True North

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While writing my personal development plan, I realized that I am currently in the process of finding my own true north. I still feel lost but with some of the guidance in this book, I am beginning to understand where my own compass lies. It was also nice to read that there is no one style of leadership that is correct and that there are no universal traits or characteristics to effective leadership. This insight provided by TN really gave me a positive outlook as I had always thought to myself, I should act more like a good leader, or I should acquire traits of a good leader. TN really showed me that true leadership comes from within and is exemplified by empowering those around you.

To begin the personal development plan, I started with a five-year outlook of what seemed to be the most obvious part, my personal life. This actually was one of the hardest parts of this paper. I found it difficult to really define what the word “personal” encompassed. For me, that word included my family life, and in some ways also contained aspects of my career life. As TN stated towards the end of the book, there really is no delineation of personal and professional life. One always manages to have an effect on the other, which made it difficult for me to distinguish, but I will attempt to provide a plan for what I define as my personal life.

The five year outlook for my personal life centers around one main word, and that word is independence. This is somewhat contradictory to what is preached in TN regarding effective leadership and goal attainment. TN states that in order for leaders to be effective, they must build a team of support. Therefore, on the surface, my overall goal of being independent in the next five years seems to counter what is taught by TN. I would then need to explain my definition of independence and try to mesh it with what TN teaches and how it can be fostered.

For me, the epitome of independence is having a home of my own (that I own). In order to reach this goal, I have already begun taking the necessary steps. First, I have over $50,000 in savings to contribute to a down payment for a home. I am working full time and saving almost 2/3 of every paycheck I take home towards reaching this goal. What struck me was the reason I am able to save such a significant portion of my paycheck. This is because I do not pay rent as I am currently living in my parent’s home. This seems almost ironic as that is not very independent of me, but really demonstrates TN’s point that you do not achieve your goals alone. There will always be someone there that you can credit as helping you along the way. In this case, those people are my parents. They can also be counted as being in what TN called part of my support team or “Personal Board of Directors”.

In order to further reach my goal of home ownership, I am investing wisely in both the investing options provided to me by my place of employment and also a personal stock trading account. I do have to say that the stock account is not doing very well because of the current economic crisis. Perhaps TN’s advice of learning from failures will come to play in this realm. I will be very careful when I invest in bank stocks next time, especially if that bank is named Citi. On a more serious note, perhaps in my investing activities I will seek out a mentor, or someone with more experience in investing that I can trust will guide me through the process. As TN stated, I cannot be an expert in everything. I must realize where my weaknesses are and take steps to minimize those weaknesses.

Also in seeking experts and attempting to reach my personal goal of home ownership, I am currently shopping for a realtor. I hope to read up more on the local housing market and determine when the best time within this five year time span is best for home purchase. Right now the timing seems ripe for buying and so that may truncate my timeline a bit. Most indicators are that housing prices...
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