Strategic Leadership Skills, Personal Statement Example

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Personal Statement

Strategic Leadership skills are a critical component in the Federal Financial Management (FFM) industry. I have over a decade of practical, real-world experience managing projects in different federal agencies. Effective leadership in this context requires the ability to manage short-term and long-term projects, a knack for strategic planning, and a solid understanding of the real-world management issues one faces in such a rapidly-changing environment.

Since my high school days, I have maintained a strong sense that strategic leadership is not a goal to be attained, but a set of skills and processes to be mastered and put into action.  My membership in the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) first provided me with  an awareness of the practical nature of this viewpoint, and allowed me to begin to develop my natural and acquired talents for it.  In later studies, both graduate and undergraduate, I focused more specifically on attaining skills in leadership and management that would prove vital to the career I was then beginning.  In all of these efforts, my commitment has only increased, from completing my Masters in Management in the arena of practical applications of management concepts, to my extensive research in Human Resources, federal contracting, and leadership theory and strategies.

In order to strengthen the theoretical underpinnings of my approach to management, I developed my own construct: the “3 Cs of Effective Strategic Management: Compassion, Connection, and Charisma.” By emphasizing these personality traits, I can effectively bridge the conceptual framework of management theory to the less-tangible, but equally important, human qualities that truly identify and effective leader.

While any management context is naturally fraught with challenges and complexity, the area of Federal Financial Management poses unique and ever-changing challenges. Financial management at the federal level has, by its nature, a profound impact on society and on the lives of countless people. It involves tending to that which both supports and is supported by government, and I see it as not just an occupation, but as a calling, one that carries with it enormous responsibilities .

There are innumerable areas in which further research can inform both my own abilities as a Federal Financial Manager and can contribute to the broad base of knowledge and information that underpins the field. At the agency level, an understanding of how to assess, and more importantly, how to properly cultivate, a healthy organizational culture is a vital component of this area of management. Beyond the confines of the agency, an array of political, social, and demographic issues are paramount to the effective functioning of any federal agency; research in these areas will help to shape my approach to the field of FFM. Tying these threads together is the need for effective strategic management, an area that is ripe for further research in the age of globalization.

Modern considerations are restructuring the field itself, as priorities shift and new concerns require attention.  Federal budgets vary or decrease, resources and agencies are downsized or outsourced, and long-term objectives are adapted to address unforeseen, short-term developments.  To succeed in FFM it is essential to acquire a thorough understanding of the latest research, as well as an expansive grasp on past trends, practices, policies, and consequences.  More than ever, in my estimation, the Federal Financial Manager must acquire expertise of this kind, and the research opportunities provided by UMUC will allow me to do so.

As one who is experienced and engaged in management, and is seeking to advance my academic career, I have an intersecting set of short-term and long-term goals. Upon completion of the program, I wish to continue and to expand on my work in providing a framework of strategic leadership, one that is specifically adapted to the FFM industry. As I see it, the educational and research opportunities I will have will help me to continue developing and refining my approach to strategic leadership in general, and to apply what I learn to the further development of my own theoretical construct of the “3 Cs.”

On a practical level, I have a goal of reaching a position as Director of a federal agency within five years of completing the program. It is in this role that I intend to bring to bear what I have learned about being an effective, transformational leader. As a Director, I will prioritize specific areas of leadership, with an emphasis on fostering a work environment that encourages innovation and accountability, and allows everyone on the team to contribute to the best of his or her abilities to the goals and culture of the organization.

My goal is to maintain my focus on the intersection of the practical and the personal; the implications of my commitment to compassion, connection, and charisma are not only intended to inform the way I approach strategic management, but will hopefully be beneficial to others in the field who are seeking effective ways to plan and manage other departments, agencies, or organizations. It is the emphasis on the connection between the practical, theoretical models of management and the necessity for developing and nurturing the human side of organizational culture that I believe is the future of FFM, and I believe that the opportunities afforded by this program will help me to manifest these ideas in the real world.

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Personal Statement