What Makes for a Powerful Development Plan?

The development plan is typically a part of the growth process for most *business leaders. For a few it is a relatively meaningless annual formality, like New Year’s resolutions, where the plan finds a way to the “lost and never to be seen again file”.

Powerful plans help a person make significant positive changes in leadership skills, business acumen, and behavioral responses.

What makes for a powerful development plan?

The following is a checklist I have found to be extremely useful over two decades of coaching individuals from various business functions, industries, and national or corporate cultures.

Answering yes to the following questions makes for a powerful objective. Is the plan:

  1. Aligned with the strengths, passions, interests, and aspirations of the individual?
  2. Something that arose out of specific feedback about the employee?
  3. Generated in a collaborative context with the person’s boss and HR partner?
  4. Integrated with the business goals of the organization?
  5. Pegged to the leadership competencies of the company?
  6. Specific enough to be acted on and measured in a stated time frame?
  7. Tied to making the person accountable to others in the organization?
  8. Wedded to resources that will be made available to the individual (e.g. coaching, training courses, mentoring, shadowing people who have the skills)?
  9. When successfully executed, rewarded with recognition in one form or another?
  10.  Geared to the person’s continual development and integrated with his/her personal life?

An affirmative answer to each of the above questions ensures buy-in from all the stakeholders in the plan, makes coaching a highly satisfying and successful experience, and proves to have a great ROI for all parties involved.

* Many of these principles can be applied to personal life changes as well.

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About cedricj

I am a licensed psychologist and management consultant and have always been intrigued by how leaders can inspire people in their organizations. The bottom line is that people are not always motivated by material rewards, the use of the carrot or the stick, fear and intimidation,and command and control, Five human needs inspire and drive us. Kristine S MacKain, Ph.D and myself describe these inspirational forces in our book "What Inspirational Leaders Do" (Kindle 2008)
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2 Responses to What Makes for a Powerful Development Plan?

  1. Very Good List Cedricj ! Thanks for sharing, I think business leaders have to be proactive and initiate their own development plan and make sure they are shared and accepted at all levels of the organization

    • cedricj says:

      Yes, there is great value in letting others know your development goals. I know of CEO’s who are quite open about sharing theirs.

      Thanks for weighing in on this topic

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