Evaluating Personal Leadership Development Plans
A good leadership development plan has three key characteristics. When you've finished creating your plan, you should evaluate it to be sure it has each of these characteristics:
- A good leadership development plan supports your vision by aligning goals, objectives, and actions, with the vision.
- It's tailored to your needs. Some organizations use a generic format for leadership planning purposes, forcing all potential leaders to try to fit into the same mold. When it comes to leadership plans, however, one size doesn't fit all. Each potential leader's self-assessment will reveal a different mix of preferences, motivators, strengths, and weaknesses. And to be most effective, each person's development plan must be personalized to address his unique mix. Since actions are individualized, rewards should be as well. When you plan the rewards you'll give yourself for performing certain actions and achieving objectives and goals, be sure they're commensurate with the effort you've expended and that they truly motivate you. You won't bother working for a reward if you don't care about it.
- It's grounded in real-world experience. When a plan integrates leadership development with on-the-job activities, you're able to practice skills in a hands-on way, while contributing to the productivity goals of the organization at the same time.
To be successful, a development plan must not conflict with the organization's goals and priorities. When you create your leadership development plan, discuss your needs with your manager. It's important to strike a balance between your development needs and the organization's goals. If you don't negotiate your needs up front, you may find yourself stuck and unable to meet them later on.Future leaders learn best by imprinting on more experienced, seasoned leaders. While each leadership plan must be individualized, the basic steps presented in this course can be passed on by leaders to future leaders. This can be done as part of a coaching or mentoring effort to help new leaders discover their needs and develop into their roles.A leadership development plan requires a current assessment of yourself and your environment; goals, objectives, and actions that derive from your own assessment and vision; and specific measures for sustaining the momentum of your development. After creating your plan, you evaluate it to ensure it has three important characteristics: it must support the vision, be tailored to individual needs, and be grounded in real-world experience.For a plan to support your vision, be sure that actions, objectives, and goals are in alignment with the vision. To ensure your plan is tailored to your needs, make sure that your goals, objectives, and actions are established to fill gaps and address your weaknesses. And finally, to ground your development plan in real-world experience, integrate leadership development with on-the-job activities where possible. This enables you to practice skills in a hands-on way, while contributing to the productivity goals of the organization at the same time.