HR Issues, Leadership/Management

How to Write a Leadership Development Plan

by Caug124

May 6th, 2010

Your leadership development plan is only as good as the theories behind it. Basically, before you plan, you must know and intellectually understand what has to be accomplished. Don’t misunderstand, good theories are relevant and practical, but it’s more important to understand that many universally accepted leadership principles are very difficult to incorporate into an actionable behavior. For example, the principle to ‘Treat people with respect’, seems simple enough, but this action is an abstract concept with many levels of understanding and not easily put into action.

Simply put, leadership development is the right understanding that will enhance one’s capacity to lead oneself, others, groups and organizations. But, the most salient skill for leaders is the ability to manage their own learning. A highly motivated and self directed person can gain a great deal of understanding if they create a leadership development plan.

Leadership development plans should be written down and be readily accessible and the material should have room to compensate for changes with your understanding such as new insights. To prepare a leadership development plan you should first understand that your first plan is a rough-draft and doesn’t need to be perfect. Get to know key terms, like training goals, learning objectives, learning methods and activities, documentation, and evaluation; and understand that your leadership development plan is only a guideline, a learning process and an ongoing journey.

Next, you want to create sections that will determine your overall goals in the key terms. Write down your goals for training, such as time lines, training that will develop performance, training that will give new skill-sets, and list your what you are competent in and where there are gaps. Write down how much money any training will cost and how much time training will take.

The next key term, learning objectives and activities, you should write down your overall development goals, which were identified in the training section you just created. Through this, you’ll have identified the learning activities and methods you’ll need to conduct to achieve your learning objectives. Start by writing down [training books and websites+] that you need to read that will enhance all learning techniques. Yes, you need to learn how to improve upon learning. Then identify which training is about learning new areas of knowledge and which training is about improving upon what you already know. Figure out in what order the training needs to be learned. Then write down the best methods for you to achieve your learning objectives. Finally, create a section that allows you to reflect and evaluate if what you are learning is helping you achieve your goals.

If you have achieved your leadership goals, above all else, acknowledge your ability to accomplish what you have set-out to do; most potential leaders have a tendency to focus on the next issues to tackle and forget to pat themselves on the back for work well done. Go ahead, it’s okay to congratulate yourself for achieving your goals, you deserve it.

Sign up for Dale Carnegie’s leadership training course to learn how to write your own leadership plan, and make sure to download our free online leadership coaching guide today!

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  1. brendan /

    This is an extremely dense article….maybe try using bullet points or something. My head hurts