- IMD Business School

The 4 best ways to create great Leadership Development Plans

Creating Leadership Development Plans

leadership development plan is a detailed plan that helps you set your career towards advanced leadership roles and senior management positions. It is an invaluable tool to strategically guide you throughout your career growth and professional development.

With a leadership development plan, you will achieve the following:

  • Greater overall career satisfaction
  • More interesting opportunities & challenges
  • More impactful career

We have identified 4 best ways to create a Leadership Development Plans below:

  1. Create a career vision
  2. Make leadership development goals with a clear timeline
  3. Include specific action steps that can be measured periodically
  4. Have a regular assessment & evaluation of the overall leadership development plan

Despite these definitions, information gaps still remain.

  • Why should we implement leadership development plan for employees at all levels?
  • What are the other benefits of creating such a plan?

These questions will be answered by reading this article. Details on how to create leadership development plans will also be outlined.  

1. Create a career vision

The vision that you place for your career is the most important part of a leadership development plan.

It will set the overall tone of voice for the professional development strategies you must run. You need to meditate on what you really want to achieve with your professional life. You also need to think deeply about your previous achievements and assess whether they contributed to your career growth and development. You need to honestly assess yourself with regards to your strengths and weaknesses, as well as leadership competencies and technical skills.

In fact, this will ensure that you will be able to bridge the gap between your current situation and the things you want to achieve.

2. Make leadership development goals with a clear timeline

After creating a vision for your career, it is now the time to create leadership development goals with a clear timeline.

Having a clear and very specific timeline for achieving results will ensure that you make your vision a reality. It will push you further to take specific actions in order to reach your long-term professional development goals. This will also lead you to take make pro-active steps that are time-bound in support of your career vision.

3. Include specific action steps that can be measured periodically

As the saying goes, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” You can’t expect to achieve your career vision in a very short span of time. This is why you need to create specific action steps that can be measured from time to time. They must not only be specific, but also measurable and realistic. Results of the action steps must be measured by the key performance indicators that can be monitored daily, weekly or monthly.

4. Have a regular assessment & evaluation of the overall leadership development plan

You need to regularly reassess your leadership development plan to keep it relevant. You can’t always expect to have the perfect plan. This is the reason why assessment and evaluation is very important.

Implementing such strategy can actually produce a feedback mechanism. You will then be able to adjust the leadership development plan easily in order to address the deficiencies and the problems encountered. You can also change it quickly when there is a change in your career vision. Leadership development plans must be flexible.

4 Occasions for Leadership Development Programs

1. Early career

Young, ambitious managers with 5 to 10 years of business experience can prepare for greater responsibility and accelerate their careers with business management training.

2. Mid-career

An executive development program can provide mid-career managers with the skills to create higher value for their organizations and drive performance in a fast-changing global environment. Such programs will also improve your networks at this important time. This is also the time to consider business management degrees.

3. When facing specific challenges

Leaders facing specific business challenges in business development strategy, finance, sustainability or operations can benefit from business management programs that focus on sharpening analytical and strategic leadership skills.

4. Top level

 As a senior executive, or CEO, you need to ensure you continue to identify the right business opportunities, drive innovation and lead with conviction. An executive leadership development program specifically designed for top managers, as well as board member training, will help you stay cutting-edge and ultimately reach the highest pinnacle of your leadership development plan.

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