Leadership and followership
Leadership and followership

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Leadership and followership

3 Planning your leadership development

Personal development planning allows you to focus on potential study, career and personal development options and goals. The Open University has developed a short video explaining how it works: Introduction to personal development planning [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

You started this process in Week 3, when you reflected on your own skills and those you’d like to develop, and you started to consider ways in which you could do that.

You have also started a leadership journal. The thoughts you’ve recorded in there could make a useful starting point for articulating your goals and ideas.

It is highly recommended that the goals that you come up with are SMART:

S = specific

M = measurable

A = agreed

R = realistic

T = time bound

In your Toolkit, you’ll find a Goal Setting tool, which will take you through the SMART process and help you to write down and plan your goals.

There are numerous different templates you could use to break down the different elements of your personal development plan. Here is a worked example:

Table 1 An example of goal setting

GoalTo increase my confidence in leading a team

Current status:

  • a.experience
  • b.knowledge
  • c.skills
  • a.Limited practical experience of leading – led project group at university and captained the football team at school
  • b.Currently undertaking badged open course on Leadership and followership and did a module on leadership during my degree course
  • c.Some key skills – good communicator, empathetic, well organised, creative, but limited experience of negotiation and strategy
Development/training needed to reach my goal
  • More up-to-date leadership experience
  • Build skills in negotiation and strategic thinking
Action planOrganise a charity fund-raising event in the next six months
OutcomeDisco organised in July, raised £2000
EvaluationWrote a strategic plan for the event. Had to negotiate fee waiver with venue and DJ. Feel more confident about my leadership skills.
Next stepBuild strategic thinking further. Look for opportunities to contribute to strategic planning at work

Activity 4 Putting it all together

Timing: Allow about 30 minutes

1. Refer back to key activities from earlier in the course, and pull together relevant content in the box below (e.g. Week 1, Activities 4 and 5; Week 2, Activity 7; Week 3, Activities 3, 4, 5 and 6; Week 5, Activity 5; Week 6, Activity 5; Week 8, Activity 2):

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2. Now you have the information you need to start building your leadership development plan. Use the template here to set your goals. If your workplace has a template that is used to support performance review processes etc. – use that if you prefer. You could also use the Goal Setting Tool to make sure your goals are SMART.

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Goal
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Current status:

  • a.experience
  • b.knowledge
  • c.skills
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Development/training needed to reach my goal
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Action plan
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Outcome
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Evaluation
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Next step
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Discussion

You may have identified more than one goal, in which case you’ll need to prioritise your action plans. Is it achievable to tackle them all in one go? Don’t have too many goals or you’ll be overwhelmed and may not achieve them all, which can be demoralising.

By now, you should have a set of SMART goals and an action plan for achieving them. Next, you’ll consider the people who might be able to help you to achieve those goals.

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