An American business Executive Jack Welch famous quote sounds like this: “before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others’’. It is a motivation to enhance the capacity of others to become future effective leaders. And it is only possible through a simple and effective leadership development plan. Through such a plan, leadership qualities can be nurtured in employees covering their goals that align with organizational goals.
Hence, I’d like to provide you with guidance on how to create an effective leadership development plan to grow successful leaders in your company. This article will give you the most essential productivity tips to improve leadership skills training in your team.
Before we go deeper into details let’s understand what is leadership developmental plan?
What is a Leadership Development Plan?
As the term implies, a leadership development plan is a detailed blueprint that is set to help employees gain leadership competencies for better roles in the future. It’s a complete and detailed plan that includes learning activities and professional skills for career growth.
Leadership development plans engage employees through leadership training, networking, working with soft skills, expanding and diversifying knowledge, creating a culture of mentorship, practicing self-discipline and communication, and overall focusing on big picture thinking. All these qualities and skills prepare individuals for future leadership positions.
Why is leadership development so important?
World economic forum suggested leadership to be the most essential factor for future jobs. An article published on important future jobs focuses on human creativity, originality, critical thinking, initiative, persuasive and negotiation skills. Additionally, complex problem-solving, attention to detail and resilience were considered vital job requirements.
‘’Emotional intelligence, leadership, and social influence, as well as service orientation, are also set to see a particular increase in demand relative to their current prominence today.’’
Based on the research, by 2022 the number of first-time entrepreneurs who will register new companies will grow. As a result, there will be an increased demand of qualified teams with leadership skills to handle the latest technology-algorithms, and machines emerging at the same time.
It is also expected to increase human roles in sales, marketing, management, people and culture, developmental training, social media, organizational development.
What else makes a leadership plan so important?
- It drives better business results
- Good leaders drive innovation
- Skilled and competent leaders are more responsive
- It inspires higher employee engagement
- Enhance company internal and external communication
- Improve customer retention
- Also, improve employee loyalty
To be able to deal with all these, it is essential to create a proper growth plan. Let’s learn more about why businesses need to have an effective leadership development plan.
Why do you need a leadership development plan?
The idea of creating a leadership development plan is might seem a bit shaky, but having a more specific, realistic, and flexible plan including accessible goals can be very effective. A well-thought plan reflecting critical and structured thinking, and collaboration can inspire today’s employees to become future great leaders.
To make leadership development effective, planning provides clear and concrete goals and helps to influence employees through involvement in activities. To have a clear roadmap means you can take action right away to achieve your objectives. Planning is always fact-based increasing the chances of getting more success.
Therefore, you must develop a proper plan to enhance the leadership skills of employees which have a long-term effect on both personal satisfaction, growth, and development, but also increase the productivity of an organization.
How to Create Best Leadership Development Strategy
Now the question is how to create the best leadership development plan or strategy. Talking about the best leadership development strategy Marcus Buckingham said,
“the chief responsibility of the leader is only seen through the eyes of followers need. Followers need to have confidence in a better future. Giving the leaders an employee engagement tool, real-time engagement to see themselves through the eyes of the followers would help in Leadership development’’
Additionally, leaders when engaging with employees, freely move them around to fulfill gaps and to fulfill the needs of the followers, better understand the importance of leadership development. Leaders turn legitimate anxiety of followers about the future into a vivid picture through the engagement of employees and that’s what employees must be prepared for. To turn the anxiety of followers into hope, as being anxious about the future is adaptive. However, leaders must bring confidence for a better future.
Therefore, one must spend time in the development of a leadership plan for success, sustainability, and survival in a competitive market.
Leadership Development Plan – Complete Guidance
Experts who have experience working as leaders, trainers, and researchers recommend this leadership development plan. Let’s understand these best practices to implement in your company.
Step 1: Figure out Initial developmental goals
You must figure out clear goals to set for the process to follow. It’s a starting point and primary base for the leadership development plan.
It’s necessary to understand strengths, weaknesses at the workplace and identify areas where improvement is needed. After identification, having a clear and specific timeline to achieve the results can ensure your vision for the company.
“Just like anything else: If you don’t know where you’re going, you’re probably not going to get there,” Bernstein says. “It sounds overly simplistic, but that summarizes why goals are important.”
Step 2: Study great leader’s traits
Reading about different leadership styles such as transformational, transactional, and autocratic leadership would be very helpful. Also, define what kind of leaders you need, and what skills or competencies are required for such a leadership style.
You can also create a list of skills that you are looking for in a good leader that is aligned with your company goals and objectives. Additionally, prepare a list of employees who demonstrate talent and interest in leadership goals.
Step 3: Assessment of your personality
There are qualities and skills that you need as a team leader. These can include communication, critical thinking, evaluation of authentic change in someone’s personality, planning career growth, negotiating transactions in careers, and giving authentic and constructive feedback.
You can include in your leadership development plan the things which you don’t practice typically such as soft skills including creating value, practicing empathy, and actively listening. Which shows that you can tackle any kind of challenge and bring organizational change effectively.
You can use different personality trait assessment tools for yourself which are freely available online. These tools will help you to personalize your development and keep it on track. Such as the MBTI instrument can be used for personality assessment.
Step 4: Write down your top values
The core values of any leader guide them towards their decision.
“Each member of your team has the potential for personal greatness; the leader’s job is to help them achieve it.” – John Wooden
Your values are used to assist, identify, make decisions, show empathy, and listen to others. It will help you to understand what value is a top priority to be practiced regularly.
Step 5: Check your perceptions of other’s opinion
You might need a whistleblower to let you know what other employees think of you when you are not around. Or a trusted friend who would give advice and guide you to make decisions that benefit your employees.
Knowing how others perceive you would help to change or sustain your behavior and attitude towards them. It is important to know about employees’ opinions to strengthen yourself.
Step 6: Prepare a personal vision system
Having a personal vision statement makes things easier to follow. Every great leader has a personal vision about the future of the company or employees. For example, John Rampton, the founder of Hostt.com vision is very business-oriented.
“I want to make it so that every person in the world can afford to start their own business.”
Campbell Soup Company CEO Denise Morrison vision is:
“To serve as a leader, live a balanced life, and apply ethical principles to make a significant difference.”
Step 7: Chose Skills to develop
Finally, choose a skill that needs improvement or development, create a timeline, and work on this skill. These skills can be categorized as leadership, interpersonal and technical. Align the skill with your goals and vision statement.
Step 8: Set the goal
Brainstorm to make these skills attainable through effective practice. Make sure your goals are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound). Unrealistic goals lead to failure, and leaders usually lose their confidence in setting unattainable goals.
A final thought on Leadership Development Plan
To be able to create great leaders who will provide sustainable solutions to future problems, it is essential to prepare them for the upcoming challenges. A Leadership Development plan is the best strategy to adapt to meet these challenges. Using the above guidelines, you can create an effective and efficient Leadership development plan for future success.