Do you have your own leadership growth plan? Just like any trip you go on to a new place, having a map with directions to get you there will not only get you there faster, but ease the stress along the way. You can develop your leader’s growth plan of action for any and all areas of your life. It can be used for your career advancement, community contributions, family and team building, and your own personal and professional development. Knowing what you want and where you want to go is just the first step; charting a course to get you there lays down the path to follow so you will get there!
Your growth as a leader is not limited by how many positions there are in your company or the opening of a senior level advancement. No one and no organization can stunt your growth. In fact your growth into leadership may need to be pursued and take an entirely unconventional route in order for you to be set free from the limitations of corporate conditions. You are in charge of developing your leadership skills and are able to experience growth as a leader no matter where or what circumstances you currently find yourself in. It is a responsibility not to be taken lightly.
1. Personal Leadership Growth Goal
So you may be having a resounding ‘Yes’ resonating within you right now to wanting a leadership plan and now you want to know how to get started. The very first step is taking a personal assessment, doing some self-analysis, and reflection on the areas of leadership you need or want to grow. This step requires humility and being honest with yourself. You will then also need to decide on the leadership goal you are targeting. For example, the leadership goal may be learning how to be a better public speaker, build unified teams, step into a specific position, or how to become an influencer in your industry. In this first step you are doing two things:
- Identifying the specific leadership goal you want to obtain for yourself
- Outlining the skills and character development required to obtain it
2. Leadership Skills Mastery
Once you know your leadership growth goal and have identified the skills required to master it, the next step will be to seek out the support you need with a mentor, sponsor, coach, expert or community. You will need to not only set up some kind of accountability partner, but also a schedule time blocks in which to take action on and practice your new skill development. This stage will require you to succumb to being a student again and being coachable with a commitment to mastery and excellence one step at a time.
3. Leadership Springboard Network
Identifying and honing your leadership skills will require your main focus of energy; however on the sidelines you are going to need to be building a network of connections that challenge your leadership growth. You will need to create and chart opportunities that support and utilize your newly acquired leadership skills. What this step involves is you researching and designing a network of options that you can springboard from where you are to where you want to experience growth. Yes, you are responsible for both developing yourself as a leader and seeking out and launching yourself into new leadership roles. It’s you leading your growth trajectory every step of the way.
4. Milestone Mastery & Timelines
Who said becoming a better leader was all work and no play? Your journey of leadership is an adventure which means you are meant to have fun, savour special moments and wins, and celebrate your own personal growth. When you begin your leadership growth plan, it is a great idea to map out milestone markers of progress on a timeline. To do this, you will need to pin point some milestones of growth and set some realistic and stretch timelines for each of these milestones. This timeline is meant to nudge, push, pull, challenge, and direct you to keep going despite everything else you are juggling in your life. The best part of this step is deciding how you will celebrate and congratulate yourself for each milestone. Your rewards will excite you and make it fun!
5. Why Do You Want to Lead?
Why is it you want to grow as a leader? Connecting with why you want the next phase of growth in your leadership plan is the most important element in achieving it. Your why will drive your leadership plan. Why do you want leadership growth? What will it give you and what can you do with it? Your growth as a leader will impact your life and others. Plan it.