Writing a Leadership Development Plan

Preparing a leadership development plan is not an easy task. The entire process involves a comprehensive effort and careful planning at every stage.

Various steps go into the development of a leadership development plan. The process starts with an initial phase of self-assessment and the data collected from self-assessments is then used for defining the vision and goals.

The next stage is the stage of the definition of SMART objectives which contribute towards the enablement of the objectives and identification of the competencies which help in the realization of these objectives.

Common Elements which can be included in a Development Plan

  1. Character Development: This is the central area of focus of leadership development which involves identification and development of core competencies which play a stellar role in developing a lead character.

  2. Example Setting & Leading: This involves outlining those behaviours which a leader would like to follow. It is concerned with the identification of desirable or successful behaviours.

  3. Extension of Leadership Experience: It is concerned with the extension of leadership experience by handling challenging assignments, taking appropriate leadership development training and extensive reading to stay abreast with the best practices in management and various leadership techniques.

Steps which are required to be taken after writing a leadership development plan:

The stage of implementation of a leadership plan involves the following key aspects:

  • Communicating the plan: This deals with disclosing the development plan to someone who can be of help in self-improvement or development of the leadership competencies.

  • Periodic monitoring of the progress: This stage is primarily related to setting up of a system which will help in monitoring the performance periodically and implementing necessary improvements as required.

    For keeping the motivation levels high, apart from regular monitoring, rewarding achievements is also crucial as a leader progresses through various stages of the development plan.

Strategies for Leadership Development

  1. Self-Assessment for Leadership Development: The process of leadership development starts with recruitment of new talents or on-boarding of new hires. The new joiners can carve their development plans by indulging in personal assessments and individual development plans.

    Employee retention and motivation can be achieved by engaging the employees in career development programs which can also be combined with mentoring support and facilitation.

  2. Mentoring as well as coaching support for Developing Leadership Capabilities: By having an efficiently planned mentoring program, employee retention percentage can be improved through comprehensive facilitation and support for developing the required skills and talents.

    Mentors offer a structured and a transparent feedback to the mentees on their progress at work, their areas of improvement and also suggest a remedial plan of action for developing their leadership talent.

  3. Leadership Development Aligned with Technology: By implementing an integrated online software solution, the entire process of leadership development can be managed efficiently from the level of start till the end.

    Critical operations from the stage of onboarding of an employee, implementation of employee engagement and retention initiatives, to mentoring & coaching for performance enhancement, strategizing succession planning to fill up important leadership positions, can be efficiently managed by using technology.

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