How to write a clear development plan

April Sabral

/ Leadership

During the lifetime of your career you will most likely experience some form of development plan.

However the personal development plan that your boss presents to you will most likely be a goal or company objective. So how do you know that this plan is really developing the core competencies you need to grow in order to gain a higher position or new role for your career? My personal belief is that everyone striving for more should and must take ownership of their own personal development.

Part of most companies strategy is to develop talent and retain them however most companies fail to achieve this even though every person may have a development plan. So why is this?

Because even though plans are put in place there is no or little direction provided to the person who’s plan it is. When was the last time your boss suggested that you take the lead read books, find a mentor or attend a course that may benefit you?

My philosophy has always been if you want to grow and become more you should and must own it. There are so many ways to grow and learn new skills. Watching a TED talk or attending a conference and even reading blogs that share top tips. Taking an e-learning course like our courses on retailU (our e-learning site for retail managers).

So what are you waiting for? don’t wait for someone to tell you what you need to learn take ownership and start putting your own learning first, craft a plan and go for it.

You may say I just don’t have the time. My questions to you are…Do you have time to sit and watch movie? Do you have time to play a video game? Do you have time to go shopping? If you said yes to all of these then you certainly have time.

To progress in your career it takes sacrifices because during a normal work day it is nearly impossible to learn or study that topic that you need to get better at. So turn the TV off put on You tube and learn!!!

Many people ask me all the time whats my top secret to develop leadership skills and I say make it a priority. I gave up my TV almost 2 years ago now and opted to read learn and study to be a John C. Maxwell coach which has ultimately benefitted those around me.

I would encourage you to follow the F.I.R.S.T learning model as per “The Successful Executive’s Handbook” part of the Korn Ferry learning library.

  • Focus your efforts on one or two high priority development goals.
  • Implement something every day. Frequent efforts will lead to greater learning than sporadic efforts.
  • Reflect on what you are learning. Take stock of your progress on a regular basis to consolidate your learning and correct your course.
  • Seek information feedback and support. Steady, reliable, information will help you form an accurate description of your progress
  • Transfer learnings into next steps. Periodically step back and assess your accomplishments. If necessary adjust your goals. Make them more realistic, challenging and meaningful

Using this is very helpful, it will support you assess where you are and where you want to go!

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