Last month, I specified critical steps to optimize development gains in the wake of a 360 survey, or any other discovery vehicle like personality or style profiling.
These steps include:
Debrief with a coach to accept results and implications, and to determine growth priorities.
A reality check with the boss, or other sponsors, to clarify a development vision and priorities.
Write a plan (preferably with coaching assistance) that links more effective practices with the achievement of job and career goals.
Review the plan with sponsors and other key stakeholders (going public is important!).
Establish a follow-up process for plan review and adjustments, and ongoing feedback to sustain the effort.
The plan itself is a critical vehicle for enabling the principal to become more effective and to achieve his/her career objectives. Writing the plan is also a psychological factor in engagement and commitment.
Potent development plans include the following (with one or two examples for each section):
Skills or competencies I want to improve.
Building cooperative alliances across departments
Specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and time related goals I want to achieve (6 months to 2 years)
Establish a highly independent and productive department team through development and selected staff upgrades (12 months).
Become soundly conversant in corporate finance and related operations metrics (18 months).
Important but controllable obstacles that get the way of achieving my goals. External obstacles:
Staff hesitancy to make independent decisions
Lack of cross functional alignment on corporate and financial goals; lack of transparency between departments.
Tendency to assume my people’s responsibilities
Too much urgency or lack of patience causes me to get too demanding or critical with my peers
Action strategies I will apply to build competencies (#1), overcome obstacles (#3), and accomplish my goals (#2).
Daily improvement practices
Allow staff the opportunity to provide opinions/input before giving suggestions.
When delegating responsibility, help others adjust or resolve problems instead of taking over for them.
Tactical steps that are time sensitive and relate to achieving section 2 goals. Goal: Independent and productive, department team
Inform the staff of my objective to help them become more independent decision makers and achievers (end of September, 2016).
Clarify for each team member strengths and performance gaps, and establish an agreed upon strategy to close gaps (November, 2016).
Outside of-the-job endeavors
Evaluate and select a 1-week executive course to build financial sophistication in 2017 and apply one to three principles.
How competency improvements and accomplishing my goals will benefit me.
Get out of the weeds and be more pro-active
Support I will need from my sponsor(s) to work and achieve my plan.
Straight and timely feedback
Follow-up actions to sustain progress.
Quarterly plan review and adjustment conversations with sponsor