Personal Development Portfolio Summary Essay Question

Personal Development Portfolio Summary Essay Question

Management constitutes the strongest pillar of business operation, as it is a key determinant to productivity of workers in a company, as well as profitability from the goods or services being offered by a company. It is for this reason that the most appropriate approach must be given to the practice. A manager must therefore develop the best skill sets to be able to execute effective management. As presented by the Chartered Management Institute (n.d, p.21), the numbers of job opportunities for management keep growing every year, with locations like the U.K developing close to 1 million management jobs in a span of 7 years (2010-2017). However, according to the Chartered Management Institute (n.d, p.21), only very few of these managers actually secure a job as the standards to get one have been raised high by most companies. Before one can attend an interview, her or she must ensure therefore, that they are well versed and skilled in the areas that companies most seek, which according to United Nations Economic Commission For Europe (2013) includes Problem Solving, Decision Making, Multiculturalism, and Performance Management (p.4).
As an aspiring manager, I am glad that my strengths rest at least with 2 of these skills, that is, Problem Solving and Decision Making. However, there are still some aspects of these that require improvement, and in this paper, I use SWOT analysis and Personal Development Plans that will reveal my weaknesses among these strengths and how I intend to improve on them. I will also use Gibbs Model to relate my strength to real life experiences.
Decision Making
From an organizational perspective, decision making refers to making the best choice (s) from a range of alternatives. This exercise could cut across all sectors that affect the employee welfare, as well as the business strategy of a company (Decision Making, n.d, p.146).
Gibbs Model: i) What Happened? At the age of 16, I got lucky to be the winner of an essay competition organized by Oxford University. I received a congratulatory message about a month after my online submission.
ii) What Was My Feeling/Response
Immediately I received this message, I was dismayed as the winner was to receive a token of appreciation that amounted to $ 1000. I had never for once imagined that I would have such money at a young age, and coming from a middle class family, I realized that this was the time to control my impulse and think of some brilliant investment that would change my life.
iii) What Was Good or Bad?
Since I did not have a personal account at that time, I issued my parents joint account, through which the essay competition organizers reimbursed me. At this age however, I could not escape the myriad of advice that my parents showered me with, fearing that I would squander the money. The good part however, was that after I explained my intentions to my parents: to start small fruit juice bar, they seemed to change their perspective and turned out to be supportive. I used to run this business in the evening hours after school and full time during the weekends. Although my family wanted to help, my parents were ever busy and my siblings studied far away. Eventually however, the business collapsed, as I realized, I had to choose between school work or managing my business.
iv) What Sense I can make from the Situation:
My deduction from this scenario is that I am good at decision making, as I could have easily submitted to the pleasures and desires of someone my age, when I received the award but then I chose to work on my future.
v) What can I conclude?
I can conclude that I might have made a good decision, but not the best, as there was a likelihood that I would have focused more on the business than with my school work or have my school work interfere with my business operations. This was particularly evident during my exam weeks; when I had to study hard at the same time dedicate my mind to business development, operations, and calculation. Eventually, I had to choose one thing, as school work was a priority over the business which also did not require a divided mind.
vi) What will I do different in Future?
SWOT Analysis
Strengths: 1. I am able to choose between right and wrong
2. I am able to be guided by thoughts and not emotions
3. I am able to think about the future
Weaknesses: 1. I am not able to determine priorities
2. I am not able to formulate decisions that are sustainable
3. I am not patient
4. I am not able to plan for my time appropriately
Opportunities: 1. I am able to manage my finances in ways that are profitable.
2. I am innovative as the fruit juice bar was the first in my locality
Threats: 1. My Impatience
2. My Inability to choose between priorities
3. My inability to make long lasting decisions.
Personal Development Plan
Skill to be Improved Objectives Activities/ Tools/Resources Timeline (2020)
Patience 1. To learn to wait for the right time to implement decisions 1. Practise patience with normal daily activities that might seem insignificant like taking break to drink or play a game on phone before proceeding to something big. Aug 5th – Dec 5th
Time Management 1. To come up with a schedule tool that will allow me to learn how to and plan my time. 1. Download a mobile application that has the utility of voice reminders, as well as the utility of planning in minutes, hours, days and months. August 5th and Maintain Same Trend endlessly
Sustainable thinking 1. To formulate decisions that are able to last longer than 20 years 1. Learn to brainstorm on future possible negative scenarios and solve them before they can happen. August 5th to Dec 5th
Choosing between Priorities 1. To practise settling for decisions that best suit my present moment always 1. Practise choosing what will benefit in the present and plan for future use of alternative options August 5th to Dec 5th
Problem-Solving refers to the ability to come up with solutions to problems (Carson, 2007, p. 7). As a prospective manager, I am bound to encounter various organizational challenges that I would have to find solutions to on a daily basis. It is thus a critical skill for effective management.
Gibbs Model: i) What Happened? While on internship at a firm nearby my neighbourhood, as a business management intern, a problem arose in the department I was working for. The utility bills of the company were very high and the management was thinking of ways to cut down on electricity cost. I approached the Ms Bertha, the head of the team that was tasked with the mandate of implementing organizational change and presented and idea that they could consider. The idea was to shift from every employee having a printer on top of their desks, to every 10 persons sharing a printer placed centrally to all of them. Most of the printers even on standby consumed a lot of electricity. The idea I presented to me, and as I explained to Ms Bertha, would be costless, as the same printers in use would be used for the project. Ms Bertha, congratulated me, stating that the team had thought every other solution except for that. One of their deliberations was to set up a private power plant for the firm.
ii) What Was My Feeling/Response
I felt recognized and appreciated, as well as very confident that in future Ms Bertha who also works for the HR department, might want to absorb me back after I graduate from university.
iii) What Was Good or Bad?
The good thing was that I was recognized for presenting the idea in the termination meeting at the end of the project. The bad thing was that the project team decided to discard all the existing printers and buy bigger printers to be able to serve the groups of 10. The reason was that the single printers in use by the firm did not have the capacity to handle the work load—this was after the project team conducted a pilot experiment and conducted calculations to determine relationship between volume of copies produced per day and the capacity of a single printer to produce this.
iv)What Sense I can make from the Situation:
What I learnt from this is that I am innovative and that I am able to think in line with cost-effective solutions. However, I still need to work on examining the practicability of my solutions and to actually try and test my hypothesis.
v) What can I conclude?
My conclusion from this is that I am a problem solver, but there is still one critical aspect of practicability that I have to work on.
vi) What will I do different in Future?
In future I intend to test or confirm the practicability of my ideas using calculations or if possible pilot experiments or modelling.
SWOT Analysis
Strengths: 1. I am able to think in line with cost effectiveness
2. I have the confidence to present my ideas and not keep them to myself
3. I am able to think uniquely or innovatively
Weaknesses: 1. I do not think about or test the practicability of my solutions
Opportunities: 1. My ability to think innovatively, cost effectively, and be able to present my ideas.
Threats: 1. My rush to implement solutions
Personal Development Plan
Skill to be Improved Objectives Activities/ Tools/Resources Timeline (2020)
Practicability 1. To come up with practicable or feasible solutions to problems 1. Devise hypothetical situations that require solutions, think of possible solutions, evaluate the most practical and cost effective solution using calculations. 5th Sep -5th Dec
Discussion and Conclusions
In the course of this self-examination, I first of all discovered that I possess fundamental management, with regards to the market demand, but then what was even more important to discover are the weaknesses that I need to develop. According to Mustafa (2018, Slide 6), self-improvement or personal development, is an indispensable tool for those seeking to get better in their career paths or those seeking to increase their self-esteem with regards to service delivery. The conclusions from this analysis is that I possess skills that are high in demand in the field of management, but within these strengths (problem-solving and decision-making), I still have weaknesses that I have to work on like thinking practically, sustainably, and developing the virtue of patience.
Carson, J. (2007). A Problem with Problem Solving: Teaching Thinking without Teaching Knowledge. The Mathematics Educator, 17 (2), p.7–14
Chartered Management Institute (n.d). The importance of effective management. Retrieved from:
Decision Making: Chapter 5. Retrieved from:
Mustafa, H. (2018). Self-Improvement. Retrieved from:
United Nations Economic Commission For Europe (2013). Human Resources Management and Training: Compilation of good practices in statistical offices. Retrieved from:
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