Empowering Your Leaders to Reflect and Develop

Year after year, leadership development tops employers’ priority lists for improving business results. In Brandon Hall Group’s HCM Outlook 2022 Study, eight out of 10 organizations rated leadership development and improving continuous feedback to employees — big parts of a leader’s job — as critical or important. 

However, organizations struggle to agree on the key attributes of great leaders and how to best develop them: 

Most organizations do agree, however, that coaching leaders is an important strategy to improve leader development. 

However, organizations struggle to develop internal coaches. External coaches can be expensive and are most often used at the higher levels of the organization. 

Organizations need simple processes and frameworks to help leaders become more effective, from the front lines to the C-Suite. 

Leader development requires some reinvention. Only one-third of organizations believe they are effective at developing great leaders who drive business growth. At the same time, most leaders feel they have little time to learn. Therefore, organizations would benefit from offering leaders simple tools to focus on what is most important to lead effectively, what they need to improve and how to do that. 

How can we help leaders focus on improving their competencies and behaviors when they are challenged for time and resources? 

How can we encourage leaders to take ownership of their own skills and career development?

Leadership development is a continuous journey. Organizations can offer leaders formal training but that only serves as a foundation. Leaders also need time for self-reflection and self-development, which most feel they lack. They also may require assistance on how to reflect upon their values, skills, relationships and development needs. 

Organizations that believe they do not have the resources to fully develop leaders through formal learning should focus on providing tools for reflection and offer various developmental experiences through team projects or action learning. 

Here is a sample worksheet that organizations can use or build upon to help leaders reflect on their strengths, development areas and how they want to evolve in their current roles and careers. 

The Leader’s Development Worksheet

FocusCritical questions for reflection
VisionWhere do I see myself in three to five years?
What is the longer-term vision I have for my career?
MissionWhat are the strengths I want to develop further?
What are the growth areas I need to develop?
What are the contributions I want to make in the world through my work?
What am I passionate about at work?
What am I passionate about outside of work?How does one set of passions impact the other?
ValuesWhat are three nonnegotiable core values related to my work?
What are examples of how I live these values?
What are some examples of how I can do better in living my values?
EdgeWhat are three talents that set me apart from my peers?
How can I use these talents better in my current role?
How will these talents help me reach my short-term and long-term career goals?
PerformanceWhat are three performance goals that will help me improve in my current role?
What are three performance goals that will help me become successful in my career?
Key InitiativesWhat are three projects or initiatives that will help me become more successful in my current role and in developing my career?
RelationshipsWhat relationships do I have that are making me successful in my current role?
What relationships could I improve to help me in my current role?
What relationships do I have that can make me successful in my career?
What relationships do I need to improve to help my career?
DevelopmentWhat are three assignments or experiences outside of my day-to-day role that could help me grow as a leader in my current role?
How can I get those assignments or experiences with my current employer?
How can I better communicate my development needs to my current organization to grow in my job and in my career?

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