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Creating Action Plans for Leadership Development

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  • 0:04 Action Plan Background
  • 0:37 Creating a Vision
  • 1:52 Action Steps
  • 3:12 Setting Goals
  • 4:40 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Natalie Boyd

Natalie is a teacher and holds an MA in English Education and is in progress on her PhD in psychology.

Action plans are a key component to business success, but did you know they can also be used for personal development? In this lesson, we'll examine how to create an action plan to become a better leader.

Action Plan Background

Dev is a manager. He wants to be a better leader for his team, but he's not sure how to do that. What does he have to do to build his leadership skills? Dev might want to try creating an action plan, which is a series of steps to achieve success in a task or strategy. Often, action plans are used to implement new processes or roll out new products at a company. However, they can also be personal. To help Dev out, let's take a closer look at how to create an action plan.

Creating a Vision

To Dev, an action plan sounds great because it will offer him specific steps to become a better leader. But before he can follow the steps on the action plan, he first has to write it. Where does he even begin?

The best place to begin with an action plan is to start where you are. This means first figuring out what you're good at and where you need to grow, and a formal or informal self-evaluation will be helpful here. Dev can reflect on his strengths and weaknesses and ask himself what type of leader he wants to be.

Once he knows who he is and who he wants to be as a leader, Dev can identify core skills, or important elements to his success. He should ask himself what he needs to do to be the kind of leader he wants to be. For example, does he need to work on motivating employees, giving them feedback, or hiring talent? These are just a few core skills that he might want to consider.

Dev will also want to to find exemplars, or good examples of leaders. These can be famous leaders or non-famous leaders, but they should exemplify the type of leader that Dev wants to be. He should study the exemplars and ask himself what they do and how they lead. This gets him thinking about what he needs to do.

Action Steps

Dev now has his self-evaluation, which tells him where he's at now. He also has a list of core skills that he needs to master to be a great leader. Finally, he has exemplars to help him understand how to apply the core skills in his role as manager. Is that all he needs? Remember, an action plan includes a series of steps. So far, he's gathered the basic information about who he wants to be as a leader. Now he needs to take that and transform it into specific actions.

He should start by listing the core skills that he most needs to work on. He can rank the core skills in one of two ways. He might want to say that the core skills he needs to work on most are the ones that he is most lacking. For example, if he's pretty good at hiring talent, ok at motivating his employees, but not good at giving feedback, he might list giving feedback as the most important core skill for him to work on.

In contrast, he might rank the core skills in order of which one or ones will make the most impact. For example, motivating employees might have a greater impact on his leadership than learning a new project management process. Thus, he might list motivating employees as being more important, even if he's better at it than the project management process,because he believes it will have the most impact on his leadership.

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