Leadership Development Plan

Leadership is a continually evolving skill. By learning more about yourself, your strengths and weaknesses, you can determine your developmental needs and gain a bright idea about the areas in which you need to improve. For encouraging both personal and professional growth of an individual, tailored leadership plans can be developed. Customized plans help in guiding you, where you want to be within a particular span of time by improving self-awareness and behavior modification. Good leaders know how to change their behaviors and for changing their behavior, they develop their self-awareness, which further contributes to behavior modification. In this way, leadership is a self-perpetuating cycle. Behavioral changes range in scope from becoming a better listener, to creating an organization-wide change or an attitude to diversity.

Leadership development plan is a comprehensive plan which helps in establishing your career on a strategic path of leadership. In a nutshell, it is your vision statement which aims at determining where you want to be within next 3-5 years by analyzing the current situation and the strategic strengths.

As a leader, you try to react more appropriately and respond to different situations effectively. By improving your self-awareness as a leader, you can enhance your ability to manage your learning by creating a Leadership development plan. An effective leadership plan should be documented and have easy accessibility. As discussed, it should be customizable and have the scope for adapting it to the requirements of the changing circumstances.

The fundamental questions which you should be asking yourself before embarking on a Leadership Development Plan are:

  • Before developing a Leadership Plan, find out how ready you are to commit yourself towards this kind of an endeavor.

  • Assess what skills or competencies you already have as a leader.

  • Decide whether or not you will be able to implement and follow your plans for a sustained amount of time preferably for 8 to 24 months for best results.

  • Determine, whether you have the patience and perseverance to stick to the process even when you encountered obstacles.

Leadership development is an ongoing process. It is essential for every individual no matter how knowledgeable they are or equipped with the required competencies and skills as a leader, leadership development is a continuous process and helps in addressing the professional challenges.

Steps to be followed while developing a Leadership Plan

Before writing the plan, you should gather the necessary information from self-assessment to collate and analyze your data. Using this analysis, you can articulate the vision and set objectives for Leadership development.

Collating Data and Analysis of the Self Assessment Data

By analyzing the data which you have organized, decide which goals you wish to target for improvement over next few years. Five elements can be considered:

Situation: You can analyze your existing situation around the following pointers:

  • Question yourself on whether or not the work environment promotes a positive ambiance for growth and high morale?

  • Is it hindering your productivity or helping you by anyway?

  • Identifying the possible measures of rectification which can be implemented for improving the existing situation.


  • This stage involves assessment of your current behaviors.

  • Determination of the possible guidelines or action plans for modifying or improving those behaviors which you want to change.


  • Decide about the possible ways by which you can assess your existing competencies and the potential techniques which you can deploy throughout the plan during the self-assessment process.


  • You can think about the areas in which you have already gathered strong expertise and the areas in which you need to improve or require some more experience.

  • Decide whether you need to spend some more time working with individual departments for overcoming your weaknesses and developing your know-how in specific areas?


  • Decide upon those areas in which you need further training or education.

  • Decide if you just require a practical or ethical knowledge which you can acquire from your peers, instead of going ahead with formal training which may sometimes sound too idealistic..

Articulating your vision for success and set objectives for realizing the vision

Next step is to think about your overall vision for the year ahead and the next 3-5 years. Establish a personal vision and a plan for where you want to be within next 3-5 years. Write some solid objectives you want to achieve for realizing the vision. Goals should be SMART- Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-Bound.

Specific Objectives: Clearly and accurately highlight what kind of objectives you wish to fulfill over a specified period, how and why you want to attain those objectives.

Measurable Objectives: A Measurability criterion is very crucial, as it helps in the assessment of the areas of success and failure in the realization of your objectives.

Achievable Objectives: Objectives which a leader wishes to attain should be feasible and possible; otherwise it may lead to a loss in the motivation level.

Realistic Objectives: The pre-defined objectives are supposed to be realistic in the sense that a leader should have the necessary resources and competencies for realizing those objectives.

Time-Bound: Establish the objectives around a specific time frame or set deadlines, as this would create a sense of urgency and improve the motivation level.

The following example can be considered as SMART objectives for including in the leadership plan:

  • To complete the branding activities across major Indian territories by the end of the year 2018 for achieving a growth target of 25%.

Writing the Plan

The process of writing the plan involves setting developmental objectives into several competency areas. It can be broken down into three sections:

  • Your future goals

  • The current and future responsibilities

  • Timelines in which you want to achieve things

From your analysis, fill in your vision and smart objectives; List your current responsibilities and what you feel future ones might be. Outline your timelines for achieving goals and pinpoint areas you want to work on for leadership character development.

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