Assignment – Leadership Development Portfolio
The purpose of this assignment is to assist students to identify the learning and personal growth they have experienced during the NURS 472 course. Through reflection, analysis, and integration of course readings, exercises, and self-assessments students will examine their own learning and growth through the description of an ‘Aha moment’ regarding class content and using feedback from others. Students will then develop a detailed plan of how they will use this learning in their future followership/leadership endeavors.
The Leadership Development Portfolio is comprised of two parts:
Assignment will consist of the following formats:
1.An 8-10 page scholarly paper fulfilling both parts 1 & 2
Paper will be formatted using APA. Significant errors in APA formatting and sentence structure, grammar, and/or spelling will result in a ½ letter grade deduction.
This exercise is intended to help students articulate learning regarding effective leadership and followership and how they can improve for the future. Therefore, these portions of the
Development Plan can and should serve as a model or template for the student’s future life and professional career.
Part 1—‘Aha’ Moment
What’s really outstanding about those moments is usually when you hear something like that, it’s—it’s—it’s reminding you of what you already know. That’s what the ‘aha’ is, ‘cause it feels like: ‘I knew this; I just didn’t know the words to put to it’, you know? That’s what it is. That’s what’s
fabulous about it.’
(Oprah Winfrey, the Oprah Winfrey Show, October 13, 2000).
Begin by writing a substantive description of a personal ‘aha moment’ that occurred sometime during the semester in which you were able to connect content/concepts from class
with your everyday personal/work life. Clearly identify the ‘aha’ moment. Provide information about how this learning related to your everyday personal/work life and reflect on why this
awareness is important to your personal learning about leadership development and why it helped you understand the concept better.
Step 2 – Analysis of the “Aha” moment
Now analyze your ‘aha’ moment-- a simple recounting of this learning is not acceptable; rather a deep reflection, discussion and analysis of how this learning influenced, and will
continue to influence, your future followership/leadership is expected. Provide insight into how your thoughts/beliefs about followership/leadership have been expanded and transformed as a result of this ‘aha moment’, connecting this learning with various other relevant class
content/concepts. In addition to class resources and in-class assessments, students should
consider and integrate the knowledge gained through the various weekly leadership practice samplers.
Students are also expected to use feedback from person(s) outside class regarding their leadership/followership attributes and practices in relation to the concept discussed in the ‘aha moment’. No research and/or resources outside class materials are needed or expected for this
assignment. A combination of this learning (the analysis/integration of the ‘aha’ moment concept, other relevant concepts and outside feedback) should paint a clear picture demonstrating
students’ understanding of their own growth, strengths and areas for improvement.
Part 2 – Plan for future Leadership/Followership Development
Now, demonstrate how this new understanding will be intentionally translated into a useful framework in your future transition to nursing practice and life in general. Again, insight for this plan may come from class content, personal experiences, in-class
assessments/evaluations, weekly practice activities, assignments or critical thinking. Construct a specific, detailed, step-by-step plan that will help you move forward in your leadership/followership development. (For example, to say “I will be more trusting of others” is not specific enough. How will you make it happen?) Consider what success will look like for you in this development plan and how you will know you are moving forward. The plan should focus on development in the near future (such as N. 479/489 and 1-2 years post-graduation).
COURSE: NURS 472
An 'aha moment' refers to the sudden reaction to an experience or some discovery. It is considered vital when it comes to professional and even in personal lives. The moment can have a powerful impact on an individual (Kounios & Beeman, 2009). In the NURS 472 course, we have been made aware of leadership and its importance in the nursing profession. We were given the opportunity to seek feedback from outside the college, to learn about our strengths and weakness, the areas where we need to work upon ourselves. I had sought feedback from my colleague and another person, and I will discuss it further and try to connect it with my present assignment. This part one of this assignment requires us to discuss an 'aha moment' that has been influenced by the course's learning or how the knowledge from the course helped me realize my 'aha moment'. I have tried to present my actual experience in such a manner that it fulfils the requirements of this assignment. I have further discussed my 'aha moment' in details and analyzed it. It has helped me grow as a person, learn about leadership and also ways in which I can improve myself. The second part consists of a leadership portfolio that is based on my learning from the course and 'aha moment'.
The description of ‘aha moment’
My personal 'aha moment' happened at my workplace. I am a person who always found it challenging to connect with other people and even working with them. I was always conscious of self, a personality that was an integral part of me since childhood. Whenever people used to correct me for some silly mistakes, I got emotional and personally took them. I always believed that I could be a good leader once I enter into my professional life (nursing) and deal with challenging situations with my smartness. In my workplace (a food store and home delivery service centre), I have to interact with the customers on a limited basis; so initially, I did not face many difficulties. However, a few weeks back, my senior informed me that my primary job role has been upgraded to deal with customer complaints, and based on my performance, my pay level shall be raised. It came as a shock to me. Dealing with the customers' complaints requires specific special skills like patience, calmness, compassion, decisiveness, humility. I was very nervous and wanted to convey to my senior that I cannot take up the job role, even if it costs me a brilliant opportunity to earn better. However, my colleague stopped me and asked me to think about it for a day or two; and then decide. I agreed; however, I was not happy and felt suffocated as I could not keep the uneasiness within me. The very next day, we were introduced to the NURS 472 course. The course mainly focuses on the leadership aspects, and thus, it seemed interesting to a person like me, who finds it difficult to interact with other people. When the new concepts were introduced, I started connecting some things with myself. It is vital to learn that people can always aspire to lead and bring personal and professional lives (Brungardt, 1996). The impact of the course made me question myself- "Why am I conscious of self? Who is stopping me? Is everyone else except for me is perfect, and I am not? Are not we all having some of the other fears? Why do not I overcome it?" This course was introduced when I struggled with myself as to how shall I convey to my senior my inability to accept the new offered job role. I did not say anything to my senior and took up the job of handling the customer complaints. However, it did not begin well. The first lady I dealt with was furious at us for delivering the eggs, out of which one was rotten. I realized that it is going to difficult and felt nervous. However, the moment I realized, as per Nwabueze (2011), calmness is a critical characteristic of a good leader; I listened to her and did not utter even a single word until she was out of her anger. I politely apologized for the disservice and inconvenience caused to her. I offered her to send the following order of the same quantity of eggs, free of cost, to which she agreed. While hanging up the call, she became polite and apologized if she was too harsh in the beginning. I thanked her for understanding and hung up the call. When I shared the incident with my senior, he applauded me as the client I dealt with often complained about little things. Thus, he said to me that you have some excellent convincing skills and should emphasize more on them. The moment I heard that I was full of joy. I could not believe that I dealt with someone that way. For me, this was my 'aha moment'.
Analysis of the ‘aha moment’
My 'aha moment' has enhanced my confidence level, and the level of challenges I used to feel while interacting with other people has significantly come down. I always believed that only when I get into the nursing profession I will play a decisive role in leadership. However, the course and my 'aha moment' have made me realize that leadership is not based on professional conduct, but one should also have it while in school, college and even internship. Being confident not only helps you professionally, but it has profoundly impacted my personal life (Jackson et al. 2011). Today, I am learning to be firm while presenting my thoughts, talk to different people without fear of being judged and the most crucial thing; learning to be emotionally stable. I found it difficult to accept who I am and how I can be wrong and acknowledge that I need improvements. I am becoming a better person each day, which gives me self-satisfaction, not just at my workplace but even in college. My parents have been observing my behaviour while on call and are happy enough to know I am doing well. An individual needs to do what makes him happy; in my case, I am doing the same things that I did a few weeks back, but after the experience of 'aha moment' and learning from this course, I am in a better place today. Being a leader, one needs to be self-satisfied and calm from within and have the ability to deal with tense situations like coping with criticism (Cameron, 2012). This can also be called emotional intelligence; we learn to deal with our emotions and not let them influence our professional lives. Connecting the concept with my 'aha moment', I was faced with huge nervousness and a sense of fear while dealing with the lady who was upset with the service. The learning from Shankman et al. (2015) played a critical role there. I calmed my emotions and kept quiet until the lady vented out her anger. This worked well, and the matter got resolved. I can also relate to the five practices for becoming an exemplary leader Kouzes & Posner (2018). The practices include; Model the Way, Inspire a Shared Vision, Challenge the Process, Enable Others to act and Encourage the heart. Under the practice of model the way, I am learning the art of finding your own voice and reflect and act. It is critical to know your own self and analyze better; thus, your thoughts must be reflected in your actions. I find Practice three, Challenge the Process, relatable to my 'aha moment' as I eventually took up the offer and prepared myself for the challenging task of handling the customer service. Also, practice five; Encourage the heart, as already discussed above, has been my constant approach as I am trying to gain confidence over my shortcomings mentioned initially. When it comes to leadership, it is a broad term and encompasses various aspects within (Cameron, 2012). It is not a personality one can attain in a day; it takes effort and commitment to improvement. As nursing students, we are learning the importance of leadership via the course as it will enable us to deal with challenging situations. The opportunity to seek feedback from outsiders gave me a true insight into my personality and added value to it, and acknowledged the weak points. For this course, I had to seek feedback from outside, for which I approached my associate Ms Radhika Arora and our mutual friend. Both these women have been doing well for themselves and hold good work experience, as already discussed in the analysis of seeking feedback. The feedback was critical in various aspects. Firstly, getting honest feedback is essential to improve yourself. Secondly, if one has people who are not just critiques but also the ones who guide and motivate, that is indeed a blessing. I have realized that I do hold the strength of interacting with the people; only the confidence was missing, which I am working on. I am in the constant practice of building my emotional stability. It is critical and will help me not just future professional life; but even now. Even though it is still an area of improvement for me, I need to learn more about emotional intelligence. I hope my current work profile and the learning of this course would help me do that effectively.
Over the years, the importance placed in Leadership in the nursing profession has been increasing. The nurses have prime responsibilities like taking care of the patients and improving their health. Leadership thus plays a critical role in effective care delivery. The other challenging tasks may include providing direction, coordinating, motivating, conducting effective communication advocating for the patients. In complex cases, sometimes, the nurses have to make decisions that can profoundly impact patients' health; thus, nurses' roles cannot be dealt with separately from nursing (Nwabueze, 2011). The effect of the 'aha moment' and the course's learning have already been discussed above. I want to share how the understanding will be implemented in my professional life. I am under the constant practice of enhancing my confidence level while interacting with others. For instance, whenever colleagues asked me out for lunch or dinner at my workplace, I refused. Today, I ask them if they would join me. I have been trying to make initiatives from my end; because that is also a vital characteristic of a good leader. I am also trying to analyze the type of leadership that suits me the best. I realized that the style should be fair and motivating, as I realize the value of motivation and support that can enhance your skills (my colleagues' feedback). Thus, now I would like to share the Leadership Plan that can help me both professionally and personally-
Thus, I have discussed few critical aspects that I need to follow in my future leadership as a nursing professional. Also, these skills will help me become a good nurse and impact my current status of being a student.
To summarize, it can be said that the purpose of this assignment has been quite fruitful for me. I would say that the realization of the 'aha moment' would not have been this important for me, in general. The assignment gave me an opportunity to investigate and learn about myself, my growth, and the areas where I still need to work upon. The analysis of my 'aha moment' strengthened my belief in self, and I realized that I, too, can be good at places where I previously used to be self-conscious. I now know that little steps towards achieving something can do great help, and thus, I am constantly working on the skills I listed in the leadership portfolio. I am quite opportunistic that those will help me not just in my professional but also personal life.