Leadership is a key component of any successful organization. Although it can be extremely rewarding, it also comes with a ton of responsibilities and obligations. To ensure that your company progresses and grows, you need to make sure that you and the leadership team are aligned with the purpose, vision, strategy, and culture while constantly developing their own skills.
A leadership action plan is an effective way to do this. It serves as a beacon of light, guiding your team on the path toward success. It is a complete roadmap that outlines your goals, sets out tasks, and provides realistic timelines for each step of the journey.
What Is An Action Plan To Improve Leadership Skills?
A leadership action plan is a document that outlines the steps necessary to become a more effective leader. With 77 % of organizations reporting that leadership is lacking, this plan is an essential tool in building a successful team. It typically includes specific measures that must be taken in order to develop certain skills or attain certain objectives. The plan should be aligned with your purpose and values and tailored to the needs of your company and team, as well as the individual skills of each leader.
Why Is A Leadership Action Plan Important?
A leadership action plan is an invaluable tool to ensure that your team is on the right track. It serves as a “roadmap” of sorts, guiding your team on the journey toward success. It allows you to identify strengths and weaknesses within your team as well as set out goals and tasks to be completed within a realistic timeline. A leadership action plan can also help you track progress, making it easier to adjust when necessary or recognize when you have attained your goals.
Implementing a leadership development plan can also help you retain key employees, adapt accordingly for any retirement or turnover, and invest in the future of your business.
How To Create a Leadership Action Plan
Creating an effective leadership action plan requires 5 steps:
1. Access Strengths and Opportunities
Identifying the strengths and development opportunities of each leader is the first step in creating a strong leadership plan. Each individual should look at their skillset and determine what kind of impact these can have on the team.
At Executive Leadership Consulting, we use a leadership 360 assessment to gather feedback from the leader, their bosses, team, peers, and stakeholders. This gives a total view of how you’re perceived and where you can grow.
For example, you may recognize that you excel in delegation and communication, but need to work on your mentoring and coaching skills. Once you have identified the areas that need improvement, you can begin to create actionable steps to take.
2. Set Goals For Your Mission
After highlighting your strengths and development opportunities, the next step is to set out your purpose and goals to improve your leadership skills. This should be in line with the overall objectives of your team or company.
For instance, if you want to refine your communication skills or build more agility, create a purpose statement that outlines these objectives. This will provide you and your team with clarity and give you something to strive for.
3. Determine a Realistic Timeline With Measurable Actions
Once you have identified your goals, the next step is to set out a realistic timeline with measurable actions. This will ensure that you can track progress over time and make adjustments if necessary.
For example, if your goal is to improve communication skills in a certain amount of time, you can break this down into smaller tasks with measurable deadlines. This could include attending a seminar on communication or practicing public speaking in front of a group.
If possible, you should also add rewards and incentives for completing each task or reaching certain milestones. This will help keep you and your fellow leaders motivated and engaged.
4. Track Your Progress
Next, you need to track your progress to make sure that you are on the right track. You can leverage a tracking system or progress dashboard to keep track of the tasks and goals that have been completed or are still in progress. If you don’t have access to “fancy” tools, you can also track progress using simple self-assessment documents or checklists.
You can also ask others to share feedback on your progress to ensure you’re making an impact as a leader.
These tools are effective in gauging your progress over time and can also help you identify areas that need more attention or improvement. They can also help with making changes to your leadership development plan, such as harnessing different strategies or adjusting deadlines.
5. Make Adjustments To Your Action Plan As Needed
Finally, it’s important to remember that leadership action plans should not remain static. As team dynamics, objectives, and goals change over time, you need to be able to adjust your leadership action plan accordingly. This will help ensure that you are always on the right track and that each leader is focused on achieving their goals.
The Advantages of a Leadership Development Plan
Undergoing leadership development training or executive coaching can help you and your team become better leaders to empower your team and drive success. Executive Coaching ensures senior leaders have the leadership tools to build a winning dream team. Some of the advantages of leadership training and coaching include:
Leadership development can help you stay organized and productive in the workplace. It will also give you the tools and skills necessary to help your team increase its performance.
Retain More Employees
A good leadership plan can help keep your team engaged and motivated. This can help reduce employee turnover and keep your organization running smoothly.
Investing In Your Business’s Future
Creating an action plan for leadership development will help ensure you and your team have the skills needed to tackle any task. This can help secure the future of your business in the long term.
Discover Your Authentic Leadership Style
Leadership development can help you reveal your authentic leadership style. This can help foster more and better trust, collaboration, and communication between team members.
Improve The Decision-Making Process
Lastly, leadership development can help you make better decisions by providing the necessary tools to assess situations and make informed choices. You will also learn how to weigh risks and benefits when making decisions and align others to support and executive the decision.
Leadership Development Plan Example
Now that you have a better understanding of how to create an action plan for leadership development, let’s take a look at one example.
Bob Jaeger is the CEO of a small business that specializes in manufacturing electronic components. He has identified that one of his main goals is to improve his and his team’s leadership skills and create a more effective working environment.
To achieve this goal, Bob has created a leadership action plan that includes the necessary steps:
Strengths and Development Opportunities
- Strong interpersonal skills
- Highly organized for attaining monthly goals
- Motivational mindset for the team
- A creative mindset to foster innovation and growth
- Delegating tasks to maximize efficiency and spend time on more strategic growth activities
- Addressing and resolving conflict within the team
Mission and Goals
Build effective teamwork and conflict resolution skills to boost productivity and morale to drive more innovation and growth.
- Develop and deploy a comprehensive leadership development program on trust and team alignment for senior leaders
- Engage executive coaching to develop tools and strategies to manage team conflict
- Set up quarterly 90-day goals to keep teams motivated
- Create a collaborative environment by encouraging trust-building behaviors
Realistic Timeline and Measurable Actions
Bob’s leadership action plan also includes a timeline of measurable actions. This will help him stay on track and make sure that he is taking the necessary steps toward improving his leadership skills.
These actions include:
- Week 1: Complete the Team Alignment program for senior leaders by January
- Week 2: Implement a system of quarterly project goals for employees in March
- Week 3: 100% participation in weekly executive coaching sessions by December
- Week 4: Identify areas of opportunity to build more trust and communicate action plan to all employees by April
Self and Team Assessments
- Requesting feedback from the entire team through a leadership 360 and applying it accordingly
- Implementing new and effective conflict resolution strategies and then assessing their effectiveness
- Tracking progress and making adjustments as needed
Ready To Get Started With ELC’s Leadership Development?
Leadership is a rewarding endeavor with many long-term rewards. With a well-crafted leadership development plan, you can ensure that your team is ready to take on any challenge.
At ELC, we offer world-class leadership development solutions to help you and your team reach their full potential. Our team will work with you to create a plan that fits your needs. Contact us to learn more and get started on your leadership development journey.