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Running head: Personal Mastery


Personal Mastery


LDRS 310: Personal Mastery Paper

Your Name in Given/Surname Order

Trinity Western University, Langley BC Canada

BA in Leadership

17 March 2022

© Given Name Surname Year [Optional]

Personal Mastery Paper

This paper explores my life-long personal mastery of leadership experience in four reflective moments: the past, the future, the analysis, and the synthesis.

The Past

Starting from a tender age, I did view leadership as an interactive process that would result in positive results. It is clear that the leadership role models that were functional well and had positive results in the society did embrace the same principle that involve different parties coming together through having clear conversations with the different parties. The different parties will have an easy time coming together with an easy leadership practice that does focus on making sure that they do achieve their practicality. The strategy that saw a democratic approach towards life made it easier to shape and come up with a positive interaction that did influence me to become a positive leader. Numerous societies that do embrace and practice democracy tend to have a progressive strategy that would help make sure that all approaches lead to the right outcomes. As a child, I did participate in some leadership roles but I did have an easy time to engage and come up with a practical solution towards any arising problems. It is important to understand that even at a young age, and indulging with people of almost a common age, it was easy to come up with practical solutions that would help make sure that there is a right strategy towards overcoming any issues. In the middle adulthood, I did not take leadership responsibilities and some of the people took leadership responsibilities and some did take consultative approaches, others did engage in an autocratic style where they held all the powers. It did help with a proper understanding of how different approaches can result in different results and efforts which did change the way that they do communicate.

The Future

Self-leadership is an essential principle that would make sure that there is a right strategy towards the success of the society. I am learning to become an open-minded person with leadership strategies that will help make sure that I can accommodate different people with varying opinions. There is an intention to help adopt authentic leadership that will help make sure that I can achieve the best principles that will help shift the way that I view the leadership principles which will help make sure that there is a right approach.

It will be important to incorporate teaching seminars and other practices that will help make sure that they can achieve their interactions which will change and shape their behaviors and interactions towards leadership. The adoption of inclusive leadership practices will help make sure that there is a positive outcome which will help make changes to the way that they do improve their standards and functionality.

Organizations do have numerous employees with varying personalities, expectations, opinions among other indifferences. The organizations need democracy but hands-on leadership approach because of the varying expectations which will influence the employee’s productivity and general work performance (Manz, 2019). There will be an open office plan which will involve easy communications and lack of barriers across the departments to help elevate the concept of authority across the organization.

SMART leadership development goal will include becoming more adaptable to change whereby it is important to come up with the proper strategies that will help improve the changes. Adaptability to change helps an individual become an all-round person with numerous expectations and different ways to overcome such challenges when they do occur.

The Analysis

As a leader, I have the best personality traits that include listening to other people and taking their thoughts into consideration. It is important to understand people are different and as a leader one should take such details into consideration to help make sure that they can easily achieve the best goals. Listening to people is an important strength as a leader because it will help understand the followers with ease and try to get rid of restraints between the different parties.

The main challenge towards achieving the leadership goal will mainly include the fact that there is need for consistency and support from the subordinates. The fact that there is need for consistency in following through all directives is a main challenge because of the workforce. Subordinates have to provide a supportive role to the leader which will become a major problem because of varying and changing interests (Laura & Green, 2020).

The personality trait that includes the green personality whereby I can easily engage different people with ease and this improves their interactions. The fact that the personality makes me an individual that needs to equal scales is a major problem which will help change the way that they do view their lives and approaches which is not appropriate. The personality trait will help make sure that it is easy to understand and cope with different people and how to handle them in various situations. The concept is a major boost to the general outcomes that will change the general leadership practice which is vital and productive.

The Synthesis

As a leader, it is important to try and have role models that will help make sure that they act as a sense of direction towards achieving the best outcomes. A role model will help make sure that there is a clear path and structuring in leadership that will help push them towards achieving their best principles. Communication is an important part of my leadership strategy because it will help focus more on the clarifications and making sure that they do shape their goals and outcomes. It is important to achieve their goals and strategies which will change the way that they have to improve their outcomes. The strength in communication will help make it easier to shape the way that they do interact and this will be important in shaping the general outcomes of the leadership (Kark & Van Dijk, 2017). It is important to strengthen the concept of communication which changes the general narrative which is vital in making sure that there is a clear path and direction. As a self-leader, it is important to build confidence within before pushing it upon other people to help make sure that there is a clear understanding that will help shape the way that they do contain. Leadership will require a flow of ideas with ease, managing and coping with different situations which changes the way that they have to interact and indulge within the workplace. It is important to try and facilitate an open environment at all costs where all the different parties have to communicate with ease and indulge with each other without a proper understanding. Leaders have to learn to embrace change and try to manipulate it which is vital in making sure that there is a positive potential in outcomes.


Kark, R., & Van Dijk, D. (2017). Motivation to Lead, Motivation to Follow: The Role of the Self-Regulatory Focus in Leadership Processes. The Academy of Management Review32(2), 500–528.

Laura L. Paglis, & Green, S. G. (2020). Leadership Self-Efficacy and Managers’ Motivation for Leading Change. Journal of Organizational Behavior23(2), 215–235.

Manz, C. C. (2019). Self-Leadership: Toward an Expanded Theory of Self-Influence Processes in Organizations. The Academy of Management Review11(3), 585–600.

Running head: Team Learning


Team Learning


Team Learning Case Study

Jiani Tao

Trinity Western University, Langley BC Canada

LDRS 310
BA in Leadership

17 February 2022

© Given Name Surname Year [Optional]

Team Learning Case Study

Today’s organizations are struggling to adapt to an increasingly complex world undergoing rapid change. Homer-Dixon (2003) describes the problem as an ingenuity gap—that is, there is a growing gap between the complexity, pace and unpredictability of events facing organizations and our collective ability to be smart enough at the right time, and in the right places, to keep pace with the emerging challenges and opportunities. A promising strategy for organizations to close this gap is to become more intentional about learning (Garvin, 2000; Marquardt, 2011; Senge, 1990). This learning organization approach to adaptation seeks to enhance an organization’s ability to (a) know what to do, (b) do what it knows, and (c) continuously grow its capacity to learn new things and act on new knowledge (Garvin, 2000; Senge, 1990). How can leaders help an organization learn? Marquardt (2011) argues action learning is an effective way to build learning organizations, because “action learning groups themselves are mini-learning organizations that model perfectly what a learning organization is and how it should operate” (p. 19). In this paper, I shall reflect on the development of an action learning team I experienced as a student in the context of a university leadership course.

Description of the Situation

The setting of the team learning experience considered in this paper is a third-year university course titled The Learning Organization. The participants are made up of young adult learners with the identical cultural background. Our group met three times over a five-week period using a process called action learning in which we worked together to solve problems and develop leadership and team abilities.

Review of the Action Learning Concept

2. In terms of the action learning definition, it is an effective tool for helping the team to develop reflective competence, foster leadership, and deal with problems in an advanced method. On the other hand, it is a process for team members to integrate together, assimilate knowledge, and get a promotion (Marquardt et al., 2018, p. 22). In addition, action learning has 2 ground rules which are problem solvers do not have a speech until the problem presenter raises the question and the action learning coach can infer the meeting when there occurs an opportunity for the team to get a promotion (Marquardt et al., 2018, p. 30). These two rules are capable of cultivating each team member’s dialogue skill, provide a rapport atmosphere, and generate diverse thoughts. Furthermore, the size of the action learning group is supposed to be 4 to 8 members (Marquardt et al., 2018, p. 80). Fewer and more members may trigger limited thoughts and conflicts of thoughts. In the team, each member plays a vital role. For instance, the problem presenter needs to raise a concise question to allow the problem solvers perceive the root of the question and have more time to do reflection (Marquardt et al., 2018, p. 84). The action learning coach places emphasis on developing the team’s reflective competence and monitoring the process (Marquardt et al., 2018, p. 86). Problem solvers are required to reply to the question actively to foster breakthrough thinking. Moreover, it is significant for the team to present a good question, so that the team can generate creative ideas and deep reflection (Marquardt et al., 2018, p. 126).

Action Learning Team Experience

3. The action learning team in this case is a team composed of five members. Four broad demographic characteristics are 2 females and 2 males from the identical cultural background. Additionally, all of them are young adults who are university students without work experience. The action learning meeting takes place on an online zoom platform’s breakout room on Tuesday per week. The action learning adopts a new topic and rotated team roles. 

For instance, for the first time, I was the action learning coach. After I finished reading the introduction, the male problem presenter raised a question about how to apply leadership properly in the team. It took a few minutes for the rest of the problem solvers to reply. The majority of them were more likely to answer the question with a short answer. Once each member had expressed their own perspectives, the team was stuck in silence. I noticed the time was limited; therefore, I decided to intervene in the discussion. I mentioned the time and consulted whether they have any other questions on the topic or comments. This time, the team was active. A few members had a consideration about the topic which referred to the situation. According to it, the team continued the discussion. Some perspectives were creative, especially employing authentic leadership’s detailed operation and outcome in school. The meeting ended up in doing reflection on each member’s role. The whole team recognized their advantages and drawbacks and made a commitment to improve in the next meeting.   

4. Discussion of the Issues

The analysis of my action learning team experience will consider three basic levels of structure, which Yanowitz, Ober, and Kantor (1995) propose “as a diagnostic and a planning framework to guide learning and enhance performance” (p. 2).
First, is the social structures level, which the authors define as [delete this and finish writing this sentence] . Second, the face-to-face structures level, or what I will refer in this paper as interpersonal structures, are [delete this and finish writing this sentence] . Third, is the individual structures level, the [delete this and finish writing this sentence] .

Next, I will use these three levels as my framework for analyzing my experience within my team and identifying areas where my team’s performance could be improved.

5. Social Structures

[Delete this and analyse the social structures shaping your group.]

6. Interpersonal Structures

[Delete this and analyse the interpersonal structures of your group.]

7. Individual Structures

[Delete this and analyse how individual structures affected the group.]

8. Summary of Critical Issues

[Delete this and summarize the problem-solving, teamwork and/or leadership development issues that you have observed over the period of the case study.]

Design for Action

[Delete this and write what you feel is the priority issue and why.]

Future Coaching Action

[Delete this and outline what you would do as the action learning coach to continue the group’s development as an action learning team.]

9. Conclusion

[Delete this and write your concluding thoughts on this paper.]

10. References

Garvin, D. A. (2000). Learning in action: A guide to putting the learning organization to work. Boston, Mass.: Harvard Business School Press.

Homer-Dixon, T. (2003). Human Adaptation and the Ingenuity Gap. Brook Education, 12(3), 1-22.

Marquardt, M. J. (2011). Building the learning organization: Achieving strategic advantage through a commitment to learning (3rd ed.). Boston, MA: Nicholas Brealey.

Senge, P. M. (1990). The fifth discipline: The art and practice of the learning organization. New York, NY: Doubleday.

Yanowitz, J., Ober, S., & Kantor, D. (1995). Creating business results through team learning. The Systems Thinker, 6(5), 1-5.


? Adapted with permission from “Team Learning Paper Instructions” by M. Halvorson, 2019.


? Adapted with permission from “Team Learning Paper Instructions” by M. Halvorson, 2019.


? Adapted with permission from “Team Learning Paper Instructions” by M. Halvorson, 2019.


? Adapted with permission from “Team Learning Paper Instructions” by M. Halvorson, 2019.

Leave this section as your introduction.

Delete these comments as you complete your paper.

Adjust this section to fit your class and team situation.

Review of the Action Learning Concept (APA Level 2 Heading)

This first section of your description is a summary of the background literature on the subject of your inquiry in this case study, which is the practice of action learning. In summarizing the action learning literature,

include a definition of action learning,

the objectives,

rules and norms,

roles and responsibilities,

other principles and guidelines and expected outcomes.

You need to only use the Marquardt (2018) text. Use only references from your course. Word count: Aim for about 2/3 page to 1-page ; double-spaced.

Action Learning Team Experience (APA Level 2 Heading)

This is about your team experience in class.

In academic terms this section is your method. That is, in a research paper your method defines your subject of inquiry. For a case study, method is the experience. Put simply, briefly describe the “cast of characters” who made up the learning team you observed and the story (beginning, middle, end) of its learning experience. Structurally, begin with a short paragraph describing your team composition (the who) in a generic way without using people’s names. Begin this paragraph with a phrase like: “The action learning team in this case is a team composed of four members.” Then, go on to briefly describe the team’s demographic characteristics. Don’t ask your team members for personal demographic information; you are not doing a questionnaire or interview-based study of your team members. Rather, you are sharing your personal observations of how your team members appear to you. The purpose is to give the reader your observations of your team’s composition. For example, you might write: “Three broad demographic characteristics are, first, three team members appear to be female and two male. Second, two members appear to be older adults and three younger adults. Third, one member is a student with limited work experience whereas the other members are established in careers. Next, describe the learning process the team actually experienced (the what, where and when). Take care not to start analyzing, this is simply the story of what happened as a series of events occurring over a period of time. Lastly, elaborate on one particular event, pattern (repeated events) or single-story thread that you would like to analyze in the discussion section of the paper. Take care not to analyze this event, simply describe it in about one to one and have pages. Aim for about 1½-2 pages; double-spaced. This is the END of your draft paper.

Part II: Discussion of the Issues (APA Level 1 Heading)

Introduction of your Theoretical Framework (No Heading)

The introduction to this part of the paper should, first, briefly set out the framework of team learning analysis you will use. This introduction has been started for you, but you need to complete the summaries of the three levels of structural analysis.

The analysis of my action learning team experience will consider three basic levels of structure, which Yanowitz, Ober, and Kantor (1995) propose “as a diagnostic and a planning framework to guide learning and enhance performance” (p. 2). First, is the social structures level, which the authors define as ______________________________ . Second, the face-to-face structures level, or what I will refer in this paper as interpersonal structures, are ______________________________ . Third, is the individual structures level, the ______________________________ . Next, I will use these three levels as my framework for analyzing my experience within my team and identifying areas where my team’s performance could be improved. Note: The above text is included in the paper template and you have permission to use this introduction as it is (no changes needed) so long as the permission footnote is used. Key resource: Yanowitz, Ober, & Kantor, 1995. Creating business results through team learning. Word count guidance: Aim for about ½ to 2/3 of a page; double-spaced. STOP: This is where you stop writing and submit your first draft!!!

Social Structures (APA Level 2 Heading)

Analyze the influence that social structures exerted on your team’s development. Key resources: Yanowitz, Ober, & Kantor, 1995, Unit 8 Presentation. In this section, identify some key “organizational forces . . . business [or business sphere] forces . . . [and] environmental [or cultural] forces” (Yanowitz, Ober, & Kantor, 1995, p. 2) and how they influenced the way the team has worked together. LDRS 310: The Learning Organization Page 5 of 7 For example, you might rightly identify the team is part of a university course. As such, what organizational forces are influencing the way the team worked? Similarly, you might identify the team is part of the higher education business sphere. So, what higher education business forces influenced the team experience? Lastly, the team is situated within a Canadian cultural environment. How did the team’s shared Canadian experience and cultural values influence the team? Word count: Aim for about a ½ to 2/3 page; double-spaced

Interpersonal Structures (APA Level 2 Heading)

Analyze the interpersonal structures, notably, patterns of dialogic leadership expressed in the four roles of interaction (mover, follower, oppose, and bystander) and the quality of the moves made from these roles (voicing, listening, respecting, and suspending). The key to assessing the team’s action learning level of success, and the focus of this section of the paper, is determining the degree to which the team’s interactions are characterized by balanced advocacy and inquiry. For example, you might remark: One member alone predominately moved the conversation forward with helpful questions to the problem presenter that deepened the team’s understanding of the problem and they carefully followed what others said with active listening. A second member frequently opposed the statements of all other members, which I felt was not very respectful. Based on others reactions I sense this sentiment was shared by others. A third member made a few attempts at following others and building on what other’s said. However, an intense move-oppose cycle developed between the first and second member, and everyone else ultimately became disabled bystanders. In this example, the conclusion you might make is: Because two members of the team got stuck in the move-oppose cycle, our team experience in practice was a group observing a debate between two members. In the end, we didn’t demonstrated balance between advocacy and inquiry, thus, the quality of our team’s action learning was very poor. Key resources: Isaacs, 1999; Unit 9 Presentation. Word count: Aim for about 1 to 2 page(s); double-spaced.

Individual Structures (APA Level 2 Heading)

Analyze the influence individual structures exerted on your team’s performance. That is, identify how team members’ common and different usual behaviors, needs (that is, expectations of others), stress behaviors, feelings, values, mental models (of how things work) and life experiences influenced the way the team worked together. Key resources: Birkman Presentation; Unit 11 Presentation. Word count: Aim for about 1 to 2 page(s); double-spaced.

Summary of Critical Issues (APA Level 2 Heading)

Review what you wrote in your three levels of analysis and identify the most significant leadership or teamwork issues you see as emerging themes. You may take an appreciative inquiry approach and identify strengths to build upon. Or, you can identify limitations (or blindspots) that could be addressed. Keep in mind, that the issue you identify here is the one you will be responding to in Part III. Word count: Aim for about ¼ to ½ a page; double-spaced

Part III: Design for Action (APA Level 1 Heading)

Priority Issue (No Heading) Imagine you are taking on the role of action learning coach for the team’s future sessions. Reflect on the summary of issues you wrote above and select a specific issue you will address as coach and why you think it is a priority. Word count: Aim for about 1/3 of a page; double-spaced.

Future Coaching Intervention (APA Level 2 Heading) Briefly outline your future action strategy for the team, including (a) how you would mobilize them, (b) motivate them to do it, and (c) develop their ability to do it. Word count: Aim for about 1 page; double-spaced.

Conclusion [APA Level 1 Heading] The closing section of your paper should tie all the above sections together into a satisfying conclusion. First, restate your thesis. Then, summarize your core points. Lastly, bring your paper to a close with a statement about the importance of the topic, a future looking question your paper raised, or you may choose to sum things up with by making a final practical recommendation, or several, for others.

Praise for
Optimizing the Power of Action Learning, 3rd Edition

“A brilliant compendium of key action learning techniques that produce
extraordinary results. This book is a masterful must-read for any
organization that aims to optimize its creativity and resilience amid rapid
shifts in this changing world.”

— Meliha Dzirlo-Ayvaz, Manager, Risk and Financial Advisory, Deloitte
& Touche

“Action learning is a powerful cross cultural tool to improving
effectiveness and efficiency of groups in corporate settings.”

— Dr. Mohammed Asad Al-Emadi, Chairman, Asad Holding, Qatar

“Action learning has become part of our culture and helped us be much
more successful in our actions.”

— Howard He, Assistant Vice President, Aviva-Cofco Life Insurance

“The third edition of Optimizing the Power of Action Learning is a great,
practical “How To” book for those looking to understand and apply the
power of action learning.”

— Bea Carson, Master Action Learning Coach; President, World
Institute for Action Learning

“In this third edition, the four co-authors share priceless new insights and
strategies to build leaders and organizations through action learning. If
you’re ready to fully unleash the power of creativity in your organization,
buy this book!”

— Bill Thimmesch, Founder, US Government Action Learning
Community of Practice


“The best approach to solving complex problems in complex
organizations. A tool that is invaluable for any leader in an organization.”

— Tom Gronow, Chief Operating Officer, University of Colorado

“Dr. Marquardt and his colleagues have written a must-read thought
provoking guidebook for anyone who doubts the value of asking powerful
questions yet craves the capacity to solve pressing problems in this era of
digital disruption. This book is timely! Learn from the best.”

— Dr. Sydney Savion, General Manager, Learning, Air New Zealand

“Positioned perfectly at the apex of research and practice, the third edition
of Optimizing the Power of Action Learning illuminates a clear and
concise path to maximizing organizational power through systematic and
simultaneous learning and action.”

— Dr. Ron Sheffield, President and Managing Director, OrgScience,

“This revised edition shows clearly how action learning can be a
magnificent tool for developing the skill of asking great questions for
teams, for leadership, and for innovation.”

— Marilee Adams, PhD, Author, Change Your Questions, Change
Your Life: 12 Powerful Tools for Leadership, Coaching, and Life;
Founder and CEO, Inquiry Institute International LLC

“A must-read for anyone who wants to improve the effectiveness of people
and organizations.”

— Doug Bryant, Vice President, Talent Management, Training and
Recruiting, Sonic Automotive

“Action learning’s power reaches far into the learning profession. It’s a
superb technique for demonstrating learning’s value, and this book is a
vital resource for harnessing learning as an organizational performance



— Dr. Dave Rude, Chief Learning Officer, Global Learning Associates




This edition first published in 2018 by Nicholas Brealey Publishing
An imprint of John Murray Press

An Hachette company

23 22 21 20 19 18 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Copyright © Michael J. Marquardt 2011, 2018

The right of Michael J. Marquardt to be identified as the Author of the Work has
been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act


All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a
retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means without the prior
written permission of the publisher, nor be otherwise circulated in any form of
binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar

condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.

A CIP catalogue record for this title is available from the British Library

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Names: Marquardt, Michael J., author.
Title: Optimizing the power of action learning : real-time strategies for
developing leaders, building teams and transforming organizations / by
Michael Marquardt, Shannon Banks, Peter Cauwelier, Choon Seng Ng.
Description: Third Edition. | Boston : Nicholas Brealey, 2018. | Revised

edition of Optimizing the power of action learning, c2011.
Identifiers: LCCN 2017058663 (print) | LCCN 2018000144 (ebook) | ISBN

9781904838364 (ebook) | ISBN 9781473646292 (open ebook) | ISBN
9781473676961 (paperback)

Subjects: LCSH: Organizational learning. | Problem-based learning. | Active
learning. | Leadership. | BISAC: BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Management. |

Classification: LCC HD58.82 (ebook) | LCC HD58.82 .M375 2018 (print) | DDC

LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2017058663


ISBN 978-1-47367-696-1
US eBook ISBN 978-1-90483-836-4
UK eBook ISBN 978-1-47364-404-5

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Part 1

Chapter 1

Part 2

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6




About the Authors

Emergence of the Power of Action

Overview of Action Learning

Applying the Six Components of
Action Learning

The Problem

The Group

Questions and Reflection

Taking Action

Individual, Team, and Organizational


Chapter 7

Part 3

Chapter 8

The Action Learning Coach

Unleashing the Power of Action

Introducing, Implementing, and Sustaining
Action Learning in Organizations