This is the third in a six-part series of “Notes from the Field” in which Holly, an analyst in an HR department at a major university, talks about her experience using the Innovative Leadership Workbook for Emerging Leaders and Managers to plan her next career step. Last week Holly shared a personal self-assessment of her strength and opportunities. This week she focuses on defining a development plan that helps connect her vision with her self-assessment results. (For a more complete case study, please either refer to the workbook or one of the online leadership development programs for emerging leaders or leaders).
In order to create a development plan, it’s important for leaders to have both strong external capacity and internal capacity. After completing my self-assessment and identifying my strengths and weaknesses, I feel I have a strong balance of both external capacity and internal capacity, but recognize there are areas that can be enhanced and improved.
To accomplish my vision and build further capacity, I have two development targets. These two foci will help identify behaviors or skills I can enhance through planning and goal setting:
Build on your current strengths – This focuses on enhancing current strengths and helps provide clear indicators of what changes are required for continued growth and success.
I identified one of my greatest strengths as the combination of my ambition to succeed and a trusting nature personality trait. I have a goal to progress further in my career. To accomplish this I need to enhance my visibility through greater committee involvement and expanded networking activities, in addition to completing my MBA program and surfacing ideas to enhance the organization. I’d like to accomplish this goal within the next three years and will measure the success by a promotion or new employment opportunity.
Minimize your weaknesses – This focuses on identifying behaviors that may impede further growth, and understanding how a behavior may interfere with future success.
A weakness I identified is the need to put myself and overall well-being first. I have a goal to have improved mental-health (less stress) and physical health. I plan to accomplish this goal through meditation, exercise, and taking more time for myself. My goal is to accomplish this over the next six months. I will be able to measure the success of the goal by lowering my blood pressure, running my first 5K race, and incorporating these action items into my lifestyle.
As a part of the workbook I was able to review additional reflection questions that helped create my development plan and create my action goals. One of the reflection questions that stood out to me was:
What are my priorities for development? Are they reflected in the plan I created?
My priorities for development are reflected in the plan I created. My personal values and future vision highlight the importance of maintaining a strong work-life balance. In order to try to meet these expectations, I made it a priority to complete my education and develop my career at an early age—before planning to start a family with my husband. After reflecting on these questions and actions, I also recognized that not putting myself and health first will directly interfere with my future vision. In order to have a successful work-life balance, I need to implement action steps now to improve my health and well-being to help prepare me as I progress in my journey.
Next week I’ll focus on building a team and communication plan to help support the changes in my goals for personal and professional development.
To learn more about becoming a more effective leader using Innovative Leadership we recommend taking leadership assessments, reading the Innovative Leadership Fieldbook and the Innovative Leaders Guide to Transforming Organizations and participating in the online innovative leadership program with coaching. We also offer several workshops to help you build these skills.
Photo credit: www.flickr.com stargardner