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Establish a Professional Development Plan for the New Year

13 Jan, 2020

Establish a Professional Development Plan for the New Year

Let’s talk about your professional development plan…

It is a new year and a new decade. This is the perfect time to review your professional goals as mid-level or senior leader. To keep your career on the path that you have set, it is important to continually grow.

Establishing a professional development plan (PDP) is your GPS for determining where you want to go in your career and personal life as well as how to get there. You want to assess where you are now and what resources you need to aid you in your journey.

Oftentimes career development is stressed for entry-level and mid-career professionals. However, it is important that leaders also have a strategy for their development.

There are less senior leader positions than mid-level management so if you want to move to one of these roles, than you need to build strategic alliances.

An executive needs insight, awareness, and perspective about their organization’s current state and potential challenges that arise may in the future. To be as effective as possible, finding a mentor who can help you gain professional insight about being an executive leader.

Both mid-level and executive leaders need to gain a better awareness of how they show up and are perceived as leaders. This is a key piece to preparing for and developing within a senior level position.

Finding the right executive or leadership coach who can conduct a 360-degree assessment to provide feedback will reveal your strengths as a leader. It will also help you to identify what other’s perception is of your strengths and weaknesses. This is essential for creating an effective PDP. Review this assessment with your executive coach so that you can create an action plan to implement the strategic that will allow you to grow as a leader.

When you want to improve your health, you may hire a fitness or nutrition coach. Professional athletes have coaches that help them perform at the optimal level. In the same manner an executive coach will guide you to clearly see your strengths personal bias, and key skills. This professional will also show you how to find the individuals and jobs that will empower you to be a better leader.

Find a coach who can build the skills you need as well as be a sounding board as 360 assessments can provide feedback that you were not expecting and reveal weakness you were blind to prior to this activity.

Self-confidence and charm can be the catalyst by which you are promoted into leadership. These traits are beneficial for leaders, but they can also make executives and senior leaders focus more on their own career path, as opposed to developing their employees. An emotionally intelligent leader recognizes the importance of a remarkable team. You only stand to gain when your team and colleagues are performing at their best.

Your coach can help you develop a strategy to get to know each one of your employee’s strengths, weaknesses, and what would help them to perform at their best. Listen to what your team has to say and be present in the moment so that you can support them in their career development strategy.

Find a way to sharpen your team’s skills and acknowledge their accomplishments as they grow. With an open door and an open mind, your employees will flourish into a high perform team.

When considering the right resources to bridge the gap from where you are to where you want to be, consider your learning style (do you prefer in-person coaching versus an online platform?), your timeline (how long will it take for you to gain the skills you need?), and your budget.

Remember to revisit your goals with your coach once every two to three months to track your progress. I suggest at least once a month for the first six months of coaching to be the most effective and to remain accountable to your development.

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