This is the second in a two-part series. Read part 1.
If you’re like many leaders, you are knee-deep in strategies and tactics for success in the new fiscal year. And that prompted me, in the first part or this two-part series, to ask the question:
What if leaders brought the same thoughtfulness, rigor, and discipline that we apply in business planning to the individual development planning process?
People are the energy source behind the execution of all plans. They are the driving force behind the achievement of all results. Their success goes hand in hand with organizational success. So perhaps it is time to elevate individual development planning to the strategic level and to the importance it deserves.
But development planning is fraught with misconceptions, lack of meaningful attention and inertia. In Part 1 of this series, seven deadly sins or bad leadership habits were introduced. The first four were:
- Focus on the form.
- Confuse development and performance.
- Suppose everyone has the view upwards.
- Force everything in one meeting.
And there are three more that, if addressed, can unlock the potential and power to advance even the most ambitious business plans.
Deadly Sin # 5: Insisting that a Detailed Plan is the Best Outcome
The goal of development planning is less and less to provide a comprehensive plan and more to align.
Because what is documented can become obsolete before it even reaches the cloud, what is more important than the plan is a shared understanding of skills, capabilities and valuable contributions. What is more important than form is communication and a common framework for thinking about the future, its challenges and possible ways to position oneself for success in multiple scenarios. What is more important than a plan of action is to instill a sense of agility – the ability to react with agility to changing conditions.
Deadly Sin # 6: Believe You (The Leader) Must Have All The Answers
At its core, development is about relationship and conversation. The most effective leaders in helping others grow are those who understand their role in the process. They understand that they are the spark that helps spark ideas in others. But those ideas have to come from the employee. Leaders can and should inspire, arouse curiosity, harness the sense of possibility, and promote opportunity-based thinking. But the tool to get there, these are the questions. And the answers lie with and within the employees whose growth they support.
Deadly Sin # 7: Taking Responsibility For An Employee’s Next Steps
This latest deadly sin has for years contributed to the feeling of overwhelming and even failure of many leaders when it comes to supporting the career development of their relationships. For too long, leaders have mistakenly believed that they are somehow responsible for the development of their employees. Many think it’s their job to put the employee on their backs and carry them through the career finish line.
It is exhausting and unrealistic. Employees need to own their careers. Now that doesn’t mean they’re alone. Leaders have a vital role, but that role is to ask, facilitate, encourage, connect, reflect, and ultimately let the next steps and actions live with employees.
Let’s face it. Development planning is not easy. And, it is rapidly transforming in response to changing demographics, the growth of the contingent workforce, and escalating organizational demands. But mastering the ability to help others grow is the key to being able to achieve ambitious business plans.
To help you out, I recently partnered with my editors Beverly Kaye and Berrett-Koehler to create a brief electronic guide, Ignite Development Potential: The Modern IDP, with tools and strategies to overcome these 7 deadly sins and transform business development. another arduous employee. the requirement for a meaningful, engaging and interactive experience. You can download it here.
Julie Winkle Giulioni works with organizations around the world to improve performance through leadership and learning. Named one of Inc’s Top 100 Leadership Speakers. Magazine, Giulioni is the co-author of the Amazon and Washington Post bestseller “Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go: Career Conversations Organizations Need and Employees Want”, You can read more about her talk, training and blog at JulieWinkleGiulioni.com.
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