A Leadership Development Plan (LDP) is an integral part of leadership development. Leadership development involves leadership skills enhancement to aspiring and potential leaders. The detailed, systematic, and flexible plan sets and tracks your professional and career advancement towards higher leadership roles.
Importance of LDP in Career Advancement
A Leadership Development Plan leads to heightened total career satisfaction and growth while maximizing your learning and career advancement opportunities. By knowing your current leadership goals, you are motivated toward productive actions to accomplish your career advancement objectives.
Contents of a Leadership Development Plan
Whenever you design an efficient LDP, the following components must be taken into consideration:
1. Identify a Career Vision
Every excellent and effective leadership development plan starts with a clear career vision. A career vision is an essential part of the plan as it sets the direction and tone of voice of the leadership techniques you will adapt. You can take considerable time reflecting on your career vision aligned with your business and career path for a forward vision.
You can review the following questions to be adequately guided on your vision:
- What are your past career or work achievements? How did these achievements contribute to your career rise and development?
- What are your attributes (strengths, weaknesses) and leadership attributes (work attitude, technical skills, and leadership traits)?
- How did you use these personal and leadership attribute to climb and develop your career ladder?
- Did your current work or career achievements fill in gaps or address the problems encountered from your previous work or career stints?
2. Create Leadership Development Goals with a Definite Timeline
After identifying a clear career vision, you can determine and create leadership development goals parallel to your set timeline. A unilateral perspective towards goal completion also motivates you to take proactive steps to achieve your career vision. Most of these following leadership development goals can be utilized for your LDP:
- Show personal responsibility: A responsible leader recognizes and owns his actions and accounts for either the good and bad consequences of his actions towards others.
- Display self-discipline: A good leader chooses the best transparent decision beneficial to his team, rather than his motives, after considering all possible options.
- Cultivate active listening skills: An effective leader speaks and decides, and actively listens to his team’s valuable inputs and experience. He always finds time to start an open discussion of ideas and does not allow his prejudgment to cloud his listening.
- Enhance and have diverging knowledge: A leader must be versatile, agile, and creative enough to assume a wide variety of skills and competencies beyond his direct role. He must have a yearning for continuous learning to help him handle any work situation he faces.
- Focus on time management skills: An effective leader manages his time efficiently according to the tasks and responsibilities are given to him. He exhibits an excellent example to the team by being a time-efficient and deadline-compliant role model.
- Build a mentorship culture: An effective leader can develop leadership in others through mentoring. To build a leadership culture, a leader reflects leadership attributes and influences his colleagues to enhance their leadership abilities.
- Enhance communication practices: A great leader exhibits and cultivates open communication between himself and his colleagues and subordinates. He should build rapport with the team, utilize positive persuasion and active listening, and enhance his conflict resolution skills.
- Perform big-picture mindset: An effective leader does not think within the problem but determines and devises problem-solving strategies and team management in a bigger perspective. He can identify long-term contingencies even to a short-term problem to sustain the company’s success.
3. Add Specific Actions to Achieve the Goals, Measurable by Day, Week, or Months
Achievement of leadership development goals can only be obtained by specific, achievable, and realistic actions measured from time to time. The leader can use key performance indicators to gauge goal-specific activities daily, weekly, or monthly.
4. Routinely Assess and Evaluate your Overall Leadership Development Plan
One important characteristic of leadership development plans is their flexibility and adaptability to changes. You need to routinely reassess your LDP to maintain its relevance to your current work or career status. Having a regular reassessment and evaluation helps identify problems and deficiencies encountered during the implementation of the plan.
This feedback mechanism reminds you of the current status, success, and achievability of the plan and incites actions to improve the plan, as necessary.
What does an LDP look like?
A sample Leadership Development Plan may contain the career vision, leadership strategy goals, timeline, and actions needed to accomplish such. Here are sample LDPs you can draw reference from:
A Leadership Development Plan (LDP) is a strategic and structured tool to set the direction of your career objectives and work goals. It should be versatile to adjust to your changing work circumstances or career status. An efficient LDP must have a clearly defined career vision, specific and achievable leadership goals, a definite timeline, feedback mechanism, and goal-specific actions.
In that manner, a unilateral direction for career growth is achieved, and the plan will be flexible enough to cater to your changing career development.