Becoming an effective leader
This section covers:
Level 5 - Outcome 2
2.3 - Produce a personal development plan to improve own ability to lead
Level 3 - This is for good practice and not for the qualification
Personal Development as a Leader
In addition to using formal appraisal as a means to identify your personal development needs as a leader, you might consider other means of obtaining feedback. For example, many organisations encourage peer review and/or 360° appraisal. Peer review might be undertaken by asking colleagues to complete a questionnaire or by inviting verbal feedback in a one-to-one setting. Arguably there is significant added value for leaders in 360° feedback, which will provide a rounded assessment from peers, senior managers and, crucially, from the people who work for us of our capabilities. For a 360° appraisal to be wholly effective you need several people from each group to provide feedback; also, to get accurate and honest feedback, the comments of individual participants should not be identifiable to them.
Activity: Revisit each of the topics in this workbook and evaluate your own performance as a leader. Supplement your own evaluation with that of your colleagues (or your analysis from their perspective).
· Your ability to use a range of leadership styles, in different situations and with different types of people, to fulfil the leadership role;
· Your ability to set direction and communicate this to others; and,
· Your ability to motivate, delegate and empower others.
Consider where you might improve your leadership performance. Focus on one area at a time and ask yourself the following questions:
· What has prevented you from working in this way?
· What might prevent you from working in this way in the future?
· What are the benefits of changing the way you work?
· How much effort is involved in making the change?
· How will you change? What specific things will you do differently?
· How will you know when you have successfully changed?
For individuals, continuous learning requires commitment to expanding your ability to learn by regularly upgrading your skills and knowledge. Continuous learning in the workplace involves viewing your experiences as potential learning and taking every opportunity to hone your skills set. Importantly as a leader, you should be encouraging this same approach in others.
Continuous learning at the individual level involves:
· Asking questions;
· Asking more experienced managers for feedback and/or advice;
· Learning by observing;
· Finding and using learning materials (e.g. via the Internet, books, magazines, etc);
· Seeking out and attending training courses;
· Evaluating strengths and pre-empting areas improvement needs;
· Regularly setting learning goals;
· Applying past experiences to new situations;
· Trying new ways of doing things;
· Seizing responsibility for your own learning; and,
· Consolidating your competence by applying newly acquired knowledge and skills.
Activity: Complete a personal development plan for your leadership development over the next 5 years. Download here.