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:
- Aligned with the strengths, passions, interests, and aspirations of the individual?
- Something that arose out of specific feedback about the employee?
- Generated in a collaborative context with the person’s boss and HR partner?
- Integrated with the business goals of the organization?
- Pegged to the leadership competencies of the company?
- Specific enough to be acted on and measured in a stated time frame?
- Tied to making the person accountable to others in the organization?
- Wedded to resources that will be made available to the individual (e.g. coaching, training courses, mentoring, shadowing people who have the skills)?
- When successfully executed, rewarded with recognition in one form or another?
- 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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