For the capstone assignment in our leadership course, you should render a personal, reflective statement of your philosophy of leadership beliefs and practices. I would also like to see you make some resolutions about your own personal leadership development.
The document should be no more than 5 pages long (predominantly double-spaced, 12-pt font, 1” margins). You have autonomy in deciding the tone, structure and format of your statement. This is a statement entirely for you, but write it in manner that will make clear and convincing sense to an interested outside reader (e.g., me, your spouse, significant other, or a close friend).
Your overarching guidepost is that this document should constitute your “Personal Leadership Manifesto” – a declaration of intent that will guide your thoughts and actions over the next 5 years of your personal and professional life. [Pretty grandiose, I know, but I make no apologies for asking you to aim high]
The main orientation should be toward answering these two key questions: 1) Who are you as a leader? 2) Who do you intend to become as a leader?
1) Describe in one paragraph a memorable leadership event from your own experience.
2) Offer a well-considered, brief (no more than 2 sentences) personal definition of leadership as you now understand the concept in your personal and especially your professional life. Try not to merely copy someone else’s definition that you read somewhere. Articulate a definition in your own words.
3) Specify in clear and sincere terms the three essential pillars of your leadership philosophy.
4) Elaborate on the single, central principle that you would like to adopt as your non-negotiable anchor.
5) Briefly articulate your leadership strengths and weaknesses
6) Include three definitive quotes (all must be from outside the course materials) that capture key elements of your belief system and philosophy, and which will help to guide the conduct of your interpersonal and organizational life for the foreseeable future.
7) Include several “resolutions” that you intend to fulfill over the next 5 years (stated in “I resolve to . . .” form) Also, try to think in terms of articulating behavioral measures that would enable you to assess your effectiveness in achieving your aspirations, so your statement is not overly idealistic, but pragmatic, as well.
The rest is up to you. You may have as many outside eyes on your work as you wish. The intent here is to produce the most personally reflective, serious, ideal- and principle-driven, but workable document for guiding your future leadership development that you can write.
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