How To Create A Leadership Development Plan In 10 Steps (2023)

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How To Create A Leadership Development Plan In 10 Steps (2023)

Anjali Dalal | Sep, 20 2023

Leadership Development Program – 10 Steps To Create A Leadership Development Plan

Leadership development is your path to becoming a valued leader in your job. In our blog, we’ll break it down and hand you a 10-step guide to craft your plan for becoming a better leader. Ready to start your leadership journey? Let’s begin!


What Is Leadership Development? 

Leadership development is a structured effort to improve your leadership skills. No matter who you are—a seasoned executive or just starting your career- it can significantly impact your success.

Leadership development includes: 

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Why Is Leadership Development Important? 

Studies have shown that organizations with strong leadership development programs outperform their competitors. Companies prioritizing specialist leadership development training are 1.5 times more likely to outperform others.

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10 Steps To Create A Leadership Development Plan

Below are the ten essential steps to create your leadership development plan. 


Step 1: Self-Assessment

Before you can plot your path to becoming a stellar leader, you’ve got to figure out where you’re at right now. That’s where self-assessment comes in – the first step in this journey.

Do a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats). It means discovering what you’re good at and where you could improve.

You should also speak with your colleagues, seniors, and work friends about how they see your leadership style. They might provide valuable insights that you hadn’t considered.

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Step 2: Set Clear Goals

Goals provide direction and motivation, helping you stay on track as you work toward becoming a more effective leader. Start by defining your long-term and short-term leadership development goals. 

Long-term goals include securing a leadership position or becoming a recognized industry leader. Short-term goals involve improving specific skills, such as public speaking or decision-making.

To make your goals even more effective, consider using the SMART criteria:

  • Specific: Ensure your goals are clear and well-defined. Instead of saying, “I want to be a better leader,” specify what that means to you, such as “I want to improve my team-building skills.
  • Measurable: Establish metrics to track your progress. It could involve setting milestones like “I will lead three successful projects within the next year.”
  • Achievable: Make sure your goals are realistic and attainable. While aiming high is admirable, setting unattainable goals can be demotivating.
  • Relevant: Ensure your goals align with your career aspirations and the organization’s objectives. Your leadership development should benefit both you and your employer.
  • Time-bound: Set deadlines for achieving your goals. It adds a sense of urgency and accountability. For example, “I will complete a leadership development course within six months.”

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Step 3: Identify Key Skills

Influential leaders possess diverse skills that enable them to navigate the complexities of leadership with finesse. Some key leadership skills to consider include:

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Step 4: Seek Feedback

Feedback is like a mirror reflecting how your leadership shines or might need a little polish. It’s a tool that can reveal blind spots you didn’t even know you had. 

Furthermore, constructive feedback – gives you the inside scoop on how your actions and choices impact your team and the whole organization. Go out and actively hunt for feedback. Create a vibe where everyone feels comfortable sharing what’s on their minds. Most importantly, keep an open mind. Instead of getting defensive, learn and grow. 

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Step 5: Create A Development Plan

Creating a personalized leadership development plan will guide you to becoming a more effective leader. But the plan is not set in stone. It can and should evolve as you grow and your goals change. Regularly review and adjust your plan to stay aligned with your aspirations.

  • Designing Your Leadership Development Plan: Start by outlining your leadership development goals and the specific skills you want to enhance. Your plan should be tailored to your unique aspirations and areas for improvement.
  • Setting Milestones and Timelines: Break down your goals into smaller, manageable milestones. Assign realistic timelines to each milestone to track your progress effectively. For example, if you aim to improve your communication skills, you might set a milestone to complete a communication workshop within three months.
  • Identifying Resources: Determine what resources you’ll need to achieve your goals. It may include leadership development courses, books, mentors, or online platforms like Coggno. Research and compile a list of these resources to support your development.
  • Action Plan: Create a detailed action plan that outlines the steps you’ll take to achieve each milestone. Be specific about your actions, such as enrolling in a leadership development course, attending workshops, or seeking mentorship.
  • Accountability: Assign accountability for each milestone. Whether it’s yourself, a mentor, or a colleague, having someone to hold you accountable can increase your commitment to the plan.

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Step 6: Skill Acquisition

Becoming a standout leader boils down to mastering those must-have skills. As you march on your leadership path, you’ll notice something happening – your skills will keep growing and improving.

  • Identify Skill Gaps: Refer to your development plan to identify the skills you need to acquire. These include communication, strategic thinking, and project management skills.
  • Online Courses and Training Programs: Online platforms like Coggno offer various leadership development courses. 
  • Workshops and Seminars: Attend workshops and seminars on your chosen skill areas. 
  • Peer Learning: Engage with your peers and colleagues to exchange ideas and best practices. 

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Step 7: Mentorship And Coaching

Mentorship and coaching can catapult your leadership skills to new heights by

  • Providing you with personalized advice; 
  • Helping you avoid common pitfalls; 
  • Pushing you beyond your comfort zone. 


Step 8: Networking

Networking is more than just collecting business cards. It’s forging real connections with people who can help you and vice versa. Keep those relationships alive, stay connected, and cheer for others’ success as genuinely as yours.

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Step 9: Leadership Challenges

Leadership is not always a smooth ride. It often comes with its fair share of challenges and obstacles, such as 

  • Managing conflicts; 
  • Making tough decisions; 
  • Handling team dynamics; 
  • Dealing with workplace politics. 

Don’t back down from challenges. Embrace them as chances to grow.


Step 10: Measure Progress

Measuring progress is essential to stay on course and ensure your leadership development plan remains effective. It allows you to: 

  • Make informed decisions; 
  • Adjust your strategies; 
  • Stay motivated

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Conclusion: Embrace The Journey Of Leadership Development

This brings us to the end of this blog. Choose Coggno for your leadership development. We offer various leadership development training courses and resources. Browse our course catalog today.

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