My Blueprint of Professional and Personal Growth

This paper is my analytic theorem to my Blueprint of Professional and Personal Growth from the course “Managing People & Promoting Collaboration”. It gives a brief breakdown of my path to become a manager I aspire to be, how my relationship with my family, partner and work can be a root of my happiness and how sure I maintain my personal integrity of ethics and morales within my work environment.
An executive summary is presented to show how the course educated me in a more systematic way and how it helped me identify my strengths and weakness as a manager, how I can build a functional team, managing team and teams in virtual environment, building a team charter and etc… Furthermore, in detail is one goal I added to my previous goals I identified in the previous course “Dynamic Leadership”, that I plan to achieve in my personal and professional development.
Executive Summary
Throughout this course, Managing People & Promoting Collboration has educated and enlightened me in four aspects – how to manage people, how to build a successful team, how to select a strategy to use in supporting a positive work environment and creating & sustaining culture in organization. Managing people can be natural as well as an acquired skill. Due to human nature that is ever changing and evolving, management also in order to be effective must also be evolving and be able to accommodate dynamicity. As this course exposed me to so many different concepts, theories and strategies in building a functional team, team work and fostering collaboration.
I was able to identify my strength and weakness as a team leader which actually can aid as well as can hamper my ability to manage. Thought-provoking topics we covered during the eight (8) weeks ranging from finding an effective manager; ensuring effective communication in organizations; handling difficult conversations; motivating others & personal motivation and purpose; strategies required to motivate team members; giving effective feedback; forming a team & selecting members; building a team charter; building functional teams; managing diverse teams and teams in a virtual environment; my role as an effective collaborator; ethical challeneges and legal risks of being a manager; creating a sustainable organization; strategies, theories and concepts on promoting a positive work environment and being a manager that’s a dynamic leader.
Two elements that improved my understanding of managing people and fostering collaboration is effective communication and vulnerability based trust. The key to effective communication within team members is the context of the information. “Team members, therefore, must be aware of what, where, and when to communicate information to achieve effective and efficient outcomes” (McComb, 2012). Furthermore a team with a creative behavior creates an environment that could compel them to work with determination. Being able to make a difficult task look like a fun game, the ability to challenge each other’s ideas in order for a new idea to arise and to be innovative.
“When teams engage in creative behavior, their activities are focused on generating novel and useful ideas and solutions” (Colquitt, Lepine, Wesson, 2013). Also having energetic persona within the team keeps the team in rhythm and enables the team members to make spontaneous decisions – energetic persons have the natural powers of conviction and are able to communicate to others their point of view openly and with acuity. Most importantly, building vulnerability based trust according to Lencioni, “This means that members of a cohesive, functional team must learn to comfortably and quickly acknowledge, without provocation, their mistakes, weaknesses, failures, and needs for help.
They must also readily recognize the strengths of others, even when those strengths exceed their own” (Lencioni, 2003). Such a trust enables the team to work with each other recognizing and admitting their strengths and weakness and they accept each other’s challenge as a lesson or an experience to their skills and not as an offence. Learning to be humble and show humility with each other will lead to successful team collaboration. This will enable the team to accept others point of view with keenness and also allow them to face any hindrances and challenges with diplomacy.
Moreover, this course assisted me in learning how to create a team charter in which it has showed me my strength and weakness. A Team Charter helps “team members recognize their complementary skills, their common purpose, common goals, and mutual accountability” (Byrd & Luthy, 2010, p. 14). It made me understand how to be prepared for any arising conflicts and how to manage it. ”Conflict management works best when the parties involved in a disagreement are equipped to managing it themselves” (Weiss & Hughes, 2005). I also learnt the importance of feedback and feed forward. “Feedforward helps people envision and focus on a positive future, not a failed past” (Goldsmith, 2002). How it puts the employees in a check list in order to spot where they are wrong and perform better.
“Effective feedback helps the coachee see the gap between intended performance and actual performance” (Payne, V. 2007). The requirements needed to excel and improve in their workforce. ”Employees can provide useful input on the effective of procedures and processes and as well as input to managers on their leadership effectiveness” (Goldsmith, 2002). I believe that I can be more impactful to organizations due to my improved understanding by the way I can improve team building and team work as well as forster collaboration among collegues. I would also be able to be impactful as a manager who is able to lead, a leader who is able to communicate effectively, and one who can motivate others, a good manager that has an inspiring values following with ethics and morales at work and with the team memebrs; most importantly I can be a leader who can manage people and resources of an organization effectivtely and efficiently.
“Some of the most critical decisions a manager makes involve personal values- how much emphasis to place on the immediate interests of the customer or the long-term interests of the company” (Posner, 2009). The understanding of effective communication has changed the way I view the job of a manager and the way I can practice collaboration in the organization because it has made me realize that the manager is not just a post or position but a responsibility taken upon oneself to utilize resources in an organization and to make sure that every individual under his control is aware and equipped with all the necessary information and that communication flows to and fro management to employees and between employees in oder to keep all parties involved in tune with organization’s objectives and targets.
My goals to be successful and finish with my MBA in the nearest future has grown even more stronger and this course has exposed me to the possibility of using other people to achieve these goals by learning from them and openining myself to opinions of others. Taking advices as well as giving advices to others that have problems and learning from the results. In other words, this course taught me how to feed forward effectively. “Management is doing things right; Leadership is doing the right things.” “Rank does not confer privilege or give power. It improves responsibility.” – Peter Drucker
Live, Learn & Love
“The worm on the hook for the fish” – I stated this in my previous post as my motivational theme. The desire to achieve the goal and knowing what needs to be done to achieve that goal. The truth is I don’t know if I would be happy in my career, but I do enjoy and do know that I want to be happy in any field I choose to be in and give a hundread percent to achieveing things expected of me. Being a manager must start with me being able to first manage myself, because if I can not take charge of things around me that are available to me and motivate myself to be the best I can be with the resources at my disposal then it would definitely be unnatural to manage others.
And I can be that manager I aspire to be by gradually practicing and building on myself and then applying it to with others. I have to show others that I can lead and manage and that I believe in myself- by coaching and teaching them through what I have learnt and through my experiences. I must say it is an uneasy task to lead and manage especially when it comes to a diversity workforce of gender, qualifications, ethnicities and etc… But I like the challenege as it gves me joy and eagerness into gaining more experience, learning openly without fear of making mistakes and enable me to make the right decisions. No relationship is perfect, I argue with my spouse and family at times and yet they are the one’s I seek advices and support from. I love them and they love me and we want to keep loving each other and pushing each other to attain the best things we want to acheive in life and more.
My father taught me that family comes first and there is no joy if there is no family bond. Nothing is perfect and what makes the thrill of the bond to be unbreakable is all those arguments and laughter after that. What makes me sure that I can be happy with my partner and family is because first and foremost, I want to be happy and remain that way with what I have. Though there would be differences and clashes at times because no one and nothing is perfect, I know that we can always try to make each other content and importantly, as long as we keep trying, that’s really want counts.
Regardless of the fact that I may not be able to see or have enough time for my partner and my family am just glad that technology beats it all in bringing me close to them through phone calls, emails, skype and other applications. I for one can not please or make everyone happy, but to sustain my relationship with my family, partner and work I try as much as possible to separate my professional life from my personal life and also as I give my full time to my work I also have to give sometime for my personal matters. When it comes to intergrity, personal morales and ethics, I have come to realize that when in Rome, behave as the Romans would at the same time having standarnds and limits to what you can accept from others that are not ethically accepted by you is important.
In business it is no new thing to get dirty for the greater good of the organization like to lobby or tell white lies; like hyping in other to make the organization have a favorable postion but at the same time safety, health and respect should never be compromised. I would as a leader work for the interest of the organization and push on to hit its projected targets but would pull the plug when its target are harmful and could end up bringing more loss then profit to the myself, the organization and its employees. Moreover, instilling humility and fairness is an important factor of my values in giving me a firm stand of integrity.
Of course as a leader of a hospitality company I do make aware to my staff about policies and rules in order to control any unforeseen unethical behavior. Strategies that I am using at the moment in my organization as well as my personal life is firstly to communicate effectively – from the article of “Difficult Conversations” by Christensen, K 2011; feedforwad instead of feedback; the five (5) basic conditions to maintain an effective team by Coutu & Beschloss, 2009; building trust – vulnerability based trust by Lencioni, 2003 and the 4Rs of motivation by Maccoby,M 2010.
The shared practices within the forum, helped me to be more analytical and logic. Reading from my peers their diverse experience and goals, not only powered me to achieve more, open other types of companies, listen more, better creative ideas, but most importantly they give me the “determination” in achieving them without fear and be prepared to face predicted challenges. My passion driven for the purpose; as the previous course “Dynamic Leadership” has taught me the dynamic styles of leadership due to dynamic personalities a leader have to encounter when leading others. This combined with Managing people & promoting collboation have broadened my goals and how I would develop my action plan.
Action Plans
During the shared practices and articles read during the eight (8) weeks of the course “Managing People & Promoting Collaboration” and the previous course “Dynamic Leadership”, I was able to build an action plan that I was taught from my previously. This has helped me see things more clearly and able to establish a clear game-plan and clarify my goals as a leader. Moreover, I was able to draw out many short and long term goals and have them prioritized. From the action plan that I have set, it is much easier to ride the wave of my success. As it is a stimulating elemenet that drives my passion for the purpose as I excel in my performance and also help others excel in theirs. Below is a new goal added to my list of the other goals I have planned previously.
New Goal : My new goal is to improve my ability to motivate myself as well as others. My aim is to understand the personality traits of each employee and how they interact together; by identifying their strengths and weakness and coaching them if the need be. Motivation internal and external is a great factor that fuels the urge to achieve the unachievable. “ Men and women want to do a good job, a creative job and if they are provided the proper environment, they will do so.” – Bill Hewlett – Co-founder, Hewlett-Packard
Obejctive 1: Self Motivation
Milestones: a. Set mini goals or mini targets. This will aid me achieve a fraction of the major goal I have set. So this will actually help me feel like I am accomplishing something and I am moving forward in a bid to attain the entire target. Milestones: b. Positive mental attitude & enthusiasm to
work. By avoiding negative feelings and persistently focus on the positive and eyes on the target. By talking to inspiring people or listening to new ideas. Being enthusiastic in finishing the mission; maintaining a healthy work and life balance. Obejctive 2: Motivating Others
Milestones: a. Mountain of vote of confidence. By making them aware that I am confident in the team members ability in getting the work done. Keeping things in perspective. According to Christensen article, Frederick Herzberg stated “the powerful motivator in our lives isn’t money, it’s the opoortunity to learn, grow in responsibilities, contribute to others and be recognized for achievements” (Christensen, 2010) Milestones: b. Recognition for those who portray exemplary attitudes in aiding the team, achieve its goals as well as also a collective reward for the teams success.
Below is my previous goals I have listed in my previous course “Dynamic Leadership”. Goal 1 : My first goal as I mentioned in the post of week 7, is to successfully improve and expand the hotel industry that I am leading. My aim is to attract more customers and offer quality services. My calculated time frame for this is between 2 to 3 years.
Obejctive 1: To do this I have to achieve my MBA within 2 years. Milestones: a. Implementation of new approaches and different leadership styles.
Although with these time set objectives, there are other points that  will stay for a long term such as building team work that involves  shared goals, productivity and problem solving.
b. Professional training: A period of 6 months period will be  offered for advanced staff training to a more higher professional  level. With this knowledge I would be able to help guide the  people I lead, share with them my experiences and foremost  improve myself personally and professionally.
Obejctive 2: Improve many features within the hotel industry which will take 6 to 9 months.
Milestones: a. Establishing flexibility to access: Such as improve the quality of  services, improve the advertisement criteria by subscribing to  different online booking websites like .com or  Expedia and also spreading of flyers to the airport and other public  vicinity – cafeterias, malls or supermarkets.
b. Enlargement of infrastructure or amenities by increasing more  rooms and provide other facilities such as business center, spa and  gym which this will take approximately a year or so to put that into  settlement.
Goal 2 : Obtain another MBA degree in Marketing to be achieved in the commencement of the 3rd to 5th years. Obtaining more degrees may open doors to so many opportunities such as becoming more effective, more strategic, more developed, more crtitical thinking and be able to progress more strengthing my pillars in the realm of my business.
Obejctive 1: To do this I have make a thorough research on the subject. Milestones: a. This is a milestone itself to plan to have another MBA degree in
Marketing. I would do researches on the subject through the  internet or library or articles And also seek vices from my  academic advisor.
b. Seek opinions and advices from family, friends, peers, colleagues  at work and most importantly from my academic advisor. More  prominently to know how this MBA, if pursued how it could be a  transition to effectively prepare for a career progression or a career direction.
Obejctive 2: Time Management & Finances
Milestones: a. Being that I am already pursuing an MBA degree I have to virtually draw a schedule between work, family , MBA – Project Management , Upcoming MBA – Marketing and myself. It is  essential that I don’t cram myself up and know if there is a  possibility I could pursue it comfortably. In the case if I did I would end up being workaholic plus MBA-holic.
b. Financing my education wont be that much of a problem, being there is so many possibilities that I could fund my MBA. By  loaning from my income, family help maybe but may not be  needed, bank loan or a financial aid if applicable
Goal 3 : Finally my last and ultimately crucial goal is to develop and enhance myself. After taking the Personal Values Survey, I was able to identify my eakness and would like to transform it into strength.
Obejctive 1: Improve my communication skills with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds. Milestones: a. Improvement of communication skills, strengthening my  presentation as well as the way I carry myself in the business world  as well as in the society.
b. Improve my ability to get information to and fro, people of diverse culture and background in a clear, accurate and concise manner that would enable my messages to be clear and easy to understand.
As in straight to the point, simple and understandable.
Obejctive 2: To be more courageous
Milestones: a. Build my courage esteem to venture into opportunities, ask questions and have a stand in decision making. b. To instill the valor to follow what I believe. As well as having a personal and professional evaluation of things. Moreover I want to  have the courage to believe in my judgements and my intuition on business and other important decisions.
As implied above, by achieving the goals and others I am planning for, I see and believe that these will help me advance to the next higher level and more professional. There is this quote that I stumbled across which resonated to me, “The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.” – Vince Lombardi. I couldn’t agree less to this quote, because your team portrays you and vice versa, therefore in order to be an exemplary leader for your people to look up to, one would have to be a genuine leader who is wise, modest, trustworthy and fair; to be supportive, to allow them the initiative, to involve them and to be true.
I am aware of all the possible obstacles that could delay me and cause hindrance but I believe if you want to achieve something you will have to be well prepared to face the challenges ahead. Therefore, from the knowledge I have gained from this course, Managing People & Promoting Collaboration, not only it has heightened my beliefes but also give me the power to advance to another level I was not expecting to heed. My dad said, “Nothing comes easy… To dream and to talk is free… To achieve it requires your utmost effort and preparedness”.
Therefore, I am determined with trust and belief that together with my team I will achieve my goal with full passion and nothing is going to hold me back. A good relevant quote that shares the same point, “There’s nothing anyone can do to prevent you from reaching your potential; the challenge is for you to identify your dream, develop the skills to get there, and exhibit character and leadership. Then you need to have the courage to periodically reassess, make adjustments, and pursue a course that reflects who you truly are” (Kaplan, 2008).

Prof. Angela


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