Passionately developing careers.

How To Create A Personal Leadership Development Plan

17th March, 2019

Good leaders are always working on improving themselves. As Henry Ford said: “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.” Effective leaders are sharpening their skills, updating their strategies, constantly looking for ways to do better and do more. Here are some strategies the successful leaders use to keep propelling themselves above and beyond the ordinary. Use their winning strategies to help you develop your own leadership development plan.

  • Choose a truthful mentor. It’s no secret that choosing the right mentor can make all the difference in developing yourself professionally and personally. And the best mentor for you might not be who you think. Find someone you look up to, but be sure that person is willing to give you honest feedback. You won’t learn much if you’re surrounded by people who always tell you what you want to hear. Make it a habit of meeting regularly with your mentor or yet even choose many mentors from different areas of business.
  • Commit to continued education. If we look at books as much as we do at our phones we would have read a library by now. Vow to take time out to nurture and develop your leadership skills by committing to at least 5 days of education each year. Choose learning programs tailored to fill key gaps in your education or abilities. A leadership retreat should be an intrinsic and non-negotiable part of your leadership development strategy. Note though that it is not only information that one seeks from such events but rather from a time to reflect, to share experience, meet other leaders to learn from them, and mainly decide on a forward action plan for improvement. Otherwise, this would be more of intellectual tourism.
  • You are what you read. Leaders are readers. Feed your potential by providing yourself with a steady diet of educational and inspirational reads. Be a sponge, soaking up new ideas. Entertain new ways of thinking. Leaders are always in the loop about what’s going on in their industry, and in the world at large. The most effective leaders have studied the past, but always have one foot in the future. Don’t limit your readings to social media mini-articles, invest in books, in a kindle, and more importantly research from academic institutions where theories are evaluated and where your brain is challenged.
  • Executive networking will always be important. Networking should always be a part of your leadership development plan. Build your net worth through your network by always growing your web of connections. Good leaders are the type of people that others remember for all the right reasons. You don’t have to be particularly charismatic to make solid, lasting connections with people. Always work to develop your interpersonal and social aptitudes alongside your professional skills. Make it a goal of yours to initiate new connections that can teach you, help you, and open new doors of opportunity.
  • Write it down. Great leaders often use journaling as a development tool. Get into a routine of jotting down what you did each day, paying particular attention to any lessons you learned. A discerning look at actions taken and decisions made can induce insights and breakthroughs that might have otherwise been much slower in coming. Trust that if you do that regularly, you can end up publishing your own book.
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