For Assignment 2: Portfolio you will compile a self-leadership skills portfolio throughout the course of
the unit. The portfolio will contain both self-reflection and feedback from others. You will conduct an
analysis of your skills, strengths and areas for improvement and will develop an action plan for skills
The following notes are best read in conjunction with the Criterion Referenced Assessment (CRA) and
the tip sheet on self-reflection. There is also a brief video to accompany the CRA. I recommend that
these materials are read prior to the commencement of the assignment.
The unit MGN442 Self Leadership is designed using the principles of experiential learning. Throughout
the unit you are encouraged to complete a variety of self-reflection activities to promote and assist you
with developing an understanding of your current leadership competency and skills. In order to facilitate
your reflection, it is recommended that you make notes for yourself in your ‘journal’.
The purpose of the personal profile assignment is to bring all of these activities together and ask you to
consider your reflections to determine whether your thoughts have led you to acknowledge that some
form of change is necessary.
As the unit takes a strengths-based approach, we ask that you initially focus on your leadership
competency strengths to enable you to understand where, in a given situation, you may be able to use
your strengths to change your actions and potentially improve the outcome.
Reflection does not always offer a solution but we may learn to understand and clarify situations that
would otherwise have remained in our blind spot (refer to the Johari window concept – Session 1). With a
much deeper understanding of your leadership competency strengths, you are then tasked with the
development a change goal, and an action plan to achieve that change.
Assignment Structure Suggestions
The assignment is designed to encourage your ongoing professional and personal development.
Therefore, a prescriptive structure has not been recommended. However, for many people who may not
have developed a portfolio previously, a suggested structure is offered below to help you organise your
own thinking and provide a framework for getting started. As always you are empowered to create your
own structure, one that helps you to conceptualise your own learning and accomplishments and your
All assignments, reports, papers, academic notes and so on should begin with an introduction that
provides a rationale for the paper, orients the reader to the purpose of the paper and provides an
overview of the material that is to follow and the order of that material. The introduction does not need
to be lengthy – a single paragraph is all that is necessary (e.g., approximately 150 – 250 words).
Step 1: Literature summary
There are many authors now recommending that managers and professionals acquire greater
development of ‘soft’ skills. In order to provide a context for your professional development providing
an overview of the arguments evident in the literature provides you with a base to work from.
You may like to focus explicitly here on the topic or skill that you are particularly interested in
developing in yourself. The focus of this paper is on your skill development, so I do not recommend
spending a lot of time on the foundation literature – approximately 250 words would be sufficient. Of
course, you may prefer to incorporate the literature with your analysis, and not incorporate a separate
Step 2: Analysis of your current skill level – incorporating 3600 feedback
The purpose of this section of the assignment is to encourage you to develop greater insight into your
current level of skill development.
Throughout the unit you have been encouraged to complete a range of self-reflection and assessment
activities through questionnaires and self-development tools and to also have colleagues or associates
complete a strengths profile on your leadership skills.
The unit is explicitly designed using a strengths-based approach and has been founded upon the
theories of positive psychology. Therefore, we have asked you to consider your areas of strength as
opposed to focusing on areas of weakness or areas that need development. The ambition of positive
psychology is to use your strengths to improve other skills areas.
To analyse your data, particularly the data that you have achieved through your own self-reflection and
the feedback that you have received from others, you might look for scores where there is some
difference between your perceived skills and the strengths identified by others. Take the opportunity to
explore these differences and seek, if possible, to reconcile or at least understand the source of the
You might also compare your self-report scores with the maximum score possible on the various
instruments. Carefully consider the items in each scale. These items might help provide you with specific
information that you can use for developing change goals.
The analysis of your strengths can focus explicitly on a specific area if you wish, or alternatively you may
like to explore a couple of topics.
You do not need to analyse every tool that has been provided for you in this paper. This analysis forms
the foundation of the assignment and the learning being encouraged – approximately 750 words is likely
to be needed.
Step 3: Reflecting on an area of strength and an area for improvement
After you have provided an analysis of the self-development instruments and the feedback you have
received, you will have identified an area of strength and limitation. It is important to reflect upon these
areas in order to fully learn from your past experiences in order to make change in the future. There is
an additional fact sheet provided regarding reflective practice that may help you here.
It is important to identify experiences related to the topic area. For example, suppose you have ‘realistic
optimism’ as an area of either strength or something that you would like to improve. Using the STAR-L
system recall a past (or current) situation that illustrates your level of realistic optimism. You will need
to briefly describe the situation, the task that you were engaged in, your actions and your reactions.
Your reactions are likely to include your emotional reactions, your thoughts about it, and certainly your
behaviour in the situation. You do not have to provide the names of other people involved in the
The final step in the process is to identify your learning. Your learning, when acknowledged explicitly,
encourages you to continually use this learning to improve on your skill when faced with a similar
situation in the future.
You will be quite surprised at how many ‘words’ this type of reflection can take. These types of reflection
form the foundation of learning journals and are something that I would like to encourage you to
continue with as a regular part of your personal and professional development. This section is likely to
take approximately 1,000 words.
Step 4: Achieving personal and professional change
Once you have clearly identified an area for improvement you will need to set a change goal. This should
be framed such that it is consistent with goal setting theory, i.e. your goal should be SMART specific,
measurable, achievable, realistic and time-framed.
You have identified what you need to change. You then need to focus is on how you might go about
changing behaviour or belief or an emotional reaction. This is also a useful point to re-connect with the
theory that you have introduced earlier to explain why this is an important area for your career
Make sure your action plan is complete in that it identifies all of the critical activities necessary to
achieve your goal. You may like to use tables and dot points in order to describe your plans. This section
is likely to take approximately 500 (two double-lined spaced pages).
Just as with the introduction all assignments, reports, papers, academic notes and so on should be
effectively concluded. The conclusion draws together the main points of the paper in order to
emphasise to the reader the importance of the views raised. Like the introduction, the conclusion does
not need to be lengthy – a single paragraph is all that is necessary (e.g., approximately 250 words).