Leadership development is an important process in an organisation and should be seen as a long-term goal with a specific end-point. As business leaders, you must invest in creating a leadership development plan to;
- Bridge performance gaps in your organisation and offer your leaders the opportunity to develop the relevant skills they need to excel in their careers.
- Increase employees’ morale,
- Improve team productivity, creativity and innovation.
- And lastly, to make your employees feel more connected to the business, and understand how their work adds value.
Leadership development is a crucial component to ensuring that an individual’s skills do not remain stagnant in their organisation. However, it can be challenging for organisations because they must ensure leadership proficiency through strategic planning and implementing programs which teach new techniques on how best to succeed as leaders going forward.
Here are some tips for creating the right leadership development plan in your organisation:
10 Tips for Creating a Successful Leadership Development Plan
1. Define what you want your leaders to accomplish
Before leadership development can take place, it is crucial that you identify the gaps you want to bridge. A good place to start is by thinking about specific leadership needs that your organisation currently has or may experience soon. You might be wondering if any of your leaders are planning on calling it a day. If that’s the case, what qualities will their absence most keenly be felt in the organisation?
Also, leadership itself must be defined, that is, you must clearly determine what leadership means to your business. This will vary depending on the size and nature of your organisation, as one person’s leadership may not fit another’s definition. So, it’s important to come up with a leadership model that your leadership development programmes can tie into.
2. Tailor leadership development to the individual
Leadership development programmes must be tailored to the individual if they’re going to be effective. One size definitely does not fit all in this case. Leaders come from different backgrounds and have different strengths and weaknesses.
So, it’s important to assess each leader and figure out what kind of leadership development would benefit them most. That way, your interventions can be tailored to the individual in a manner that maximises their strengths and minimises weaknesses.
3. Encourage leadership across your organisation
Leadership skills are in many cases learned by example, so it’s important for leadership to be encouraged throughout an organisation. However, it should not be focused on one or two people, but should be a shared leadership characteristic that anyone can take part in. This will encourage leadership development throughout the organisation, and strengthen relevant skills among all employees.
4. Mind the gap between leadership and management
It’s important to understand the difference between leadership and management skills to get leadership development right in your organisation. Leadership skills focus on long-term vision and goal setting, while management skills focus on the day-to-day operations of an organisation.
Therefore, leadership development should focus on developing leaders’ skills in areas such as strategy, communication, and motivation. Management development, on the other hand, should focus on areas such as financial planning and organisational structures.
5. Provide leadership development opportunities for employees
It’s important to provide leadership development opportunities for employees throughout an organisation, not just senior leadership. In smaller organisations, employee leadership may play a significant role, whereas, in larger organisations, mid-level managers often step into this leadership role. This leadership will differ from that of the company’s CEO or COO, so leadership development should consider this.
6. Give leadership positions a time limit
Giving leadership positions a time limit will help you keep track of the progress they’ve made and measure their performance. In many cases, it is better for leadership positions to have a definite timeframe, so that leadership development can be seen as a short-term goal with a specific end-point.
This will encourage leadership development in these leadership positions, and ensure that leadership skills do not remain static in the company for extended periods.
7. Utilise leadership coaching
Another effective strategy for leadership development is leadership coaching. Working closely with an experienced leadership coach can help leadership development by providing leaders with feedback and advice on their leadership skills. Coaching can also help leaders to set specific goals and develop a plan of action to achieve these goals.
8. Promote leadership training
Leadership development should not be restricted to one-on-one coaching or leadership programmes. Leadership training is an important way of developing leadership skills in your leadership development plan.
Leadership training can be given to everyone in leadership roles throughout the organisation, encouraging leadership skills among all employees. This leadership training may include leadership workshops, online leadership courses, or leadership conferences.
9. Focus on innovation and creativity
A great leadership development strategy is to focus on innovation and creativity when developing leaders’ skills. When leaders are encouraged to think outside the box in leadership development, they will be more likely to engage with leadership development and training activities. Organisational leadership is often innovative, so leadership development should consider when designing leadership courses.
10. Involve leadership mentors
Having leadership mentors involved in your leadership programme can also contribute to leadership development. Mentors can provide leadership development with support, guidance, and advice on leadership skills. They can also act as a source of motivation for leadership development in your organisation.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your leadership development plan is effective and designed to improve leadership skills throughout your organisation.
Now, when making huge investments in leadership interventions, it is expected to get satisfactory ROI. Therefore, measuring and evaluating the impacts of your leadership development plan is important for understanding the effectiveness of leadership strategies and developing leadership skills.
When you evaluate leadership development, you must consider the goals of the leadership intervention, the effectiveness of leadership coaching strategies, the effectiveness of leadership training strategies, and how leadership development is being encouraged throughout the organisation.
A thorough evaluation will help to identify areas in which leadership coaching is needed and leadership training is effective in developing leadership skills.
Finally, business leaders must tailor leadership development interventions to the specific needs of the organisation. This means that leadership development should not be restricted to generic leadership programmes, but rather should be designed according to the leadership positions in your organisation.
Every leadership position will have different skills and abilities, so leadership development should reflect this. To learn more about leadership development programmes, schedule a consultation today.