How to Develop a Successful Leadership Development Plan


Some say good leaders are born not made. Others insist leadership consists of a set of skills that can be learned.

Whichever theory you subscribe to, you understand that good leaders are an absolute essential to company success. And, as one of the leading staffing agencies in Kansas City, Morgan Hunter knows whether leadership is an innate quality or something learned over time, all leaders need development and training opportunities. That’s where a leadership development plan comes into play.

A leadership development plan is simply a detailed plan for developing the next round of great leaders at your company. Not only can it help ensure talented individuals are always leading the helm, but it can provide a host of other benefits, including:

  • Better retention. When employees know there are opportunities to learn, develop and get promoted, they’re much more likely to stay with your company in the long-term.
  • Better leaders. Many companies make the mistake of promoting a top-performing employee into a management role without offering much training. But when you have a leadership development plan in place, your next generation of leaders will gain the knowledge they need to be more successful.
  • Better productivity. When employees are working under solid leadership, it can be felt throughout the whole organization. People are more engaged and productive.
  • Better decisions. In the end, when leadership skills are better honed, leaders will know how to acquire the information they need to make smarter, more informed business decisions.

Now that you know the importance of a leadership development plan – and some of the key benefits, how do you implement one? Here’s a look at a few best practices.

Create a vision.

Before you begin, make sure you have clear goals and a strategic vision in place. For instance, what does your company want to accomplish going forward? Also, what key behaviors, attitudes, and skills are key for good leadership within your organization? You can even look to past leaders who have performed exceptionally well for insight into this.

Identify strong contenders.

Not every employee is cut out to be a leader. That’s why it’s important to identify those who would most benefit from a leadership development plan and be able to hit the ground running in this kind of future role at your company.

Develop an individualized plan of action.

Once you know your needs, as well as which employees you think will benefit most from leadership development, you have to create a customized plan for each individual. It’s important to focus on where they are now in terms of skills – and where you need them to be in order to become a successful leader. When developing a plan, make sure you set specific and clear goals and also attach a timeline to each.

Use the right approach.

In terms of actual development, there are a range of opportunities available. From one-on-one coaching and mentoring to attending workshops and inviting in guest speakers, the options are endless. It’s up to you to decide which approach, or mix of options, will work best for each individual employee, as well as your company needs.

Create opportunities to put new skills to use.

If you want the best return on your investment, you need to offer your employees the opportunity to put newfound leadership skills to use. For instance, you can give them a stretch assignment, or invite them to be a “manager for a day”. Whatever you choose, just give them plenty of feedback after so they know what they did well and where to correct course.

Need more help finding your next generation of great company leaders?

Connect with Morgan Hunter. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Kansas City, we pride ourselves on the service we offer to our clients. Our approach to staffing is distinctive and very successful, delivering optimum results to our partners. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.