Personal Leadership Development Plan by 2m9tDq

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         Personal Leadership
           Development Plan
                                           Christopher Cycak


         “The will to win is important, but the will to prepare is vital.”- Joe Paterno
Table of Contents:

Personal Mission and Vision……………………………………………………………………………………..3

Self-Assessment of Leadership Strengths and Weaknesses……………………………………….4-5

360 Degree Assessment……………………………………………………………………………………….....5-6

Professional and Personal Goals………………………………………………………………………….…..6-8

Competency Development Plan………………………………………………………………………………8-10

Inspiration for Growth as a Leader…………………………………………………………………………..10-11


Personal Mission and Vision

        The integrated Bachelor of Science Health Policy and Administration undergraduate program at
The Pennsylvania State University is a unique and valuable degree that will allow me to achieve my
career goals at an accelerated pace. I became interested in this program my freshman year at Penn State
and have grown not only academically, but personally as well. This major offers a wide range of courses
dealing with healthcare management, hospital administration, and health sales and marketing. I have
focused my studies on health sales, marketing, and healthcare leadership. I chose to manipulate my
major this way so that in the future I will be able to seek a potential job in an environment related to the
business and healthcare industries. Penn State has also had a crucial hand in my extra-curricular life as

         As a freshman, I began my college career at Penn State Altoona. During my first year at Penn
State I became the freshman class president of the Student Government Association. When I was
elected to this position I learned many organizational skills and how to execute the tasks that were given
to me. Following the end of my term as the freshman class president, I was chosen as the head
orientation leader for incoming freshman. This job lasted throughout the summer and into my
sophomore year. Being the head orientation leader, I oversaw 25 other orientation leaders as we
successfully aided in welcoming over 1,200 incoming students through various programs and activities.
Learning to negotiate with businesses in the community, I learned how to collaborate with third-parties
for advertising purposes and to complete contracts with groups that were participating in orientation.

         At the end of my freshman year, I was elected president of the Student Government Association
for the 2008-2009 academic year. I was able to acquire management skills during my time as president. I
worked with many committees and successfully planned and executed various goals set by the group
with the cooperation of the senate. Throughout the year, we planned numerous events, participated in
several activities and worked with entities around campus to pass legislation to aid students with
complications they were faced with at Penn State.

        Progressing to my sophomore year, I was the candidate for the student activity fee
representative of the 19 commonwealth campuses at Penn State. The election process included a cross-
fire debate and informative speeches that lasted two days. After the votes were cast, the results showed
that I was elected as the representative. I learned how to be fiscally responsible with a portion of 40,000
students' tuition money. I worked on a board with university administrators and other officials to ensure
the students' voices were heard and the money was allocated properly.

        When I transitioned to University Park, my goals became more clearly defined. I have become
focused on where I will be after my education experience is completed and taking steps now to ensure
my success after earning my degree. One example of how I have been growing professionally is the
completion of my internship this past summer. I interned at HealthAmerica Advantra in the Medicare
sales and marketing department. Here, I grew professionally and personally and began to make
networking connections in the healthcare industry.

        These experiences have helped me to develop a more specific focus and a stronger interest in
the healthcare industry, while helping me prepare to be a valued and contributing employee at any
corporation. My drive and ambition is evident in my leadership experience and club involvement shown
through exposure to different academic settings have helped to make me a diverse and flexible leader.

Self-Assessment of Leadership Strengths and Weaknesses


Communication Skills-

        Communication skills are the key to successful working partnerships. I have found in groups that
I have worked in previously, that I am able to communicate successfully with others. Proper
communication skills are achieved by selecting the appropriate mode of communication which your
receivers can comprehend. Working in groups, it is easily seen by the outcome of the final project if
good communication between group members was achieved.


          One of the most important skills I have learned throughout my education has been organization.
It is crucial to be organized whether you are working on a group project or hold leadership roles for a
club or sport. I keep organized by maintaining a detailed weekly agenda outlining projects or assignment
due dates.

Relationship Management-

         I began realizing the importance of positive relationships before I entered college. During my
high school years I was involved in student government and theater and held leadership roles in both. I
quickly realized that by keeping relationships positive and professional better final outcomes regardless
of the goal are guaranteed. As I transitioned to college I quickly became involved in student government
and other organizations where I was constantly working with others. By growing a relationship with
them I was able to reach and achieve my goals I had previously set for myself.


Time Management-

        Though I am an organized leader I recognize that I often have trouble with time management. I
tend to take on many projects at once because I am fueled by the excitement of accomplishing tasks.
However, when I do too much at once, little attention to details which are important sometimes get

Accepting Failure-

        I strive for excellence in every task I perform regardless of how big or how small it may be.
When I have put time and effort into a certain goal and the end result is failure, I become discouraged
and upset. It is important to realize that obtaining perfection 100 percent of the time is impossible.
While failing at a certain task may be discouraging, the lesson learned from the failure may be an even
bigger reward.

       Overall, I believe throughout my leadership experiences inside the classroom and out, I have
been able to realize what strengths and weaknesses I possess. By maintaining many leadership

positions, I have been able to work with others and see my areas of weakness while continuing to grow.
Learning from my mistakes will help me to become a more successful leader regardless of the task.

360 Degree Assessment

         A 360 degree assessmentis one of the best tools I have utilized to target what strengths and
weaknesses others see in me. I believe that being able to self-identify your own traits is an important
part of growing and developing as a leader. However, having your strengths and weaknesses
communicated to you in a constructive manner by those who have supervised you, you have supervised,
and fellow peers, is even more important.When conducting my 360 degree assessment I chose people I
worked with who have seen me grow and develop. These people include:

Name                               Occupation                         Role
Dr. Diane Spokus                   Professor                          Supervisor
Ashley Martin                      Associate Director of Student      Supervisor/Advisor
Katherine Paseka                   Graduate Student                   Peer
Christina Harvat                   Student                            Peer
Kristi Caldararo                   Student                            HPA 101 Student
Jackie Krainski                    Student                            HPA 101 Student

       Each one of the people mentioned above has had contact with me in and out of the classroom
and have seen me grow and develop as a leader. I asked each person to assess my strengths and
weaknesses, the results are as follows:


                     Strengths                                       Weaknesses
Motivation                                          Development in coaching skills
Social Skills                                       Self-awareness
Respect for Authority
Meets deadlines
Emotional Intelligence
Personalized Leadership Style
Open Minded


                      Strengths                                         Weaknesses
Understanding of others differences                 Too critical of myself
Open to others ideas without judgment               See mistakes as failures
Intelligently optimistic
Effectively provide input for growth/development

                                         Those I have supervised

                       Strengths                                         Weaknesses
Able to relate well to others                          When teaching, include more examples
Effectively listen to others
Provide other viewpoints
Comfortable atmosphere for learning

         Gaining a perspective from others has helped me to get a better view of which areas I need to
improve upon. Through all of the assessments I have gathered, I found that they are similar to the
strengths and weaknesses I have found in myself. The traits described that I possess show my strength
in the leadership skills and behavior I have as well as the initiative to continue to grow as a leader. I
believe each response has helped me to realize my true strengths and weaknesses in different
capacities. When I am being supervised, more of my strengths are mentioned but also elaborate on how
I have grown in each category. My weaknesses described by my supervisors also reflect ways I can grow
professionally. During this assessment I found my peers to describe my strengths and weaknesses
through ways in which I would describe my own traits. The result of peers providing input is important
because they are often the ones the subject being assessed works the closest with. Finally, the results
from those I have supervised returned feedback on how effective I am as a leader. Those students who
participated focused more on my strengths as a leader rather than my weaknesses. This was helpful
because I see that I am able to successfully teach and lead a class while gaining input, both positive and
negative. Overall, I see my strengths and weaknesses have different times of revealing themselves
depending on whether I am supervising or being supervised. Focusing on maintaining my strengths and
developing my weaknesses will help me to grow and develop as a leader, regardless of the role I am in.

Professional and Personal Goals

          Setting goals is a very important part of growth and development as a leader. When creating
goals it is crucial that they follow the SMART guidelines. A SMART goal is one that is Specific,
Measureable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time bound. Each of the following professional and personal
goals are ones in which I have set for myself and find to be SMART. As my career and life change,
adjustments to each goal will be made to assure each one remains SMART.

Professional goals for the next year-

       Graduate from The Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelors of Science in Health Policy
        and Administration in May 2011
       Apply and interview for jobs in the healthcare industry, specifically in medical device or
        pharmaceutical sales by August 2011
       Begin employment in the healthcare industry no later than October 2011

    While I am currently a senior at Penn State and am about to graduate with my degree in Health
Policy and Administration, it is important to begin searching for jobs. I want to gain the experience of

applying for jobs and interviewing as well. I believe that this process will help me to work on self-
development and will aid in the goals I plan on achieving in the future. The location of my job is
undetermined because I have the flexibility and independence to relocate if necessary.

Professional goals for the next three years-

       Begin part-time graduate school to earn my MBA from The University of California Los Angeles
        (UCLA) or The University of Southern California (USC) while holding a job working in the
        healthcare industry
       Build relationships and continue to network while working and in school to increase my chance
        of job placement in the area and field I desire upon receiving my MBA

    Planning my further education is something that is necessary to do to become more marketable and
knowledgeable as a leader. I chose UCLA and USC as the two schools I would decide from due to their
reputation with MBA programs. Also, I would like to live in Southern California and find employment and
these two institutions are in markets where the healthcare industry is heavily used for many purposes.
One thing I have learned from my parents as well as other professionals is to network. Networking is a
key component to learning more about oneself by means of other leaders in the same business sector or
one of interest. Having connections to other professionals will be of benefit to me so I can ask for advice
and potentially gain the job experience I desire.

Personal goals for the next year-

       Learn better time management by completing tasks by the due date required
       Keep better records of my personal finances by becoming more organized and using a program
        such as Microsoft Excel to do so
       Travel throughout the United States to get a better understanding of healthcare needs in other
        regions of the country

          My first personal goal to achieve within the next year is to learn better time management skills.
    It is important to keep to dates of when certain projects should be completed by and will help me
    not only personally but professionally. One of my strengths is organization which will aid me in
    completing tasks that are assigned by the prescribed date and time. My organizational strengths will
    also help me in managing my personal finances better. While the income I have now is limited, when
    I am employed I want to be able to organize my finances so that I am aware of how much money I
    am spending and saving. This can be done by keeping a simple spreadsheet and updating it weekly
    in conjunction with an online banking web service. With a strong interest in the healthcare industry,
    I would like to take the time within the next year to research the areas of the country that utilize
    health services more or less than others. While doing this, I will be able to fulfill a passion of mine
    which is traveling. I find it interesting to see the differences in healthcare needs and how they
    change from north to south and east to west. This can be accomplished by setting up meetings with
    healthcare professionals in various hospitals and other companies to gain a better understanding of
    the challenges they face and how as leaders they are able to manage those challenges.

Personal goals for the next three years-

         Move to the Southern California region
         Have a healthy lifestyle and maintain a workout schedule

        As I have mentioned previously, I have a strong interest in the Southern California region. Within
    the next three years find myself being able to move to this area and find an apartment that is within
    my budget range but also suitable for long-term living. Maintaining a permanent residence in this
    area will help me when I am going to school and working in the region. Areas outside of Los Angeles
    and San Diego are two places I would begin my search. Moving, working, and getting an education
    are three extreme life changes that need to be dealt with in a healthy manner. Maintaining a
    healthy lifestyle physically, mentally, and socially is one of the most important goals I plan on
    reaching. Implementing a daily workout plan and eating the right foods are a large part of
    accomplishing this goal. Also, taking time to have a mental release and do something such as
    meditation will also help me complete this goal.

Competency Development Plan

         It is important to constantly develop skills that will help shape the future growth of a leader. By
identifying competencies to learn, a leader has to self-assess and find areas that he or she may lack. I
chose the competencies below because I believe they are the root causes of my weaknesses as a leader.
I have taken responses from the 360 degree assessment and my own personal assessment to determine
the competencies I will target. The following chart shows the areas I wish to develop to become a better
leader. Each area is identified, explained how the development will occur, the action plan I will use to
accomplish the competencies/goals, and a due date I believe they are attainable by.

         Competency               How I will develop              My action plan                 Due Date
Vision                        Lay out specifics of what I   -Research the industries     Beginning now and
                              want to accomplish and        and current trends within    completed by the time I
                              in terms of learning about    them.                        have reached entered the
                              the pharmaceutical and        -Interview people who        workforce (August 2011).
                              healthcare industries for     work in these fields and
                              personal growth.              have experience with
Focus                         Stay on track to learn        -Take a classes on sales     -This can begin now while
                              about pharmaceuticals         techniques during my         I am an undergraduate
                              and sales techniques so       graduate studies at UCLA     student by researching
                              that I can focus on future    or USC                       different sales methods.
                              competencies to develop.      - Read “The Talent           -Have “The Talent
                                                            Masters” by Bill Conaty      Masters” read by August
                                                            and Ram Charan               2011
                                                                                         - Complete classes by
                                                                                         May 2013
Networking                    I will develop networking     There are many steps I       I plan to begin scheduling
                              by meeting with               can take to have a           meetings by July 2011

                           healthcare professionals.    successful action plan:        and continue growing my
                                                        -Schedule monthly              personal database as I
                                                        meetings with healthcare       continue to progress in
                                                        professionals to learn         the healthcare industry.
                                                        more about their job and       Networking is a
                                                        how the industry affects       goal/competency that is
                                                        their work                     non-measureable by time
                                                        -Create a personal             but should be done on a
                                                        database of contacts           constant basis.
                                                        within the healthcare
Grow as a leader by        Criticism can point out      -Ask others(such as            This should start upon
addressing strengths and   both your strengths and      managers, peers, and           employment (August
weaknesses                 your weaknesses. To be       reports) to complete a         2011) and continue
                           open to criticism from       360 degree assessment of       throughout my future
                           those who are                my work at three-month         careers.
                           professionals will help me intervals
                           to gain an understanding -When results are given,
                           of what is desired in the    take steps to address the
                           business world.              weaknesses to turn them
                                                        into strengths
Time Management            Having better time           -Planning my time              Have a calendar of events
                           management skills will       according to potential         and database of 150
                           help me to be more           business opportunities         clients four to six months
                           strategic. Knowing when      will help me to not only       into my career,
                           to be in a certain area at a keep better time, but also     November2011-
                           certain time or being able to meet other people in          January2012.
                           to apply my time as          the healthcare industry,
                           useful as possible will      allowing for potential
                           help me to grow              networking. Maintaining
                           professionally and           a calendar of events that
                           personally.                  are work-related is one
                                                        part of my action plan.
                                                        -Keeping a database of
                                                        potential clients will allow
                                                        me to increase my sales
                                                        and profits for my future
                                                        company. By keeping a
                                                        list, this will save me time
                                                        rather than searching for
                                                        potential clients.
Responsibility             To have financial            -Being responsible with        August 2011
                           management is important money management is
                           because it shows a sense also a very important
                           of fiscal responsibility. It task. It is crucial to be
                           will be necessary for me     responsible with money
                           to spend within my           because it will help me to
                           means and to learn the       set a budget and stick to

                             responsibility of future     it.
                             costs such as rent and       - I will begin the
                             living expenses.             organization of my money
                                                          by using a Microsoft Excel
                                                          spreadsheet to highlight
                                                          my finances

Inspiration for Growth as a Leader

         To be a leader takes a person who is willing to be flexible. One of my greatest qualities I have
learned from my parents is to always place yourself in someone else’s shoes when conflict arises or
when making a decision. Being able to see both sides of a situation and how it will affect others is a
quality that as a leader, I feel is necessary to have. My motivation to always succeed comes from my
passion of helping others. I am a thankful for what I have accomplished in my life and for those who
have helped me to grow as a leader. These people are the ones who have shaped me by pointing out my
strengths, but have given me the chances to improve my weaknesses. It is important to remember that
building relationships professionally and personally are crucial in the development of any leader. When
seeking outside inspiration I often refer to a list of quotes I have grown fond of during my college career
at Penn State. These quotes are listed below and are given an explanation for their inspiration:

“Each second we live is a new and unique moment of the universe, a moment that will never be again.
And what do we teach our children? We teach them that two and two make four, and that Paris is the
capital of France. When will we also teach them what they are? We should say to each of them: Do you
know what you are? You are a marvel. You are unique. In all the years that have passed, there has never
been another child like you. Your legs, your arms, your clever fingers, the way you move. You may
become a Shakespeare, a Michelangelo, a Beethoven. You have the capacity for anything. Yes, you are a
marvel. And when you grow up, can you then harm another who is, like you, a marvel? You must work,
we must all work, to make the world worthy of its children.”- Pablo Picasso

         Pablo Picasso is known for his bizarre technique of art that became a segue for many artists
after his death. He was someone who wasn’t afraid to go against the grain or make an unpopular
decision for the better. I find inspiration in this quote because of its meaning but also because he had
the realization that each and every person has a potential greater than what we can imagine for
ourselves. To reach that potential, takes hard work and may require to risks to be taken.

“The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been.”- Henry

         When I became the president of the student government association at Penn State Altoona, my
advisor had a list of quotes in her office. This quote in particular, I would always find myself reading
every time I met with her. When I read this quote my thought process is “a manager is someone who
manages, a leader is someone who leads.” As basic as that thought may be, it holds true and one reason
why I find inspiration in the quote from Henry Kissinger.

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"Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be."- Ralph Waldo Emerson

         My family and I have a very close relationship and are always there for each other. This quote
was sent to me by my mother, who I admire greatly. She passed this on to me because it is one of her
favorite quotes and thought I would enjoy it as well. I included it in my personal leadership development
plan because as a leader, it is important to look back and see who influenced you to get to the place you
are in your life. Being a leader also means to be someone who teaches and guides others to lead and
grow to their potential as well.

Summary of my learning experience as a discussion leader

        Upon registration to HPA 479B, I knew the basic structure of the course. I was familiar with the
objectives and knew that I would be a discussion leader. However, what I was unaware of was the
amount I would grow as a leader, personally and professionally. This leadership experience was
different for me for many reasons.

         Over the past four years I have held many leadership roles and positions but have also been
involved and worked with people who I knew personally, to an extent. This leadership experience was
different because I was going into the class not knowing any of my peers and being the discussion leader
to a group of students I had never met. After the first discussion group with my section of students, I
quickly became aware of my surroundings and was intrigued by what was to come. The students were
talkative, active, and asked many questions that challenged my thinking as a leader entering the
healthcare industry. I was truly able to connect with the students as the course continued.

        After my first evaluation from the students in the section, I realized my strengths and worked to
improve upon them. Upon the return of the second evaluation, I noticed that my weaknesses in the
class had diminished and I was able to conquer the flaw the students noted. Being able to be a student
but lead another group of students was truly rewarding.

         Being a discussion group leader and taking a class on leadership is something I would
recommend for anyone who had the opportunity. I was able to connect with other students, while being
a student, and get honest feedback. Critiquing me as a leader is something that I have grown and
learned from this class. Using the text book and assigned readings also provided me with the resources
to flourish as I graduate from Penn State to feel confident that I will be a strong leader in the healthcare

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