Many people think that management and leadership go hand in hand automatically. But just because you are a manager does not mean that you are a leader. Many management techniques are being thrown out the window in favor of leadership skills. But making the transition between manager and leader can be difficult for some. The best way to become an effective leader is by creating a personal leadership development plan.

The first thing that you need to do to create a personal leadership development plan is to understand the difference between management and leadership. While some do not see the difference, others cannot explain it. Quite simply, management is something that you do. It is a career. Leadership is having strength and courage in your convictions, and the ability to see those convictions manifest in reality.

So what are your convictions? You may think that you know what you believe in, but it is important to take a step back and actually list your beliefs and values. There are many assessments available that can help you do this. This important step in creating a personal leadership development plan will likely teach you things about yourself that you yourself did not realize were true. It may seem like a waste of time, but until you know what your convictions are, you cannot manifest them in reality through effective leadership.

Once you have a clear understanding of your convictions, you need to apply them to your organization. Do not look at numbers and people. Look at the overall purpose and mission of the company. Then, narrow your view to your team, and finally yourself. If you do not see your values and beliefs reflected in your actions, the actions of your team, and the actions of the company, then your work is cut out for you.

When creating your personal leadership development plan, first outline your beliefs, ethics, and values. Then, outline the ways that those beliefs, ethics, and values show in your actions within the organization. Are there ways that you need to improve? What support does your team need to obtain personal and organizational success that you have failed to give them? After all, their success is your success. Write down all of your thoughts and ideas for manifesting your convictions in the reality of your team and organization. This is the bare bones of your personal leadership development plan.

Next, do your homework. Talk to your employees, team members, customers, and suppliers to learn what more you can do or be that will assist you in manifesting your convictions and your personal leadership development plan. Sit back and listen to the ideas and feelings of others. This is the only way that you can learn from other perspectives what is needed for organizational or team success. Until you are aware of the changes that need to be made, you will not be able to make any changes for the common good of the organization and your employees.

Remember that while you may be able to affect change in your own small part of the world, the organization as a whole may not reflect your convictions any time soon. Change within large corporations is either very slow or nonexistent. Watch for signs that your personal leadership development plan is making a difference in your immediate environment.

By Lela

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