In today’s time, leadership development becomes a fundamental initiative for many businesses. According to Gartner’s latest survey 57% of human resources executives stated that nurturing their company’s existing and future leadership pipeline is one of their top priorities.
So, if you want to bring your leadership capacity to the next level, creating a leadership development plan is a must. This strategy can guide your growth in your current role and prepare you for further responsibilities. To help you grasp how to develop an effective plan, here are several vital steps to consider.
Step 1: Understand and Check Where You are Professionally
Plotting your leadership development begins with understanding yourself and checking where you are in the professional field. Recognizing your strengths, weaknesses, and workplace behavior can help you determine areas that need improvement.
You may foresee the risks that might emerge on your journey to become a more competent leader by assessing yourself. Additionally, you can try completing an assessment to review your limitations and motivational drivers. Then, it may even give you a more holistic perspective regarding your leadership style.
Another thing you can do is to have a pairing self-reflection with your colleagues. This method enables you to gain feedback from them, which you can use to leverage your leadership development journey.
Step 2: Establish Attainable Goals
One of the vital elements of an effective leadership development plan is goal setting. Based on Harvard Business School Professor Ethan Bernstein, you will probably not get there if you don’t know where you’re going. He also teaches the PACE model, which means:
- Pick a leadership goal
- Apprise others in your goal’s inner circle
- Collect particular ideas on how to improve
- Elicit feedback on how you are doing
Learners employ PACE to choose leadership goals and map a course of action to accomplish them. The first step in the process, picking a leadership goal, centers on determining and prioritizing a plan you can venture. So, when setting that specific goal, take a wise approach and consider both short-term and long-term.
Step 3: Participate in Leadership Training
Wherever you are in your career stage, leadership training can offer you benefits. You can get the opportunity to practice and obtain the skills necessary to empower employees and influence others.
Moreover, you get exposed to peers and colleagues that you can lean on for support, resulting in more learning and growth.
Improving your leadership capabilities in a classroom setting is beneficial. It offers a low-risk environment for rechecking and fine-tuning goals when you face pitfalls. Training can also be an eye-opener for you to try out new things. With leadership training, you get to have fresh and new knowledge to improve in your field continuously.
Step 4: Make Interactions with Your Network
One of the most helpful resources of any leader is a professional network, so consider growing yours. In your leadership development journey, try to connect with peers compatible with you and search for opportunities. Besides employing your knowledge to them, solicit feedback on your progress as well.
Additionally, you interact with various stakeholders regularly as a leader. Examples of these individuals are the following:
- Department Heads
- Frontline Employees
- Board Members
- Other Business Community Members
So, as you create a leadership development plan, determine the stakeholders you want to have a stronger connection with. Reach out to those individuals, start the conversation if you must, and build a mutually beneficial relationship.
Step 5: Sharpen Your Soft Skills
Effective and efficient leadership needs a unique combination of skills and characteristics. You require several skills as a leader that you do not necessarily enhance in other contexts or a focused technique. These type of skills include:
- Career Planning
- Negotiating Career Shifting
They are aspects in your career that you don’t usually do but are essential in continuing your leadership approach. Also, as you map your leadership development plan, consider honing your soft skills.
Soft skills may pertain to practicing empathy, actively listening, and making value in negotiation. Enhancing these things ensures that you are ready for organizational challenges that may come in your direction.
Step 6: Have Critical Success Indicators
You, as a leader, experience evaluation according to your success and your team’s improvement. For an effective leadership development plan, you need to list the critical success indicators for you and your team. You may refer to the things listed below:
- Enhancing the work quality
- Improving morale and teamwork
- Increasing responsibility delegation
- Have a continuous learning process for you and your team
- Acknowledge your team’s works and contributions
- Strategic planning and preparation
Aspiring to be a competent and influential leader is a kind of commitment you can make at any career phase. Develop an effective leadership development plan by evaluating and reflecting on where you are and where you want to be. Follow a method that can enable you to showcase your passion and enhance skills that lead to success.