Leadership Development Plan: The SMART Way

Table of Contents

Leadership takes courage. 

Words like wisdom, dedication trust, and judgment apply to everyone we view as great leaders. 

Leaders play a crucial and critical role in every organization across industries. The success and failure of an organization hinge hugely on the quality of its leaders.

C-Suite leaders, junior executives, regular employees create a personal leadership development plan.  That is if you aim to enhance your leadership capacity.  It is your best tool to help define and direct your career goals. 

You will achieve personal career satisfaction and make an impact on your organization.


SELF ASSESSMENT 

“Self-analysis requires reconsideration of who we think we are. Self-awareness requires us to reassess where we came from and where we are going.” ― Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls.

Know yourself.

Building a personal leadership development plan is a roadmap to success. 

Leadership strength is critical and central to improved productivity, delivery, quality, and ultimately the success of both the individual and his organization.  

To create an efficient and effective plan, these are helpful questions you may ask yourself to assist and guide you.

Building a personal leadership development plan is a roadmap to success. 

Leadership strength is critical and central to improved productivity, delivery, quality, and ultimately the success of both the individual and his organization.  

To create an efficient and effective plan, these are helpful questions you may ask yourself to assist and guide you.

    - What place does my career take in my life? What does my career mean to me?

    - What is the importance of my career to my life?

    - Will career advancement contribute to my overall life satisfaction?

    - Do I want to make an impact on my company? Why and how?

    - Do I have leadership skills?

    - What’s my leadership style?

    - How important is leadership development to me?

Your honest answers to these all-important questions will provide the list of what you feel are the essential characteristics of a leader.

 Some of these skills must be specific to your current industry and your role in it, while others should apply to leadership in general. Having identified the qualities will help you assess your own skills. 


MAPPING YOUR LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT PLAN

Who and what do you want to be?

After identifying which traits are a strength for you and which traits will require some improvement, the next important step is to think and formulate your mission statement similar to that of a corporate statement. 

This will help you tie your personal development efforts with your long-term personal and professional goals. This will also certify that the steps you take to improve your leadership skills do not conflict with the type of work you want to do.


Use the SMART Approach

Your personal leadership development plan should not be vague regarding goals, timelines, and overall structure. The best way to make it clear is to use the SMART approach. The SMART system means:

Specific

An important key to success in attaining your main goal is the actual selection of that goal.

List down your primary goal, then think of strategies and tactics you’ll use to reach that goal. Make your personal development plan clear and specific to be able to implement them efficiently and effectively. Careful not to make it broad that it can’t be actionable at all.


Measurable


To track progress, make a leadership development program that will have measurable results. Establish key performance indicators to track progress in the development program you created. Enhance leadership competencies to achieve your desired goals. Results must be quantifiable. Assessing progress helps you stay focused. Meet your deadlines, stay motivated and feel the excitement of getting closer to achieving your goal.

Acceptable

You can successfully implement the career development plan if you are willing to do it. But also, your leadership development goals must be acceptable and welcome to your business organization. 

Having support from the management of your organization can help you a lot in the implementation process.

When leadership development aligns with business strategy, organizations can link their investments to supporting potential leaders. Such alignment increases the possibility that your manager and other stakeholders within the organization will give your personal leadership plan the stamp of approval.


Realistic, Results-Oriented, and Relevant

While it is good to aim high, create achievable, realistic, and relevant plans for your leadership development goals. It must be results-oriented. Your personal growth should reflect your accomplishments and improvements after implementing the plans. 

-The specifics of a leadership development plan should include strengths as well as potential areas of improvement.

- For each area where you see potential to improve, include an action item. 

- Each of your goals should align with your values and more extensive, long-term goals.

- Ask yourself why the goal is essential to you.
-When you set an achievable goal, you may be able to identify previously overlooked opportunities or resources that can bring you closer to it.

Setting an achievable goal helps you see previously overlooked opportunities or resources that can bring you closer to achieving said goals.

Time-Bound

The purpose is to create urgency, but it is equally important to give yourself a realistic time frame. Include not only the timeframe for every action and every result but the cost as well. Implementation of plans, as well as evaluation of results, must be time-bound.

Don’t overlook the smaller goals that are necessary to achieving your final objective.  Reward yourself as you reach the goals within the goal. This will give you confidence as you work your way to your ultimate goal.


KEY TAKEAWAY: 

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN is your best tool to help define and direct your career goals.

The reality is that successful organizations depend on employees who demonstrate steady and strong leadership skills regardless of their job description or length of tenure.

Since leadership is often of abstract and complex definitions, the necessity for personal leadership development is more pronounced than ever.

Enhance your leadership capacity and achieve personal and career satisfaction. Make an impact on your organization.

The best strategy for this is to create a personal leadership development plan.

The pointers given above can help you achieve clarity and focus on evoking and unleashing the ideal leadership qualities within you. So let your journey begin!



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