How to Create a Leadership Development Action Plan

LSP-R Focus Activity 3

“A goal without an action plan is a daydream”

– Nathaniel Branden

Congratulations! You’ve arrived at the final activity in your LSP-R Focus Report. Here we are going to create a leadership development action plan for the myFOCUS competency you selected in the previous activity.

To complete your development plan, turn to page 7 in your Focus Report.

Download the complete Step-by-Step Guide to the LSP-R Focus Report below.

Indicate the Actions You Will Stop, Start, & Continue

Sample of page 7 of the LSP-R Focus Report – Sigma

Instructions: Enter your myFOCUS competency in the top row, then brainstorm corresponding actions or behaviors that you can STOP, START, and CONTINUE in order to develop that leadership competency. Plan how you will engage in each behavior and set a goal for when you’d like to have each completed.

Activity Example

Henry is a team lead at an automotive manufacturing firm. He has chosen to work on the leadership competency “Delegation.” To do so, Henry is going to:

  • STOP micromanaging (what) by setting a weekly check-in with his direct reports and allowing them to come to you for additional guidance on a per-need basis (how/when).
  • START looking at his tasks at the beginning of each week and consider whether someone on his team may be available and qualified to complete them. If so, Henry is going to start delegating these tasks (what) individually or at a team meeting at the start of each week (how/when).
  • CONTINUE organizing deliverables himself (what), because he, as the leader, will still be held accountable for all assignments to his team. He will do this by maintaining the checklist of tasks and timelines he has created for himself but will also keep track of ownership for the tasks he chooses to delegate (how). Henry will update this list at the beginning of each week and monitor it throughout (when).

Leadership Skill Development Tools

If you’re looking for some inspiration on how you can develop a particular competency, check out SIGMA’s Leadership Skill Development Series. Developed by industrial organizational (IO) psychologists and other experts in the field, these resources offer a quick ‘how-to’ on developing some of the most important leadership skills today. Our tools are actionable and convenient. Each guide includes 3 broad tips for improving your skills, as well as 3 action items you can use to start practicing each skill today. Links to other articles, TED Talks, and additional resources are also provided.

The Importance of Coaching

If you have a supervisor or mentor at your organization, consider asking them if they would be willing to coach you through the development process. But what does coaching entail?

Coaches support the development process by helping you reflect on assessment results, challenge your thoughts and assumptions, and set development goals. Show your development plan to your coach, and ask whether they would be willing to set aside half an hour per month to meet with you and discuss your progress.

Identify What You’ve Learned & How You Will Apply it

Take a look at page 8 in your LSP-R Focus Report. This page has a guided reflection activity that will help you identify what you’ve learned and how you are going to apply it month-by-month. Use this template to organize your thoughts, then walk through it in your coaching sessions. Also, ask your coach for their thoughts and feedback.

Page 8 of the LSP-R Focus Report – Sigma

While you can try implementing your action plan on your own, SIGMA recommends working with a coach so that you have better support. Coaching can increase accountability, motivation, and development opportunities. Often a coach may be able to facilitate job shadowing, stretch assignments, or share resources you may not have otherwise had access to. As a result, studies have shown that coaching makes it significantly more likely that candidates will achieve their development goals.[i] It also increases the likelihood that this behavior change will remain long-term.[ii], [iii]

Looking for More?

If you would like help with your leadership development action plan, SIGMA is here for you! Contact us if you need help interpreting your LSP-R results or creating your development plan. We are always happy to chat! We are also available as coaches if you do not have internal resources. Also, make sure to check out SIGMA’s group and individual coaching, and our Lunch and Learn series.

[i] Harkin, B., Webb, T. L., Chang, B. P. I., Prestwich, A., Conner, M., Kellar, I., …, & Sheeran, P. (2016). Does monitoring goal progress promote goal attainment? A meta-analysis of the experimental evidence. Psychological Bulletin, 142, 198-229.

[ii] Baron, L., & Morin, L. (2010). The impact of executive coaching on self-efficacy related to management soft-skills. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 31, 18-38.

[iii] Sonesh, S. C., Coultas, C. W., Lacerenza, C. N., Marlow, S. L., Benishek, L. E., & Salas, E. (2015). The power of coaching: A meta-analytic investigation. Coaching: An International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice, 8, 73-95.

About the Author

Helen Schroeder

Marketing Coordinator

Helen completed a dual degree with Ivey Business School’s HBA program and Western University’s Honours Specialization in Psychology. As a Marketing Coordinator and Consultant she creates and manages content for SIGMA’s webpages, blogs, and coaching resources. Helen also assists in new product development, go-to-market strategy, and client consultation.