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The 7-Step Plan To Develop and Train Your Leaders – A Beginners Guide

Developing leaders is all about honing their skills and providing them with the guidance and opportunity to lead. In order to do this, companies must have a clear plan for developing the leaders for their organisations. This guide will help you develop your own 7-step plan to develop your leaders by providing you with a system designed to train, evaluate, and promote high-potential employees.

Step 1 – Create a development plan

Once you’ve gathered your top talent, it’s time to start developing them. A development plan is a document outlining the steps you will take to develop high-potential employees for future leadership roles. The process of developing high-potential employees includes:

Identifying their strengths, weaknesses and potential

Creating a developmental plan of goals and objectives

Providing opportunities for them to shine so they can prove themselves with real responsibility

Monitoring their progress and providing feedback when necessary

Ensuring they have specific job training that aligns with their desired career path

Providing opportunities for training in different departments or on international assignments if possible

Mentoring and coaching high-potential employees, as well as assigning mentors or coaches to them if necessary

Releasing high-potential employees into new positions of increased responsibility when appropriate. 

Step 2 – Determine the leadership needs of your organisation

Having a plan to develop leaders who can succeed in your organisation is fine, but you have to first determine the leadership needs of your organisation. This is done by studying the organisational chart and determining where there are leadership gaps. These may be at the team level, department level, or even at the executive level. To fill these gaps and develop new leaders, you need to identify which positions require someone with strong potential for leadership and then train people to fill take up those positions.

Developing a clear plan for training will prepare all of your employees, as well as the current leadership teams for future promotion.

Step 3 – Assess and rank high-potential employees

In this step, you will assess each high-potential employee in order to understand their strengths and weaknesses. You’ll want to rank each employee on a scale of 1-5 according to how well they meet your organisation’s criteria for leadership potential.

For example, if you’re looking for an engineer who can lead a team and has strong communication skills, you might rank them with a 4 in both areas.

Make sure that the ranking is relative to the position they’re in. For example, if you have an engineer who does not have any leadership experience, then it would make sense for them to be ranked with a 2 or 3 in leadership potential.

After you’ve assessed each employee’s strengths and ranked them accordingly, it’s time to do some more assessments to figure out what needs to be done to develop these leaders.

Step 4 – Develop key talent

Developing key talent is an essential step in the process of developing leaders. This is because some people are better suited to leadership than others. You want to make sure that you invest in those talents and give them the tools they need to be successful. The goal here is to develop leaders who can grow and develop themselves while also being able to lead a team through change.

Some people are natural-born leaders who have great qualities like empathy, charisma, and tenacity. These qualities may not be easily developed, but they’re vital for success as a leader. For example, a good leader needs empathy for employees to ensure that they are treated fairly and well. They also need charisma to motivate employees and keep them engaged in their work. And finally, tenacious people are necessary for pushing through tough times or big changes within organisations – these qualities could help navigate your organisation through challenging times or major transitions.

In order to develop key talent within your organisation, you should identify which employees show signs of leadership potential early on in their career by making it clear that you believe in them and will provide opportunities for them as they progress with your company’s goals in mind. As such, you should try to assign new roles or projects that take advantage of each employee’s strengths so that they can grow into more complex positions over time if desired. 

Step 5 – Train leaders on success factors for their current position

Leaders need to know what the expectations are for their position in the company. Training them on these skills will help them feel more confident and prepared when they’re first promoted.

This step is important because you want to make sure your leaders know how to succeed in the position they have now before they’re given a higher level of responsibility. You want to be sure that they feel comfortable with their current role, so they won’t be overwhelmed with the new expectations that come with a promotion.

The training should specifically include skills related to leadership, such as how to lead meetings, handle conflict, take feedback, and provide feedback. It’s also important for leaders to learn about company culture and understand where it fits into the business strategy. 

Step 6 – Provide developmental opportunities to stretch and grow leaders

Developing leaders is all about honing their skills and providing them with the guidance and opportunity to lead. But you also have to continually provide challenges, in order to test just how far they can move up the leadership tree and to keep them fully engaged.

Some will reach a point where further promotion would not be advisable, and it is important that this is noticed and that the employee also agrees with the decision.

Remember that as a leader, it’s your responsibility to find opportunities where your people can grow and succeed. You want to provide an environment where they can take risks so they can learn from mistakes without getting reprimanded or fired. As long as these learning experiences happen without jeopardising their job security, they will be more likely to feel like they can trust you as their manager and take on more significant responsibilities in the future.

This is one area where business simulations really come into their own, as they allow leaders and their teams to experience ‘real, life-like situations’ in the knowledge that no harm can come to anyone or the business. This allows them to deploy strategies that they would never dare use in the ‘real world’. Such adventures can provide really useful information as well enabling all the participants to better understand themselves and their colleagues.

At Prendo, you can access a wide range of leadership simulations that each address different challenges that leaders face.

Just one example is our effective strategic decision making simulation

Step 7 – Evaluate performance

In order to review an employee’s performance, you must first create a set of evaluation criteria. This can be done by evaluating the skills that are needed for success in the job and what your organisation values. For example, if you want your leaders to prioritise customer service, then the evaluation should include questions that assess this skill such as: “How often do you prioritise customer service?” or “How well did you handle difficult customer complaints?”

Evaluating performance is important because it helps to determine who is going to move on in their careers. Performance reviews help to identify strengths and weaknesses in performance so that employees can improve their skill sets and stand out from the rest of their peers.

If you use this simple 7 step plan, you should be able to create a solid leadership team, whilst also creating a path for new leaders to follow. The end result being a far stronger organisation, one better able to compete in the continually evolving world of business.

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