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Career Plan

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Career Development Plan
Growth is a Must

2014 to 2023

Growth is a Must
Executive Summary
“If you’re not growing, you’re dying” ~Anthony Robbins The quote above by life coach Tony Robbins, though extreme, is true and applies directly to my career development plan. Due to my work ethic and unique skill set, I have continually been given growth opportunities and in the past four years I have risen from a newly hired Sales Account Manager to Manager of Finance and Administration. My focus on constant growth, taking advantage of my strengths as I face new opportunities, and by knowing my weaknesses as difficulties come up, I will continue to be successful and bring value to the company. The following pages outline my career development plan for the next ten years. This plan will outline the specific path that ultimately leads to being the Chief Executive Officer. Each step along the way will be outlined with its specific rationale and timeline for completion. As you go through this plan you will see how my current strength in cross-functional leadership, as well as others, will be exercised and how my current weakness in finance, and other areas, will be addressed.

Plan at a Glance
1. 2. 3. 4. Personal Assessments Areas of Strength Areas of Improvement Career Development Plan a. Master of Business Administration b. On the Job Training c. Human Resources d. Board Membership e. Master of Science in Accounting f. Succession g. Necessary Changes 5. Appendix A: Assessment Table

Leading Innovation and Change ......................................................................... February 10, 2014

Growth is a Must
Personal Assessments
During this process I have learn a lot about myself; about my strengths, and about my weaknesses. I have also realized that the job experience I gained through the past 10 years has contributed greatly to my growth and success. I have participated in a number of assessments which I will reference but are laid out in Appendix A in more detail. All of the assessments, except for one, came through the Leading Innovation and Change class that I am currently enrolled in at Eastern Michigan University. The additional assessment is Strength Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath which identifies the top five strengths of an individual. I have grown to be a great fan of assessments over my professional career. They provide two very important things; first, they give confidence of traits and skills that are previously identified and, second, they give insight into strengths and weakness that have gone overlooked. From the assessments in Developing Self Awareness (chapter 1) I have gained confidence in traits that will allow me to continue to lead successfully. Scoring in the top quartile for the Core Self-Evaluation Scale, the Emotional Intelligence Assessment as well as the Self-Awareness Assessment illustrated the fact that I am self-aware. This will be of great value as knowing yourself allows for more rapid growth. Without knowledge of one’s strengths and weaknesses one is unable to take advantage of those strengths or avoid failure because of weaknesses. I believe that tied closely to these results is the very internal Locus of Control score showing that I not only know my strengths and weaknesses but I fell in control of how they affect my leadership and growth. The assessments from Solving Problems Analytically and Creatively (chapter 3) were enlightening and very helpful. The typical understanding of being creative, which I had adhered to, is actually very narrow. Through these assessments my style of creativeness was made apparent to me, giving me added confidence. Scoring near the mean of the How Creative Are You scale confirmed that, in the

Leading Innovation and Change ......................................................................... February 10, 2014

Growth is a Must traditional sense, I am not highly “creative”. Subsequently scoring high in the Innovative Attitude Scale revealed that though I may not be traditional creative, I have the attitude to seek out creativity. This low score followed by the high score where made clear in the final assessment, the Creative Style Assessment. This assessment attempts to show the participant how they are creative as there are different types of creativity. I scored very high in the creativity area of Incubation. This trait is why I am very effective in problem solving in a cross-functional group environment which has lead to success in process improvement throughout my career. I am able to take a problem and analyze it with team members from different areas of the company and facilitate a solution that benefits each group and the company as a whole. The Strengths Finder 2.0 assessment I participated in is an excellent tool for learning how to exercise your own strengths in leading others as well as how to lead others given their strengths they have. The results of this assessment list out my top five strengths as Empathy, Responsibility, Strategic, Belief and Developer. The results have helped me in understanding why I react the way I do in certain circumstances as well as how I can leverage these skills of mine to effectively lead others. One insight gained through the understanding of the skill of Responsibility is that by nature, I yearn to be given additional duties. I expect to be held accountable for my productivity, behavior, and actions. Driven by this strength, I place a premium on doing everything correctly. Each talent identified lead to a similar result in a better understanding of myself.

Areas of Strengths
It was not by luck or a hiring mistake that I am where I am today as the Manager of Finance and Administration. I have a very wide skill set that has lead to my success and growth. I excel in many areas that can be thought of as opposites. Analytical and creative; technical and artistic; imaginative and

Leading Innovation and Change ......................................................................... February 10, 2014

Growth is a Must incremental improvement. I am able to view problems from the vantage point of others and see how a given solution will positively of negatively affect a person or department. This has lead to success in sales, process re-engineering and leading a cross-functional team. This will also continue to be an important skill to develop as I progress through my career development. Strengths are not to be left alone; they are to be identified, utilized and improved upon.

Areas of Improvement
As important as it is to know your strengths in order to capitalize on them, so it is important to know your weaknesses so that you do not fail due to those weaknesses. The areas of improvement that I will be intentionally addressing in my career plan are: accounting/finance, human resources, prioritization and strategic planning

• • • •

Career Development Plan
This ten year career development plan and will take me through the necessary process to gain the knowledge and experience to successfully lead a company as its Chief Executive Officer. The overall completion date for this plan is December of 2023. Master of Business Administration The primary step of this plan is to earn an MBA with a concentration in finance from Eastern Michigan University. I have been accepted into the Graduate Certificate Program and am currently enrolled. Prior to the fall semester of 2014 I will take the GMAT in order to be fully accepted into the MBA program. During the process of earning an MBA I will be gaining a great deal of knowledge in all of the areas of

Leading Innovation and Change ......................................................................... February 10, 2014

Growth is a Must improvement stated above: accounting/finance, human resources, prioritization and strategic planning. The completion date for this stage is December of 2016. On the Job Training During the primary stage, and all stages, I will continue to be learning on the job. As part of the company’s operational team I will participate in the bi-weekly Company Operations meetings where short term projects and issues are discussed. This will continue to provide me with growth opportunities in strategic thinking and prioritization as well as cross-functional leadership exposure. In addition to the Company Operations meetings I will be meeting weekly with the current CEO to go over current project as well as determine the appropriate time to take on new projects. These regular meetings with the CEO will address all of the areas of improvement listed: accounting/finance, human resources, prioritization and strategic planning. The current CEO has lead the company from a start-up in 2003 with less than 50 customers to the leader in market place with over 8,000 customers, a 40% market share. The knowledge gained through these weekly meetings will contribute greatly to all areas of improvement, known and unknown. Role Change Given the current growth path of the company, both customer base and employee count, I fully expect that by the end of the primary stage, December of 2016, that my role will change. With the company growth and the completion of my MBA I will be made Vice President of Finance and Administration. Along with the title change the team that I lead will grow from six to eight.

Human Resources The next stage is to address more aggressively the a specific area of improvement; human resources. Through my company I have access to a number of networks of human resource professionals offering seminars and training on a regular basis. During a two year period (January 2017 through December 2018) I plan on taking 10 to 20 training sessions/seminars. Addressing the need to improve in this area

Leading Innovation and Change ......................................................................... February 10, 2014

Growth is a Must will be critical to meeting the ultimate goal of leading the company as its CEO. The completion date for this stage is December of 2018. Board Membership At this point in the process, January of 2019, I have obtained an MBA from Eastern Michigan University, continued to grow through on the job training, and participated human resources training. In order to grow in strategic thinking and prioritization I will be looking to get on the board of a non-profit organization for a two year term. Through personal connections, I have chosen Bethania Kids. This nonprofit organization currently runs five home for children in India. Through participating in the board I will gain firsthand experience of long term strategic planning and prioritization. An added benefit will be the international aspect of the organization which will be an experience that will of great value as our company moves to the international market as well. Completion date for this stage is December of 2020. Role Change At this point there will be another role change; transitioning to Vice president of Operations. The team that I lead will now include a Manager of Finance and Administration (this is the role that I currently hold).

Master of Science in Accounting During this stage I will be to return to Eastern Michigan University to complete a Masters in Accounting. This last stage is placed here for a specific reason, throughout each previous stage I will continue to be giving great growth opportunities through on the job training, accounting being a significant one. At this point in the plan it is January of 2021 and the necessity for this stage may have changed through obtaining an MBA as well as on the job training. If this stage is determined to be necessary, the completion date with be December of 2022.

Leading Innovation and Change ......................................................................... February 10, 2014

Growth is a Must
Succession The final year of the plan will be the transition of duties of the out-going CEO to myself. This process will have commenced prior to this point, but at this point it will be the focus to ensure a smooth and successful transition. Throughout the plan, I will have been continually meeting with the current executive team. Relationships with each department head will have developed through group meetings as well as one-on-one meetings. This is a key part to a successful transition and it will be successful due to the previously stated unique skill set of mine; namely the ability to work well with a cross-functional team. Completion date for this stage is December of 2023. Role Change At this point I will be the acting CEO. Necessary Changes As with any plan of such length, stage order and duration can change. It is important to have in place a structure to discover and address necessary changes. This will happen through a few means. First, at the end each major stage the entire plan with be revisited. Second, an annual review will be performed in July. Lastly, during each annual review I will present the plan to the CEO with any recommended adjustments. Regularly reviewing the plan will ensure that goals are met and that the goals remain realistic.

Leading Innovation and Change ......................................................................... February 10, 2014

Growth is a Must
Appendix A: Assessments Table
This table show each of the assessment that we taken, the score/result and a brief explanation of that score/result. Assessment Score/Result(Mean) Self-Awareness .................... 64 (51.47) Explanation I am willing to be open with others and desire feedback. As well as aware of my own values, emotional intelligence and how to deal with change. I am keenly aware of my emotions and the emotions of others. I am able to interact well in emotionally difficult situations I have a have belief that I am in complete control of the outcome of my actions. I am personally responsible for my successes and failures. I do not like ambiguity in my life, but I do not let ambiguity cause a breakdown emotionally. I can deal well in ambiguous situations but seek out clarity. I am confident in my skills and abilities. I am not easily overwhelmed by circumstances. I am not a highly “creative” person in the traditional sense. I continually look for new ways to improve products and processes using existing or new tools. Over all, I am balanced between the different areas of creativity I typically do not seek out a complete new solution to problems. I believe that the best solutions come for teams looking at a situation from multiple angles and working together to solve it

Emotional Intelligence ......... 95 (70)

Locus of Control ................... 0 (5.19)

Tolerance of Ambiguity ....... 50 (56.47)

Core Self-Evaluation ............ 4.8 (3.88)

How Creative Are You .......... 59 (55.99)

Innovative Attitude .............. 79 (72.41)

Creative Style

Imagine ................................ 25 (24.70)

Incubate ............................... 36 (25.92)

Leading Innovation and Change ......................................................................... February 10, 2014

Growth is a Must
Invest ................................... 23 (25.47) Though acting quickly is valuable, I seek to take the time to fully understand the issue before making a decision. This score surprised me as constant improvement in all areas is my goal. I can sense the feelings of other people by imagining myself in others’ lives or others’ situations. I take psychological ownership of what I say I will do. I am committed to stable values such as honesty and loyalty. I create alternative ways to proceed. Faced with any given scenario, I can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues. I have certain core values that are unchanging. Out of these values emerges a defined purpose for my life. I recognize and cultivate the potential in others. I spot the signs of each small improvement and derive satisfaction from these improvements.

Improve................................ 16 (24.04)

Strengths Finder 2.0............. Empathy, Responsibility, Strategic, Belief and Developer

Leading Innovation and Change ......................................................................... February 10, 2014…...

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