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Take Control Of Your Leadership Development With Five Simple Steps

Source | | Cari Haught Coats

Who is responsible for ensuring that you develop as a leader in your workplace? If you believe the answer is “My company or my boss,” you’re only partially right. Of course, your employer should play a key role, but their ability to be effective on your behalf really depends on their development philosophy and willingness and/or ability to invest in your improvement. If you aspire to progress as a leader, the buck stops with you — you must take control of your own learning and growth.

Here’s a simple five-step process to undertake that will help you create your own career development plan. As the saying goes, “A goal without a plan is just a wish,” so let’s get started.

1. Short-term goal: Consider where you want to be in one to two years. What kind of role do you want to be in? Maybe it’s an expansion of your current role, a new role or a promotion. What level of responsibility is the role? What skills are required?

2. Long-term goal: Think about what you want to be doing in three to five years. This might be very specific, like “I want to be the president of the company,” or maybe it’s simply a description of the function or type of work you want to be doing. Be bold. What does that goal look like? Is there a path to leadership within your current organization, or will you need to move on in order to move up? What leadership attributes will be important for your success — and what work do you need to do to attain them?

3. Strength and opportunity: Determine a strength you want to leverage and an area of opportunity that you need to improve. If you’re not quite sure what to focus on here, get feedback from others who know you well. I always tell clients that feedback is the currency for successful leadership development. You can never get enough of it (see step five), as long as you listen, take it to heart and act upon the input.

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