This is How You Create a Foolproof Leadership Development Plan

Creating a personal leadership development plan is all about realistically chalking out your objectives, based on a vision, and taking the first step from being just a manager, to a leader. In this article, I share some tips on creating one.
Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it. - Dwight Eisenhower

This quote by General Eisenhower, who later became the President of United States of America, underlines the importance of picking the right people to do the job and the important job of a leader to be a motivator. Having authority doesn't make one a leader. A leader is the one who leads from the front, sets the standards, and earns the respect of his followers, through his exemplary vision and actions. To make the transition from being a boss or a manager, to a true leader, is a process of self-introspection, planning, and execution. The process begins with introspection and takes a realistic form through the creation of a personal leadership development plan.

What is a Personal Leadership Plan?

"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." - John Quincy Adams

This quote, by another great US president, underlines the importance of action in leadership and it has to be guided by a vision and a plan. That is what a personal leadership plan is. It has a detailed analysis of what your strengths and weaknesses are and what your vision is, as a leader. It is based on an analysis of where you stand as a leader of an organization and what are the roadblocks that need to be overcome for your organization, to go ahead and progress under your leadership.

This is not just personal goal setting. It is the creation of an action road map, for you as a leader of an organization and the changes you need to make, to increase your personal, as well as the organization's productivity.

It is a part of an endeavor to bring out the best out of you and the people you lead, to achieve larger goals as a team. A leader cannot be called one unless people let him lead and believe in him. A major part of the leadership plan is improving your own performance and bringing out a positive change in yourself as you set the example for those you lead.

Writing a plan down, makes you commit to an action plan. So, in summary, it is your action plan to lead your team or organization in a better way and achieve precise and realistic goals, in a fixed time frame.

How to Create One?

To create a precise plan, you need to go through a process of extensive introspection about your own leadership style, the working of your organization, its strengths, weaknesses, and the work culture you have created.

Think as an outsider, to analyze your leadership style without bias. Make a list of things that you would like to improve, in your style of leadership. As a leader, you are responsible for every one that follows you and your leadership plan has to include a motivational plan, that you can implement to bring out the best out of them. Talk to your mentors and ask for a frank analysis of your leadership style. That may give you an idea about where you are going wrong.

The next step is acting on the basis of this introspection and the insight you have gained from it. You can browse through plan samples available online. They can tell you about how to chalk one effectively. However, these examples cannot tell you what to do, in case of your organization as the problems of every organization are different.

Your leadership development plan has to include the goals you plan to achieve as a leader, the ways in which you plan to achieve them, and the way you are going to motivate your workforce to achieve those goals.

A great leader inspires his followers to reach higher levels of excellence. The best example of a leader is a good mother or father who has successfully raised her/his kids to face this world with confidence. Ultimately, what needs to be done, will be apparent to you through introspection. Start executing the plan and make changes as you realize the improvements that need to be made. Trial and error is the way to go about it while taking calculated risk. Let your personal plan evolve with time, but keep your objectives clearly before you.

Remember that your greatest asset is your people and your objective is take everybody with you on a journey of success. If you make this a guiding principle, the plan will be clear to you.