Leadership Development Planning

Written by Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting, LLC. Copyright; Authenticity Consulting, LLC
Adapted from the Field Guide to Leadership and Supervision.

Simply put, leadership development is an effort (hopefully, planned in nature) that enhances the learner's capacity to lead people. Very simply put, leading is setting direction and guiding others to follow that direction. A critical skill for leaders is the ability to manage their own learning. The highly motivated, self-directed reader can gain a great deal of learning and other results from using the guidelines and materials in this library topic.

(Note that there are separate topics about How to Design Management Development Programs and Supervisoral Development Planning.)

Sections of This Topic Include:

Preparation for Learning

Optional: Suggested Readings from the Library
Before Leadership Development, Get an Impression of What "Leadership" Is
What Does Leadership Development Look Like?

Informal Activities to Learn About Leadership in Organizations

Attempt to Go Beyond Reading Books ...
Ideas for Activities to Learn About Leadership

Customizing Your Own Leadership Development Program

Preparation for Designing Your Leadership Training Plan
Identifying Your Overall Goals in Management Training
Determining Your Learning Objectives and Activities
Developing Any Materials You May Need
Planning Implementation of Your Leadership Training Plan
Evaluating Your Leadership Training Plan and Experiences
Follow-Up After Completion of Your Plan

Basic Guide to Management and Supervision

Free Basic Guide to Management and Supervision (html)



PREPARATION FOR LEARNING

Optional: Suggested Readings from the Library

To gain broad perspective on leadership development, the reader would benefit most from first reading the following information.
Introduction to Organizations (read documents referenced from the section titled "Basics")
Basic Definitions and Roles in Management

Informal Versus. Formal Training, Self-Directed Versus Other-Directed Training
How to Get More (Learn More) From Training and Training Education

Before Leadership Development, Get Sense of What "Leadership" Is

The first place to start learning about leadership is to get some sense of what leadership is -- in particular, understand get an impression of the areas of knowledge and skills recommended for effective leadership in organizations. Review information in:
All About Leadership
Suggested Competencies for Effective Leadership in Organizations

What Does Leadership Development Look Like?

If you read the information in the section Informal Versus. Formal Training, Self-Directed Versus Other-Directed Training
listed above, you learned about training programs that are informal and formal,and other-directed or self-directed. Leadership development programs come in all of these combinations, as well. You can learn about leadership in informal "programs", for example, by reading some articles, discussing leadership with a friend, etc. You can attend formal training, for example, a course, seminar or workshop.



INFORMAL ACTIVITIES TO LEARN ABOUT LEADERSHIP

Informal Activities to Learn About Leadership

Attempt to Go Beyond Reading Books ...

The activity of leading is a very human activity. Therefore, there are a wide range of everyday and on-the-job activities from which you can learn about leadership and even enhance your leadership skills. Informal methods can include, for example, reading books, having discussions with friends, on-the-job training, keeping a diary with thoughts about leadership, etc. Note that you're not likely to develop much for leadership skills merely by reading, talking or attending a course unless you actually apply new materials and methods, and continue to reflect on what you're learning along the way.

Ideas for Activities to Learn About Leadership

One of the most effective and reliable ways to learn is to do so consciously, in a planned fashion. Therefore, be sure to consider customizing your own leadership training plan. Complete guidelines are provided in the next section, Customizing Your Own Leadership Development Plan.

The following table includes numerous ideas for activities from which to learn about setting direction and influencing others to follow the direction.

Get guidance and assistance:
· Seek to find a mentor
· Hire a personal/professional coach

Readings to consider:
· Read general advice (articles on leadership)
· Read leading yourself
· Read leading individuals
· Read leading groups
· Read leading organization-wide efforts
· Review the basics of organizational change
· Review the basics for managing yourself

Skills to practice:
· In your next assignment or in a personal plan, design and word goals to be SMARTER
· Learn to be a mentor
· Learn to coach others
· Give a presentation
· Practice basic skills in delegation
· Practice basic skills in listening and sharing feedback
· Customize personal guidelines for some basics in leading, for example, problem solving, · Decision Making, · planning, and managing your power and influence
· Plan a meeting and facilitate a meeting
· Clarify your personal values and how you live them out -- develop your codes of ethics and codes of conduct

Some workplace activities for learning:
· Start (and stick to) a new project at work or in your life, ideally a projec that includes your setting direction and influencing others to follow the direction
· Ask your supervisor, peers and subordinates for ideas to develop your leadership skills
· Ask to be assigned to a leadership position
· Regularly solicit feedback from others about your leadership skills

Other sources for learning:
· Identify traits and behaviors of your favorite leaders
· Design a personal development plan
· Take strong participation in a course, apprenticeship or internship that involves persistence, risk and initiative
· Take a leadership role in a management association
· Volunteer to lead a work or community project, or join a board of directors

Capturing your learning:
· Schedule (and stick to) ongoing periods for private reflection; record them in a journal

· also consider Ideas for Activities to Learn About Supervision
· also consider Ideas for Activities to Learn About Management



CUSTOMIZING YOUR OWN LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT PLAN

Your are much more likely to learn useful skills in leadership if you develop and implement a training plan. The following sections will guide you to develop your own complete, highly integrated (and performance-oriented) leadership development plan. Each section includes reference to particular sections in the
Complete Guidelines to Design Your Training and Development Plan (hereafter called the "Guidelines"). That document includes guidelines for you to identify your overall training goals and the learning objectives and activities to achieve the goals. Guidelines are also provided for carrying out the learning activities and evaluating your entire learning experience.

Preparation for Designing Your Leadership Training Plan

Read the following two initial sections of the Guidelines (up to "Determining Your Overall Goals in Training") and then return to the next section below.
Directions to Use "Complete Guideline ..."
Preparation for Designing Your Training Plan

Identifying Your Overall Goals in Leadership Training

Purpose of this Section

This section helps you identify what you want to be able to do as a result of implementing your training plan, for example, qualify for a certain job, overcome a performance problem, meet a goal in your career development plan, etc. Learners are often better off to work towards at most two to four goals at a time. There are a variety of ways to identify your training goals, depending on what you want to be able to accomplish as a result of implementing your training plan.

Begin Identifying Your Training Goals

Consider Performance Gaps, Growth Gaps or Opportunities Gaps
Performance gaps are areas of knowledge and skills need to improve performance and are usually indicated during performance reviews with your supervisor. Growth gaps are areas of knowledge and skills need to reach a career goal. Opportunity gaps are areas of knowledge and skills needed to take advantage of an upcoming opportunity.

Conduct Self-Assessments
The following online, self-assessments may help, as well, by helping you assess certain areas of your own leadership abilities.
Your leadership style
Manager's Self Assessment
Leadership Self-Assessment
Assessment of Leadership Quality and Skills
Assessing your leadership style
Task versus Relationship Assessment

Collect Input From Others
Ask others for ideas to improve your leadership skills. Try get their input in terms of behaviors you can show. Consider input from performance reviews. See
Performance Reviews / Appraisals
[360-Degree Employee Performance Reviews / Appraisals|Performance Reviews: 360-Degree]

Reference Lists of Areas of Knowledge and Skills Needed in Variety of Roles and Function
Competencies are lists of the general abilities needed to perform a role. Consider the following lists for leading yourself, other individuals, groups and organization-wide efforts.
Suggested Competencies for Effective Leadership in Organizations

Reference Books and Other Materials About Leadership
There is a vast amount of information available regarding leadership and leadership skills. However, much of it is in regard to character traits that leadership should have. When determining your training goals, translate these character traits to behaviors that you and others can recognize. See
Major Leadership Theories, Models and Traits

Don't Forget to Lead Yourself!
Developing skills in leadership involves changing yourself, stretching yourself. Therefore, you may want to include developing skills in
Self-Confidence
Assertiveness

On to Refining and Writing Your Training Goals in Your Plan ...

The Guidelines provides additional advice for identifying your training goals. Follow the steps in the following section of the Guidelines until you come to its section titled "Determining Your Learning Objectives and Activities " and then return to the next section below.
Determining Your Overall Goals in Training

Determining Your Learning Objectives and Activities

Purpose of this Section

The purpose of this section is to identify the various learning objectives you should achieve and learning activities you should undertake in order to achieve the overall training goals in your plan.

Identifying Your Learning Objectives

Carefully consider each of your training goals. What specifically must be accomplished (that is, what objectives must be reached) in order for you to reach those goals? Which of these objectives require learning new areas of knowledge or skills? These objectives are likely to become learning objectives in your training plan. To get a stronger sense for learning objectives, see Designing Training Plans and Learning Objectives.

Identifying Your Learning Activities

Learning activities are the activities you will conduct in order to reach the learning objectives. The activities should help you work toward your training goal, accommodate your particular learning styles, be accessible to you and be enjoyable as well. The following link might help you.
Ideas for Activities to Learn About Leadership

On to Refining and Writing Your Learning Objectives and Activities in Your Plan ...

The Guidelines provide additional advice for identifying your learning objectives and activities. Follow the steps in the following section of the Guidelines until you come to its section titled "Developing Any Materials You May Need" and then return to the next section below.
Determining Your Learning Objectives and Activities

Developing Any Materials You May Need

Developing materials might include, for example, getting books, signing up for courses, reserving rooms, getting coaches, etc. The Guidelines provides additional guidance to develop any materials you may need. Follow the steps in the following section of the Guidelines until you come to its section titled "Planning Implementation of Your Training Plan" and then return to the next section below.
Developing Any Materials You May Need

Planning Implementation of Your Leadership Training Plan

During implementation, you should think about whether you're really understanding the materials or not, need additional support, etc. The Guidelines provides additional guidance to you during implementation of your plan. Follow the steps in the following section of the Guidelines until you come to its section titled "Planning Quality Control and Evaluation of Your Training Plan and Experiences" and then return to the next section below.
Planning Implementation of Your Training Plan

Evaluating Your Leadership Training Plan and Experiences

Evaluation includes assessing and making value judgments on whether you achieved your training goals or not, and on the quality of the process to reach those goals. Follow the steps in the following section of the Guidelines until you come to its section titled "Follow-Up After Completion of Your Plan" and then return to the next section below.
Planning Quality Control and Evaluation of Your Training Plan and Experiences

Follow-Up After Completion of Your Plan

Follow the steps in the following section of the Guidelines.
Follow-Up After Completion of Your Plan


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