Every leader and high potential should complete a 12 month leadership development plan each year to help guide them through the actions necessary to take their career to the next level. Developing your leadership skills should be a continuous process, one that never ends even when you reach the corner office.
To get started, this blog will discuss the 3 main parts of a successful 12 month development plan and the next blog will give a few examples of a 12 month development plan. By taking the time to understand what goes into a successful development plan, you will be able to create one for yourself that will actually propel you forward in your career.
There are 3 main parts of an effective leadership development plan:
These are the main goals or outcomes you want to accomplish with your development plan. It is best to select 3 or 4 main objectives. They are usually the broad, umbrella goals that you are focusing on, such as:
- Effectively transition leadership development from the external coach to the executive and his/her manager.
- Specify the critical success factors required to meet the unit/function and position’s goals over the next 12 months.
- Build a system that identifies multiple sources of feedback and learning required to sustain on-going development. save
Elements are the key components that create your development plan. They list out specific actions that are necessary to help you accomplish your goals and provide a complete picture of all that’s involved.
- Unit/Functional vision (one that goes 3-4 years in the future).
- Outline strategic initiatives for the role and unit, and tie them to the overall strategy.
- Personal and business goals.
- Develop plans for each initiative identified.
- Leadership behaviors to stop, start and continue.
- Identify leadership strengths to leverage for greater success.
- Determine barriers or obstacles that need to be addressed.
- Tie to the executive’s leadership strengths and goals.
- Outline the key developmental opportunities that require on-going development and the plans to address each one (leadership challenges and opportunities to develop).
- Get approval and buy-in from his/her manager for the plan.
- Recruit advocates from team, peers and management to serve as feedback providers and coaches over the course of the year.
- Determine measures of success.
- Quarterly check-up dates.
Advocates are key stakeholders and/or a mentor who can be trusted. They are also motivated to provide on-going feedback and offer suggestions for change to the leader’s plan.
- Advocates are best at the 360 degree levels: direct reports, peers and managers.
- Recruit 4-5 advocates who agree to serve as feedback providers over the course of the year for your continued development.
- Use the FeedForward process to help advocates be most effective.
- Approach advocates at least quarterly for suggestions and recommendations on improving your leadership effectiveness.
Next week we’ll review some samples of a 12 month leadership development strategic plan so you will be able to create one to help guide you to career success.