How to Create Your Own Development Plan

by | Apr 19, 2021 | Leadership

The majority of leaders that I talk to (and work with) want to grow and develop. They want to become a great manager and desire to maximize their potential.

The only issue is that for many of these aspiring leaders, they are not sure where to begin. Creating a development plan or growth track seems daunting. 

Thankfully, it’s actually not as difficult as you might think. 

When I work with leaders and coaching clients, here are the steps I go through to help them create a customized development plan:

    1. Determine the destination. What strength do you want to refine or what weakness do you want to get to par or average? What is one thing you want to be true about yourself at the end of this year? These questions will help you come up with the end goal or desired destination for your development plan. There are also many assessment tools you can take to help you identify your strengths. I highly recommend Gallup’s Cliftonstrengths. 
    2. Create the course. What knowledge and/or skills will help you develop that strength, weakness, or make that identity statement come true? (This could include books to read, podcasts to listen to, courses to take, videos to watch, or experts to interview.)
    3. Prepare the path. Organize those knowledge and skill areas by creating milestones – when you want to accomplish each one. Carve out time in your schedule to work on your development plan each week. Remember, “what gets scheduled, gets done.”
    4. Refine the rumble strips. This means you need to create accountability mechanisms. Things that will remind you when you are getting off track. The two that I highly recommend are (1) an accountability partner: someone you share your goals with and who can encourage and challenge you as needed; and (2) the weekly review: an opportunity at the end of the week where you pause to review your previous week and then make any necessary changes to your plan as you move into the next week.

After you have created your development plan, let me leave you with one word of caution. Development plans are simple, but not easy. What makes a development plan powerful is your consistency each week.


Game Plan


  • Follow the steps above and create your development plan.
  • Share your plan with a trusted friend who will help hold you accountable.
  • Celebrate your successes weekly, monthly, and quarterly.


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