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Reflective Journey- Exploring Personal History in Leadership Development

Reflective Journey- Exploring Personal History in Leadership Development

Reflective Journey- Exploring Personal History in Leadership Development

  •    Focus: to recognize and celebrate each individual’s personal history with regard to the making of a leader
  •    Goal: to set forth the elements of your own history that have helped make you a leader; and to give an in-depth telling of four specific life experiences that helped forge you leadership style

As a brain storming activity for your paper, make five horizontal lines on an 8.5 by 11″ page (horizontal lines go across the 11″ side).  One will be named “Self-Discovery”, one “Mentors”, one “Pain”, one “Joy” and one “Leadership Lifeline.”  On the Self-Discovery line list chronologically 15-25 self-discoveries that helped shape you as a leader throughout your life; on the mentor line list 15-25 mentors;  on the pain line list 15-25 painful experiences; on the joy line list 15-25 joyful experiences.  Use phrases or short sentences on these first four lines.  On the Leadership Lifeline combine all items in chronological order using only one key word for each discovery, mentor, or experience.

Self-Discoveries=any discovery about self that led you toward being a leader

Mentors=family members, or any personal, professional, or world leader

Pain=any experience of emotional, spiritual, physical, or family pain

Joy=any victories, triumphs, cherished moments, or joyful times

Choose one item from each of the first four lifelines to write about.  In writing, reflect on how that item helped forge in you the character of a leader.  Length: 7-10 pages: Possible outline: 1 page has the five lifelines on it; use 1 page for intro and 1 page for conclusion; use 1-2 pages to write on a self-discovery, 1-2 pages to write on a mentor, 1-2 pages to write on a painful life experience, and 1-2 pages to write on a joyful life experience.

Also include a self-assessment of two of your leadership weaknesses; to do this, ask key loved ones, mentors, and colleagues what they view as your primary relational weaknesses, and speak to the insights you gained from the process. Seamlessly embed your self-assessment into the larger paper. Generally, the paper should have 2 citations per page in order to provide a scholarly and critically rich foundation for the vision you put forward in the paper.


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In the pursuit of effective leadership, it is essential to recognize and celebrate the personal history that shapes an individual’s journey towards becoming a leader. This paper delves into the elements of my own history that have contributed to my leadership style, highlighting four specific life experiences that have played pivotal roles in this development. By exploring self-discoveries, mentors, painful experiences, and moments of joy, I aim to elucidate how each of these factors has shaped my character and leadership approach.

Exploring Self-Discoveries:

Self-discoveries are integral to the process of leadership development, as they provide insights into one’s strengths, weaknesses, values, and aspirations. Reflecting on various self-discoveries throughout my life, I have identified key moments such as overcoming personal challenges, discovering my passion for serving others, and embracing my unique talents and abilities. These experiences have instilled confidence, resilience, and a sense of purpose, laying the foundation for my leadership journey.

The Influence of Mentors:

Mentors play a significant role in shaping leadership development by providing guidance, support, and valuable insights gleaned from their own experiences. Reflecting on the mentors who have influenced my journey, I recognize the profound impact of family members, teachers, colleagues, and inspirational figures in various fields. Their wisdom, encouragement, and mentorship have empowered me to navigate challenges, seize opportunities, and continuously strive for growth and excellence in leadership.

Navigating Painful Experiences:

Painful experiences are inevitable aspects of life that can profoundly shape one’s character and resilience. Reflecting on moments of adversity, loss, and hardship, I have learned valuable lessons in resilience, empathy, and perseverance. These experiences have taught me the importance of resilience, empathy, and the power of adversity to foster personal growth and transformation. By embracing vulnerability and learning from setbacks, I have emerged stronger and more compassionate in my leadership journey.

Embracing Moments of Joy:

Joyful experiences serve as reminders of the beauty, positivity, and fulfillment that life has to offer. Reflecting on moments of triumph, success, and cherished memories, I am reminded of the importance of gratitude, optimism, and celebrating milestones along the journey. These experiences have fueled my passion, creativity, and enthusiasm for leadership, inspiring me to create meaningful impact and foster positive change in the world.


In conclusion, exploring personal history is essential for understanding and embracing the multifaceted dimensions of leadership. By reflecting on self-discoveries, mentors, painful experiences, and moments of joy, individuals can gain valuable insights into their strengths, weaknesses, values, and aspirations, ultimately shaping their leadership approach. As I continue to evolve and grow as a leader, I am committed to embracing the lessons learned from my personal history and leveraging them to inspire and empower others towards collective growth and success.


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