Here are 4 action steps to kickstart your firm or organization's investment in leadership development:
So...how do you start a Leadership Development Strategy and Plan? First, envision your desired results, e.g., boosting morale, increasing employee engagement, reaching certain productivity milestones, attaining certain financial goals. Write them down.
Then break each one of them down into smaller action steps. Use SMART goals!
Your Leadership Development Plan may include some or all of the next 5 action steps, and/or components like creating a mentoring program, working with a consultant to create customized HR systems and infrastructure, and conducting an anonymous survey of employees concerning their interest in different types of leadership development activities.
The important thing is to devote time to envisioning and then writing things down to keep you focused, accountable, and moving in the right direction.
Schedule blocks of time, regularly, to reflect on how staff members work with each other to get a feel for who you would like to be a future leader in the organization.
Some signs of leadership potential:
- the ability to inspire and motivate those around them
- the ability to make a sensible decision
- strong communication skills
- organizational skills
- problem-solving skills
- the ability to be diplomatic
BUT, keep in mind that many of these qualities can be instilled and developed through training. Which brings me to my next point…
Leadership training can be done in-house, externally, or with external assistance. Assuming that not all staff can be given every training opportunity, be sure you are paying attention to women and people of color on your staff, who are often passed over for growth opportunities because of institutional racism and sexism and our own implicit biases.
If you’re in a pinch, consider using online assessments designed to identify employees’ relative leadership potential. This can be relatively easy and efficient, saving a significant amount of time and energy.
Okay, and off you go! Start with step one, set out to work on it, and break it down into bite-sized steps. Once you’ve made progress on the first, tackle the next. As always, keep us posted! We are here to support you and we’re always just an email or phone call away!