Today I wanted to do a different type of video that’s centered around creating a personal leadership development plan.
About 6 months into my role when I really started to turn the ship around starting with myself because really and truly I was the problem, I had invested in going to a two day leadership development conference. At this conference is where I was introduced to the importance of creating a leadership development plan.
Would you prefer to read rather than watch? Not to worry! You can read the blog post below.
As leaders it’s important that we are constantly working on improvement because it’s so easy to think we’re good at where we are at, which is a fallacy. None of us are perfect and if we truly believe that then that’s the ego talking and we’re better off not leading people because we’re most likely causing more damage than good with that attitude. That might sound harsh but it is the truth.
As leaders we’ve been given a really important role and responsibility that involves people’s lives. So not taking the time to improve ourselves says that we don’t really value the people and responsibility that we’ve been given. Unfortunately we have plenty of examples of managers like that in the workplace who take on the responsibility because of the pay increase and title and cause trauma and chaos in the job.
Obviously I know you guys are not like that otherwise you would not be here today subscribed to the channel and trying to glean all the nuggets that you can. But for us the trap is complacency rather than lack of care. Now complacency kills because it prevents us from improving and it’s like they say if you’re not improving you’re either staying the same or getting worse.
And so creating a personal leadership development plan aids in committing us to improve ourselves as it forces us to stop, plan and execute.
Creating your personal leadership development plan:
Step 1: STATE THE TYPE OF LEADER YOU WANT TO BE
If you have not really given this part much thought in the past or if you’re having troubles articulating it, I suggest starting by thinking about past managers you’ve had that you absolutely loved. Think about what made them so great and why you enjoyed working with them and how you would like to infuse that into how you lead your team.
I think it’s important to consider your values as well as that plays a huge part in how you show up and how you desire to lead your team.
Watch this video HERE where I discuss the various leadership styles that will help you get your juices flowing as well.
Step 2: DETERMINE THE COMPETENCIES THAT REQUIRE IMPROVEMENT
Here are a few competencies that all effective leaders possess:
>>The ability to to cast a compelling vision
>>Providing timely and effective feedback
>>Process and policy knowledge
Be honest and ask yourself where you are lacking in these areas.
I like to suggest doing these plans on a quarterly basis. I would suggest jotting down let’s say 2-3 competencies that you believe need improvement.
Step 3: CONSIDER YOUR TEAM'S FEEDBACK
The third piece is to consider the perspective of your team members. It’s one thing to know what you think you need to work on but having a more rounded viewpoint is better.
If you’re listening and running effective one-on-one’s then you will know what the glaring things are that they think you need to improve on.
Write 2-3 of those things down in your personal leadership development plan as well.
Step 4: ASK YOURSELF: How can I better support those around me?
A principle that my mentor really preached as one of his leadership principles was the importance of coming into work every day with the intent of creating success for other people.
So even though he was the vice president he was always thinking of all of us. He would say at the beginning of all our meetings, listen, I’m here to make you successful.
And it was evident in his actions that he meant what he said.
With that in mind, I think it’s even more important to adopt this mindset as a team leader. You should be showing up for work every day looking to make the people around you successful. Whether that’s your team members, lateral coworkers or boss.
Choose one thing you intend to do for each quarter and commit to just doing it as you move forward.
Step 5: DEFINE HOW YOU ARE GOING TO IMPROVE
Jot down HOW you are going to improve in these areas. Are you going to go to conferences, are you going to invest in training, are you going to find a coach, will you buy books?
What specific actions will you take to do what you say is important to you?
Knowing and doing are two different things.
So specifically lay out what you’re going to do by following this sentence structure:
Over the next 3 months, I am committed to improving and learning _________ by doing the following: _________. I will measure my progress towards my improvement on _______.
As we know all goals need to be specific and measurable and creating for yourself a leadership development plan is no different.
Step 6: CONSIDER THE RISKS
The final step is to call out the risks associated with NOT doing the work.
I’m huge on analyzing risks as it’s a vital component to critical thinking and wise decision making.
I tend to analyze the risk in anything I do and a simple question you can ask yourself is what’s the downside?
So often when it comes to trying to achieve something we naturally see the good but where the accountability fails sometimes is because we fail to call out or acknowledge what’s at risk if we don’t achieve something.
For a lot of managers that want to continue to be adequate well the risks are large:
>>you could get fired
>>you get passed over for further opportunities
>>your boss looks at you as not someone that is up to the task
>>your team isn’t effective
There is plenty of risk associated with not taking ownership of your own development. I want you to jot that down and then the next time you’re thinking of not doing the thing you need to do to improve, think of the risks associated with helping you get your butt in gear.
After completing your leadership development plan, I would suggest going back to this plan every quarter to assess and adjust if need be.
If you’re holding yourself accountable to the improvements then your plan will naturally evolve over time and the competencies and methods you use to improve will change.
But it’s a good appointment in the calendar that you should have with yourself if you really want to get better.
Here’s your free template if you would like to use mine as a starting point
Now if you’re someone that aspires to be a really good leader and adequate is not acceptable to you then I definitely want you to check out the details of my New Manager Accelerator Program that’s designed for first time managers who want to excel and who have that desire to do the best job they can.
My program is not for managers that are okay with status quo or riding out the clock.