“The more intentional you are about your leadership growth, the greater your potential for becoming the leader you’re capable of being.” ~ John C. Maxwell
Everyone, regardless of position on the organizational chart, should have an Individual Development Plan (IDP) –up to and including the CEO.
Status does not impute perfection, and as long as imperfection exists, everyone needs a plan to refine the qualities that build exceptional leaders.
Your Individual Development Plan codifies concepts that help clarify what your success looks like:
- Your career goals and objectives
- An executive summary that balances strengths with weaknesses fairly
- A road map of critical success factors that will meet your objectives
- Your objectives to seek accountability and to apply feedback to your performance
- Identify learning opportunities that may propel you toward your goals
First, this roadmap is charted to take you to wherever you aspire to go. These are your goals and your plan, and therefore, this process is based on your internal drive. It has to be. Otherwise, an IDP will feel compulsory and restrictive, and you’ll abandon the journey before reaching your goal.
Gather Multiple Datapoints
To chart a course for where you want to go, you must establish a starting point – a snapshot of where you are currently. Oftentimes, this snapshot comes in the form of a performance review presented by your manager.
Ideally, this report includes input from peers, direct reports and other critical stakeholders who provide answers to such questions as:
- Do you have a high say-do ratio?
- Are you easy to work with?
- Do they enjoy working with you?
- Have you been an asset to the team since joining?
The key is to gather responses from multiple co-workers so that a well-vetted and fair perspective can emerge.
“Without data you’re just another person with an opinion.” ~ W. Edwards Deming
Armed with multiple datapoints, your manager, or an independent evaluator using the inclineHR 360 Feedback Assessment® (i360FA), can provide actionable feedback in the context of a Situation-Behavior-Impact (SBI) conversation.
Example: “Last month, when the team was getting frustrated at our pre-launch strategy meeting, your remarks helped us all re-focus on finding a solution. We were able to walk away from the meeting with a sense of purpose and clear takeaways.”
Write a Personal Contract
Not every bit of feedback will feel positive, but all insights have value when they reveal how your performance is perceived within the organization. The key is for you to maintain a growth mindset.
Remember, you need candor to know your opportunities for improvement. After all, the goal is personal and professional development. Fair criticism is constructive when it makes you aware of blind spots in your self-evaluation.
With this new-found awareness of growth opportunities, make an internal vow or personal contract with yourself to focus on shoring up the deficiencies that may prevent you from achieving your aspirations. Share this contract with a trusted colleague, superior or executive coach who will meet with you periodically to track your progress and hold you accountable.
Set realistic and achievable goals.
And always be willing to accept progress, even if perfection is not attained, yet. Never let “perfection be the enemy of good.” ~ Voltaire
Make it Your Priority
I’ll say it again: This process is based upon your internal drive.
Commit to the journey by making it a priority on your calendar. Carve out time on a regular basis to check in with your inclineHR executive coach, your manager or an accountability partner. Practice self-awareness, particularly in the areas you have identified as critical success factors for your personal development. Celebrate progress every time you identify growth has occurred.
It’s time to incline. www.inclineHR.com