How to build a personal leadership development plan

3 minute read
Do you know where your high return on investment opportunities lie? In the next of our series on 2023 themes Chris Roebuck offers a guide to how to create your own leadership development plan
Chris Roebuck

Leadership development plan

To be more successful this year you just need a simple assessment of your own situation and use that to create your personalised leadership development plan.

Use the following key success themes to identify and consolidate your 2022 experiences around them then build your development plan. These show you where your high return on investment opportunities lie.

  1. We are all human 

In the pressure of day-to-day activity we often forget that we are all human beings. Our experiences create our perspectives which then determine our behaviour. This is what powered the Great Resignation.

Our responses to differing situations aren’t fully conscious, many made when your subconscious makes a very rapid decision about if what is happening is positive for you or not. But these responses are often predictable and consistent.

Emotion can’t be ignored.  Strong emotional commitment to the organisation can increase discretionary effort by 42% as Corporate Executive Board studies showed (p12). More leaders need to understand this in order o emotionally engage their people better.

Vision Plan Action graphic

2.   Vision > Plan > Action 

Write down the key things you want to achieve both personally and professionally in 2023 – your vision for 2023. Build your plan around that to focus your action. If you are a leader focus your team’s vision so that their actions are optimising the value of what you do for the organisation.  

Capability Motivation and Delivery graphic

3.   Capability + motivation = Delivery 

Capability becomes delivery only when combined with motivation. Are you sure you and your people have the capability to do what you're being asked to do ? 

If everyone in an organisation improved capability by just 5% the impact would be significant. Focus on boosting capability and motivation  Don’t just accept the status quo. The results can be amazing, as real case studies prove. 

We not Me photo

4.   We, not me, deliver more

As leaders we say we want people to do their jobs, but in a complex and dynamic environment more is needed, often doing things that are outside our job responsibilities. When we tell people what we want them to do it should be helping the organisation to be successful, not just doing their job – building a “We, not Me,” culture.

Now take the key themes and your experiences from 2022 related to each of them, make notes and identify actions you can take to boost their impact for you. Then integrate this into your own personal development plan. These key themes are simple, powerful and effective.

Three simple steps for implementing your personal development plan

There are three simple steps that will help you implement your plan : 

  1. Firm foundation of task delivery skills 

I have outlined these before but a recap of these allows you to get the job done slickly and effectively. 

Optimising these gives you much more time to focus on your people, showing you care, to get the best effort from them.

  1. Get the best: Getting the best from people is about ‘we're all human’. List the simple day to day actions your best boss did which encouraged you to give your best – eg asked you for ideas, built trust, showed they cared. Base your day to day actions on these. If you want to check if you have got most of the key actions here is some good real-world data from Corporate Executive Board. These actions significantly increase engagement, effort and performance  
  2. Focus effort on success: As a leader you need to ensure that your team's activity is aligned with strategic objectives. Use effective communication in team meetings where you can motivate your people with the big picture and align objectives using line of sight from individual objectives through to strategy. Showing employees how what they do contributes to the wider organisation can potentially get you over 30% more effort. (P13)

To learn more hear examples of these in action from successful global leaders.

There are two simple questions which everyone asks of their leader. First, do they know what they're doing. Second, do I trust them? As with any other leader anywhere you need to get two ‘yes’ answers. Finally, if you can't remember any of this just work on the simple principle to treat others as you would wish to be treated.

Chris Roebuck, pictured below, is a global speaker and advisor with experience in military, senior engagement, leadership and transformation roles. He has been one of HR Most Influential Thinkers 10 times, hon visiting professor of transformational leadership and helps leaders and organisations be more successful in 3 Simple Steps. For a more in depth version of this article and other articles on what key knowledge leaders need check out Chris’s Web or LinkedIn

Chris Roebuck

Published 29 March 2023
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