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Create a Leadership Development Plan to Drive Success! Best Guide in 2023

Create a Leadership Development Plan to Drive Success! Best Guide in 2023


Astrid Tran 13 Mar 2023 6 min read

What is a Successful Leadership Development Plan?

Almost all corporations invest enormous amounts of money on Leadership training, which were estimated at $357.7 billion worldwide in 2020 and it is forecasted to increase in the next decade continually. 

The market’s change, along with generational shifts, advanced technology, and innovative business models, lead to leadership change, which drives the urgency of developing a new leader generation in the near future.

In order to stay ahead of the game, each organization has to adapt new leadership training to identify more potential talents and maintain high employee turnover rates by ensuring everyone has a chance to develop their leadership skills. 

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What is a Leadership Development Plan?

A leadership development plan is a comprehensive program that outlines the steps and strategies an individual will take to develop their leadership skills and abilities. It is a roadmap for personal and professional growth that helps individuals identify their strengths and areas for improvement and set goals for their development.

So, Who can participate in the Leadership development plan?

  1. Executives: Executives can benefit from leadership development plans that help them hone their strategic thinking, decision-making, and communication skills, and develop a leadership style that aligns with the organization’s goals and values.
  2. Managers: Managers can benefit from leadership development plans that help them improve their people management skills, motivate and engage their teams, and drive performance.
  3. Emerging leaders: Emerging leaders, such as high-potential employees, can benefit from leadership development plans that help them develop the skills and competencies required for future leadership roles.
  4. Individual contributors: Even individual contributors who are not in formal leadership roles can benefit from leadership development plans that help them develop the skills required to influence and lead others, such as communication, collaboration, and problem-solving.
  5. New hires: New hires can benefit from leadership development plans that help them integrate into the organization and develop the skills required to succeed in their roles, such as time management, prioritization, and goal setting.
Leadership Development Plan
Leadership Development Plan – Source: Shutterstock

Importance of a Leadership Development Plan

In The Conference Board and Development Dimensions International, it is said that the businesses that conduct a comprehensive strategy for leadership development outperform those that constrain leadership development by 4.2 times, said The Global Leadership Forecast 2018.

  • Develops effective leaders

Leadership development programs help individuals develop the skills and competencies required to be effective leaders. They learn how to lead teams, communicate effectively, solve problems, and make decisions that drive organizational success.

  • Succession planning

Leadership development programs also prepare organizations for succession planning. By identifying and developing future leaders, organizations can ensure a smooth transition when current leaders retire, resign or move on to other roles.

  • Retention of top talent

Leadership development programs can help retain top talent by demonstrating a commitment to employee growth and development. Organizations that invest in their employees’ growth and development are more likely to retain their top talent.

  • Improved performance

Effective leadership is essential for driving organizational performance. Leadership development programs help leaders understand their roles and responsibilities, motivate their teams, and align their efforts with the organization’s goals, leading to improved performance.

  • Adaptation to change

Effective leaders are able to adapt to changing circumstances and steer their organizations through uncertainty. Leadership development programs help leaders develop the resilience, flexibility, and creativity required to navigate change and uncertainty.

  • Innovation

Effective leadership is essential for driving innovation. Leaders who encourage experimentation, risk-taking, and creativity are more likely to drive innovation and develop new products and services that meet evolving customer needs.

Goals of leadership training – Source: HR university

5 Steps to Creating a Leadership Development Plan

Step 1: Analyze the Gap

Creating a leadership development plan can be a helpful way to identify the right talents to follow organizational culture and contribute to business growth, along with determining their strengths and areas for improvement, as well as set goals and strategies for achieving them. 

In the first stage, it is important for companies to perceive what the company needs most in their upcoming leaders. Based on the perceived need and the current state, companies can determine the values and goals of the leadership program to ensure they fit the company culture and vision.

Step 2: Assess and identify talent

Assessing and identifying talents is a critical process for organizations to ensure they have the right people in the right roles, with the right skills, abilities, and potential for growth.

Start by defining the competencies, traits, skills, and knowledge required for the role. Then, identify a talent pool of individuals who have the potential to succeed in the role. By using assessment tools such as interviews, skills tests, personality assessments, and performance evaluations, you can better evaluate the competencies and skills of candidates.

Step 3: Pick out the leadership style

Identify what kind of leader you want to be and what you want to accomplish in your leadership role. Your vision should be inspiring, realistic, and aligned with your values. There are many leadership styles, and it takes time to recognize which style you can adopt and what to avoid in different circumstances.

Democratic Leadership Strategic Leadership
Autocratic Leadership Bureaucratic Leadership
Transformational Leadership Transactional Leadership
Charismatic Leadership Laissez-faire Leadership
The 8 most common leadership styles

Step 4: Design leadership training programs

Each leadership development plan should be carefully designed to meet leadership training goals. It should combine setting goals, identifying areas for improvement, and working on strategies to improve leadership effectiveness and advance their careers.

You can look for details of leadership development programs explained in the next part “5 Leadership training examples”.

Step 5: Evaluate and monitor progress and achievement

After putting a plan into action, continuously evaluate and adjust your talent assessment and identification process to ensure it is effective and aligned with your organization’s goals and strategies. This includes regularly reviewing your talent pool, reassessing the competencies and skills required for the role, and identifying new sources of talent.

5 Leadership Training Examples

1. Leadership Skills training

You can obtain professional certifications from reliable institutions of leadership and management around the world, or the company can absolutely design programs on your own. Depending on the relevance to the candidate’s current role, and planned career path, the company can offer suitable upskilling courses. Here are the 7 hottest Leadership Training Topics that your company might consider as follows:

2. Coaching

Leadership coaching can be particularly effective for individuals who are looking to boost their careers, improve their leadership skills, or navigate complex organizational challenges. You can acquire a certified leadership coach by working with an experienced coach to help the individual develop the skills and confidence needed to lead effectively.

3. Job shadowing

Job shadowing can be a particularly effective strategy for individuals who are looking to develop their leadership skills within a specific organization or industry. By observing leaders within their own organization, individuals can gain a better understanding of the organization’s culture, values, and operating norms, which can be critical for success as a leader.

4. Job rotation 

Job rotation is a good leadership training example, which involves a process of moving individuals through different roles and functions within an organization to develop their leadership skills. Job rotation typically involves a planned series of assignments, where individuals are moved through different departments or functional areas of the organization to gain a broad understanding of the organization’s operations and build leadership skills.

5. Self-paced learning 

Self-paced learning is a type of learning that involves short, bite-sized learning activities that learners can complete on their own schedule. It typically involves breaking down complex topics or concepts into smaller, more manageable chunks of information that can be easily understood and absorbed.

Self-paced learning can take many different forms, including videos, interactive quizzes, podcasts, infographics, and more. The key feature of self-paced learning is that it allows learners to complete the activities at their own pace and on their own schedule, which can be particularly useful for busy learners who need to fit learning into their already-packed schedules.

Hr workshop
Leadership training examples – Source: Shutterstock

Final Thoughts

For many HR, it is necessary to customize different training programs in specific periods of time to help companies retain talents and upgrade employee leadership skills. To support Training and development, you can apply some online presentation tools like AhaSlides to make these events more intensive, captivating and interesting. 

AhaSlides provides many advanced features to help HR collect 360-Degree Feedback in real time, along with surveys and live polls, quizzes, team-building activities to engage employees, leaders, and organizations, as well as organize and plan successful leadership training programs.

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