Do you feel stuck in your current position or situation? A question that I receive from leaders all the time is how can I continue to grow and develop as a leader?
Here are the 4 simple steps to get you started.
Step 1: Assess Your Current Leadership Ability
The first step to increase your effectiveness is to assess you current abilities. Ways to do this include asking your manager for feedback, reviewing your last performance appraisal, asking your direct reports for feedback, participating in a 360 multi-rater assessment, and taking self-assessments. Remember, feedback is a gift! Whether you agree with the feedback or even believe it you will at least know how you are perceived.
This is no surprise to most of us who are seasoned leaders and yet if we have done this once or twice we believe that we know ourselves well and do not need to continue this process. That is where a number of leaders stop their growth and struggle with why they are not considered for promotions or realizing their goals year after year. The continual assessment of effectiveness is what creates a differentiation in leaders.
Now that you have the data, make a list of your top 5 strengths. If you are not certain what they are, your can take the StrengthFinders 2.0 online assessment and receive the results within minutes. Then, identify your top 3 areas of development opportunities. Anything more than 3 is not realistic to focus on at any given time.
Looking for assistance with an assessment? One that is becoming very popular is the Social + Emotional Intelligence assessment expecially since more and more leaders are receiving feedback in these areas. Click here to see assessments that we offer.
Step 2: Develop an Action Plan
Now you can develop an action plan. Your organization may have you do this as a part of the annual process. If so, this may be referred to this as an IDP (Individual Development Plan). If not, develop one for yourself. It is critical to your continual success.
Start by creating a few actions that will continue to leverage your strengths. This is important to help sustain your successes. Then, develop actions to address your top 3 development opportunities. Leaders will ask me about what are the best development actions and my response is...it depends on what you are looking to develop.
For example, if your development opportunity is to improve your presentations skills actions may be: join and speak at a local Toastmasters group or prepare and present a summary of a meeting or training seminar to a group of peers. If your development opportunity is to build stronger connections with peers, your develop plan may include actions such as: schedule one-on-one meetings with peers within the next 60 days; use the Learn - Share - Serve model to build a connection; or invite peers to attend and speak at one of your team meetings. There are many activities to choose from so be creative!
Step 3: Engage Support
Share your plan with your manager, a mentor, a trusted confidant, or an Executive Leadership Coach. Why? First, they can be a wonderful accountability partner. Second, they can provide feedback as you begin taking action. The key is finding someone what you have a high level of trust with and you will be open to receiving their candid insights about how you are truly behaving (showing up) versus what you may think to be true. By the way, I welcome partnering with you on this journey!
Step 4: Take Action
This is...as they say...where the rubber meets the road! Begin working on each of the actions in your plan. If you the type of person who once you have a plan nothing will come between you and taking action you will hit the ground running. If you are someone who struggles a little with staying focused and staying the course, then this is where your support will help. Ensure that your action plan includes regular check-ins with your accountability partner or Leadership Coach.
Now most people stop here and yet this is just the beginning. Leadership is about a continual learning process which means going back to Step 1 occurs once the current plan has been completed.
Have questions? Inquire about a complimentary session focused on your current development needs.