Explain what character traits are essential for a leader or manager?

Individual Assignment 1: Mind the Gap!

You have spent some time in this unit examining resources that focus on values, principles and goals. As you probably discovered, each of your guiding principles could be realised through any number of goals, and each of your goals could easily lead to another. Imagine the road map of your life with many signposts and mile markers!

For this Individual Assignment, you will create three goals, drawing from your self-assessment of your managerial gaps and an inventory of your strengths. As you work on this Individual Assignment, be sure to reflect on all you have learned on this module and your growing understanding of who you are as a leader. You can use the ‘Creating Goals’ template found in the unit resources to create your goals and submit them to your Instructor for feedback. Comparing this template to the directions you see below will help you understand the deliverable for this assignment.

By the end of the unit, these three goals you have created will become the first part of your Personal and Professional Development Plan, or PPDP. The PPDP is one part of your Final Project. Because you will be completing activities based on these three goals for the remainder of this module, be sure to think carefully about this Individual Assignment.

To complete your Individual Assignment:

Create your first goal by reviewing your Managerial Roles Gap Analysis from Unit 1. Complete the following elements:

First, choose one gap from the analysis in which your competency was on the lower end of the scale. This gap should be a competency that you wish to improve upon.

Next, consider the underlying mentality, skills and approaches that you associate with your identified gap. For example, if your managerial gap occurs in the area of entrepreneurship, you may think about the ways that entrepreneurs are aware of new trends and focused on innovation.

Then, based on these thoughts, create three values statements that emerge from the managerial competency you wish to improve. For example, if you want to improve your ability to innovate, one values statement might be, ‘I value staying informed about emerging trends in my profession’.

For each of your values statements, write a few explanatory sentences so that your Faculty Member will understand your orientation and thinking.

For each values statement, create three principles and explain them as well. You will have a total of nine principles. For example, if one of your value statements is about being informed about emerging trends, one of your principles might be, ‘It is important to read and research about emerging trends in one’s profession’.

Finally, from among these principles, select one principle and create a goal; for example, ‘I will strive to stay informed about emerging trends in my profession through reading and research’.

Explain why you chose this goal and how it relates to your values and competencies.

Next, repeat this process to create your second goal, again beginning by reviewing your Managerial Gap Analysis.

Finally, create your third goal using the VIA Character Survey as follows:

Complete the VIA Character Survey located at the link below.

The VIA Inventory of Strengths (VIA-IS) character survey (Peterson and Park, 2009; Peterson and Seligman, 2004): http://www.viacharacter.org/Surveys/SurveyCenter.aspx

Please note: The VIA Institute on Character has a strong personal data privacy policy and will not share your information. You can select the language of your choice on this landing page by using the drop-down box on the upper right.

To begin your free survey, follow the link and complete the registration form and login. If you are interrupted while taking a survey, return to this page and log in to resume. Be sure to bookmark this page and save your results when you have completed the survey (by selecting Save-As in your browser.)

You are strongly recommended to use the VIA-IS character survey for this exercise. However, if you experience persistent connectivity issues, you may instead complete an alternative downloadable Personal Values Survey by downloading the document linked in this unit’s readings.

Based on your survey results, list your top three character strengths, and then rephrase them as values that are relevant to your personal and professional life. For instance, if one of your strongest character traits is ‘Critical Thinking’, your value statement might be, ‘I value thinking critically about situations in my life’.

For each of those three values, develop and list three principles that emanate from each one (again, you will have a total of nine principles). For instance, if your value statement is ‘I value thinking critically about situations in my life’, your principle might be ‘It is important to fully understand a situation before making a decision’.

Out of the nine principles you have developed, select one principle to use as a basis to create a goal; for example, ‘I will strive to ask the right questions and be an active listener in order to fully understand a situation’.

Explain why you chose this goal and how it relates to your values and strengths.

Submit your Individual Assignment to your Faculty Member for feedback. Be sure to submit by the end of this unit in order to receive feedback. Contact your Faculty Member for permission to submit an assignment early, or to submit an assignment after the end of the unit.

To complete your Individual Assignment, do the following:

Please complete the Individual Assignment in a single Word document and submit between Day 6 and 7 of the second week of Unit 4.

To upload your Individual Assignment, click on Individual Assignments Submission on the Module Menu, and then click the “Unit 4 – Individual Assignment 1 Turnitin” link.

Mark as complete

Individual Assignment 2: Draft Leadership Critique

Effective leaders not only understand and can apply key leadership concepts and principles; they can also compare different perspectives on leadership and make judgments about what others have to say about leadership. Developing these skills of critical evaluation is extremely important both for your success on this programme and in your career.

In many cultures, the notion of criticism or critique can have negative implications. The process of critical evaluation, or taking a critical stance on an issue, does not necessarily mean that you are finding fault with certain ideas or perspectives. It does not mean that you are choosing your favorite idea or adopting the perspective that is most familiar or comfortable to you. Rather, critical evaluation implies that you are thinking clearly and carefully about all of the benefits and limitations of a particular idea, such as a theory found in the literature. Critical evaluation may involve comparing or contrasting the best features of several theories or perspectives found in scholarly literature, and drawing a final, reasoned conclusion about what you believe. A good leader will stay abreast of current thinking found in journals, critically evaluate ideas gained from reading and research, draw some conclusions, but be ready at any time to adjust those conclusions if better ways of thinking about leadership present themselves.

One element of your Final Project in this module is a short critique of leadership concepts and theories. This Individual Assignment will help you prepare for this part of your Final Project., The goal for this Individual Assignment, however, is not to complete this portion of your Final Project, but rather to prepare a draft on which you can receive feedback from your Faculty Member, and use to complete Part 3 of your Final Project.

To complete your Individual Assignment:

Review the requirements for the Leadership Critique provided in the Final Project guidelines and the assessment criteria for this part of the Final Project provided in the Rubrics

Review the resources on leadership you found for your Unit 2 and Unit 3 Individual Assignments

Find at least three or four additional scholarly articles from peer-reviewed journal on leadership theories and models that interest you.

Include in your draft:

A brief description of one or two leadership theories, concepts or models, including why you find them interesting or relevant to your work

A brief discussion of how these leadership theories, concepts or models relate to your personal perspectives on leadership and your practice as a leader; in other words, how might theory inform your practice as a leader

References/Works Cited

Your goal is to provide a critical evaluation of the one or two leadership theories, concepts, or models you found. Ask yourself, to what extent are these theories useful to you in explaining your understanding of and experiences with leadership? Do they conflict with your understanding and experiences, and if so, how? Can you use these theories to expand or change you perspectives on leadership, or change or improve you practice? Does one theory make more sense than another, and if so, why?

Submit your Individual Assignment to your Faculty Member for feedback. Be sure to submit by the end of this unit in order to receive feedback. Contact your Faculty Member for permission to submit an assignment early, or to submit an assignment after the end of the unit.

To complete your Individual Assignment, do the following:

Please complete the Individual Assignment in a single Word document and submit between Day 6 and 7 of the second week of Unit 4.

To upload your Individual Assignment, click on Individual Assignments Submission on the Module Menu, and then click the “Unit 4 – Individual Assignment 2 Turnitin” link.

Mark as complete

Final Project Preparation: Reflective Journal

In this unit, continue writing in your Reflective Journal about your thoughts and reactions to the learning resources, activities, and assignments, about what you are learning and how your thinking is developing, and about how you will take your learning forward in your career.

For this unit’s Reflective Journal entry, write 2-3 paragraphs that address the following questions:

What character traits are essential for a leader or manager?

What differences do you see between your personal and professional values? What are the implications of those differences?

You do not need to submit anything in this unit; you will compile your Reflective Journal entries into a Reflective Portfolio in Unit 6 as one element of your Final Project.

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