2015||Conduct two speeches|
|Involved in stratigic planning||Request projects with strategic planning is involved||End 2015||Complete next strategic assignment in Croatia or Thailand and complete presentations for Mexico focused on a vision and strategy going forward|
|Review EI using 360 degree surveys||Send out surveys regularly for feedback||ongoing||Send out after each assignment, at least three times a year|
|Improve work life balance||Improve delegation skills and learn to say no||mid 2015||Try to delegate more and not over work|
|Practice MBA knowledge||Write essays and submit to journals||ongoing||weekly update my e-portfolio, CV and linkedin|
|Work life balance||Travel less||mid 2016||Stable family life without needing to travel more then 2 weeks|
Anon. (2015). Technospeakers Toastmasters Club. Retrieved from http://technospeakers.toastmastersclubs.org/
Belbin, R. M. (2012). Team Roles at Work. Retrieved April 9, 2015, from http://latrobe.eblib.com.au/patron/FullRecord.aspx?p=535053
Cline, E. (2011). Ready Player One. Great Britain: Century .
Elliot, J. (2012). Leading Apple with Steve Jobs. New Jersey; Canada : John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Ericsson. (n.d.). Visionary ideas. Retrieved from http://www.ericsson.com/thinkingahead/visionary-ideas
EverySteveJobsVideo. (2014, January 1). youtube. Retrieved April 03, 2015, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNeXlJW70KQ
Goleman, D. (2000). LEADERSHIP THAT GETS RESULTS. Harvard Business Review.
Zenger, J. H., Folkman, J. R., & Edinger, S. K. (2011, Oct). Making Yourself Indispensable. Harvard Business Review Vol. 89 Issue 10, pp. p84-92.