How to Create a Leadership Development Plan

June 29, 2010 by  Filed under: Management 

HR leadership and executive leadership training both take a lot of practice and motivation. To become an effective leader, you must develop a plan. Whether or not you are ready to complete your own leadership development plan, there are a few tips and pointers that can help. A plan is an important part of getting where you want to go, whether you aim to improve your leadership style or change it completely. Regardless of what you want to do, it is crucial to make a plan in order to achieve your goal.

In both executive leadership training and HR leadership, future leaders are given the tools to become effective leaders in their chosen industries. For example, by the end of training you are advised to keep a list of the key pieces of knowledge you acquire throughout your career. Going through executive leadership training also prepares you to be able to describe each part of a development plan and to also be able to provide examples. In the process of developing a plan it is also helpful to explain the role of your colleagues, mentors and networks in the pursuit and accomplishment of your goals.

HR leadership training will prepare you to develop the strategies that will improve strategic, legal, ethical, and financial outcomes for your organization. HR leadership is very important to any organization and in order to be effective and successful in your career it is helpful to complete executive leadership training. Working in HR leadership can involve facing many complex problems, including managing the complexities of interpersonal dynamics at the most senior levels to foster strong leaders. Developing a leadership plan can be useful for working in HR leadership because it will allow you to assess your basic leadership skills.

The goal of developing a leadership plan in both HR leadership and executive leadership training is to help yourself develop those skills that you have not mastered yet. The first step to writing your plan is to choose a template method. The next step is to compose your plan. When composing your plan, you should first identify three goals you will pursue. Then document each goal on your development plan and write down as many ideas as possible that will help you in successfully completing each goal. These are also known as the strategies for development.

It is important to remember to set reasonable dates for accomplishing the steps and goals in your plan. This should be as realistic as it can be because you will be using this plan beyond training, and well into your career and future. It may be convenient to print a copy of your plan so that you may easily refer back to it as you complete steps. Keep in mind that this can be an ongoing professional plan that you can use throughout your career and you may not fully master all of the skills you listed. While documenting which skills you wish to develop, keep in mind that there is a cost to every skill. You should determine whether or not it is worth the cost before working towards it. Lastly, in HR leadership and executive leadership training, you should always remember the importance of mentors and networks. Heeding this advice will not only yield good results in your plan, but it will also be helpful for the success of your career.

David Shoemaker is Vice President of Learning Solutions and Innovation at eCornell. For more information on HR leadership, executive leadership training, or eCornell, please visit

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