How Do I Make a Leadership and Personal Development Plan?

Nick Mann

Becoming a successful leader and achieving one's goals usually requires a gradual process of growth and self-improvement. One way to simplify and speed up this process is to create a leadership and personal development plan. While individuals' goals will differ, there is a basic template that should help most people with their plan. These guidelines include identifying reasons for improvement, deciding exactly what one's goals are, determining how to accomplish those goals and reflecting on the progress that has taken place.

Becoming a successful leader requires a gradual process of growth and self-development.
Becoming a successful leader requires a gradual process of growth and self-development.

The first step in making a leadership and personal development plan is to identify why the individual needs to improve in the first place. In most cases, establishing how one's life will benefit from changes will provide motivation when the plan is actually implemented. Possible reasons could be landing a job promotion which increases earnings or improved social skills that make communication easier. No matter the reason, it's important to gain clarity on the situation before getting started.

The next step is to contemplate and decide what goals the individual wants to implement. Improving leadership skills in order to become a more effective leader is an obvious goal. In addition, some other personal development goals should be added in sequential order according to importance. For this step, it's typically best to write these goals down so they can be easily referenced later on. Doing this also makes the individual accountable for the fulfillment of those goals, which should serve as a motivating factor.

The third and perhaps most important step is determining the most efficient and effective ways to bring those goals to fruition. This can be accomplished by brainstorming and writing down potential avenues to take in order to make those goals a reality. During this time, it's important to be realistic and thoroughly think things through. Maybe there are books the individual should read, classes he should take or activities he should engage in. Whatever the scenario, the person should be as detailed as possible and decide on a date in which he should reach each goal.

An additional part of creating a leadership and personal development plan is to spend time reflecting on progress later on. After the intended date for each goal has passed, the individual should decide what areas he has succeeded in and which areas still need improvement. For each success, he should congratulate himself on reaching that goal. If he fell short of the mark on a goal, then he should figure out new ways to reach that goal.

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