Create a leadership development plan
The leadership development plan bottom line: How to take on the “learning for life” paradigm, and make it a reality that works for you.
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“Learning for life” is replacing a “Job for life” career model.
As a leader your skills must now more than ever match the needs of the changing situation. This presents a personal challenge to all leaders, of adapting and recreating yourself, in response to profound changes in work.
We are weighed down by almost daily new books on leadership and we seem to have a rabid hunger for more information on leadership...
… And yet at the same time, many of our organisations in the Western world have chronic low levels of employee engagement.
Free leadership Double Your Impact as a Leader Video Series Three great free leadership videos plus supporting information to download.
Before you start thinking about developing a leadership development plan for your self and/or others; it is helpful to think about what leadership is and isn’t. The word leadership is universally used but has a number of meanings depending on your perspective.
For more information on developing leadership capability Go to leadership training.
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In general terms, modern theories of leadership cite the themes of visioning, strategic thinking, decision making and communication and influencing skills.
Modern theories also mention different leadership styles like, participative, consultative, directive and negotiative and also the situational dependence of such leadership styles.
This in recent years, is increasingly being underpinned by notions of character,integrity,authenticity and service being seen as critical for effective leaders.
For more information on leadership definition. click here
The insight here is that leadership theory is not static and has changed, and will continue to change.
So before you start your leadership development plan, it begs the questions:
what kind of leader do you want to be?
what are your natural leadership styles?
what kind of leader does your organization need right now?
Perhaps this ambiguity is one of the reasons that leadership development is still pretty haphazard in organisations. Let me explain what I mean:
Organisations collectively spend billions of dollars on traditional leadership development approaches, that don’t take into account modern insights about adult learning, and don’t always translate well into business outcomes.
Some leaders get a lot of developmental opportunities other Leaders and their organisations don’t seem to bother (perhaps assuming they will pick it up on the way). There still seems to be a disconnect on the link between leaders and business results.
Some Myths about Leadership
Before you start your leadership development plan consider the impact of some of these leadership myths.
Popular writing is still polarised between the two 2 extreme views of
Everyone can be a leader
Leaders are great coaches
People at the top are leaders
Leaders deliver great results
Another concept is the distinction between leadership and management.
“Adapted From What Leaders Really Do” by John Kotter
For more information on leadership theories Go to leadership theories. click here
According to Warren Bennis “Many organisations become over managed and under led”
If you believe organisations are over managed what are the implications on your preferred leadership styles and leadership development plan?
Does than mean that when we are leading we might have different conversations than when we are managing
To quote Carol Weber “What is the conversation you have left your people with?”
How might you need to adapt your leadership style to get the best out of your conversations?
Here are some leadership conversations that make a difference
For more information on leadership theories Go to leadership theories.
Agin reflect on the implications of these conservation types on the leadership styles you aspire to and the leadership skills you may need to include in your leadership development plan.
In the ground breaking article “Why Should Anyone be led by You” Goffee and Jones HBR 2000.The most effective leaders have the following four characterisitics:
How might you rate yourself against these characterisitcs?
What might you need to add to your leadership develoment planning?
Leadership Development model
Can be done through a variety of methods from an assessment centre, 360 degree feedback, structured interviews, and self assessment. The bottom line it must provide good data from a mix of sources and others opinions.
This is important because of a natural tendancy we have rationalise our existing behaviour. This can get in the way of our learning.
“Faced with the choice between changing ones mind and proving there is no need to do so. Almost everyone gets busy on the proof.” John Kenneth Galbraith
The feedback process works best when facilitated by another person with some coaching skills. This is superioir to just providing a written report. This allows the Leader to think their way through in an active way what all the data means for them.
Leadership Development Plan Two critical components here:
Firstly the Leader gets to choose what they want to work on. Secondly the Leader should focus on 2 or a maximum of 3 things to work on.
Sometime more thinking is needed before the leader can clarify to themself what they actually want to work on. Again coaching support from a colleague or professional coach is useful here.
Some developmental goals should remain private for example: integrity, ethics, respect for others. Most goals can be declared publically and if done this provides a multiple "whammy" benefit to the leader.
Firstly: It motivates the leader to hang in on there and stick with the goal
Secondly: Disclosure can help improve the relationship with the leader’s team
Thirdly: It may mean the team can help the leader with ideas, suggestions and feedback.
Fourthly: It is a public endorsement and reinforcer of individual development and continuous improvement with the team
Is that something you might consider?
Practice and Reflect
This is the implementation of the leadership development plan, and is really the engine of any learning change.
The leader thinks about what to do, tries out some different leadership styles and behaviours and then reflects on what has worked. It is also useful to check in with any of the original feedback participants from the assessment phase, for suggestions or more feedback. This is an active learning approach, based upon frequent small amounts of attention, over a period of time and is a natural way of learning for most people.
The cycle continues on to further assessment of change, and further refinement of the plan. This is how you can refine your leadership style overtime.
Last tip don’t forget to celebrate any achievements it is a lot of fun to do.
…… and it helps consolidate your learning.
For more information on leadership theories Go to leadership theories.
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