To explore how personal development can be utilized as a tool for leaders to adapt to our VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) world, a qualitative study was conducted on the narrative experiences of eight leaders who had successfully completed personal development plans. The emerging field of vertical leadership development, recognized as a unique developmental approach towards overcoming complexity and uncertainty, was connected to the key themes of personal development planning. Vertical leadership development and personal development planning were united across five conceptual themes: development and application of skills, self-awareness, self-efficacy, self-exploration, and continuous improvement. The experiences of the participants helped to inform how their plans connected with these themes, and how plan success and retention can be ensured overall. The study found that plans are at their most successful when they are thoroughly structured with the individual’s personal goals in mind, have direct application to the participant’s working life, and are supported by some degree of accountability and/or reflection. The study observed thematic connections between conventional personal development plans and vertical leadership development, highlighting potential connections between developmental approaches that are focused on boosting skills competency and capacity in times of VUCA. The findings help to inform how personal development plans can best serve as a resource towards managing complexity, uncertainty, and change.
"Personal Development Planning and Vertical Leadership Development in a VUCA World,"
The Journal of Values-Based Leadership: Vol. 15
, Article 10.
Available at: https://scholar.valpo.edu/jvbl/vol15/iss1/10
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