How To Create an Action Plan for Leadership Development

How to create an action plan to become a better leader
  • Assess your strengths and weaknesses. Make a list of the strengths and weaknesses you feel you have as a leader. …
  • Create your mission and set your goals. …
  • Set a timeline with measurable actions. …
  • Track and evaluate your progress. …
  • Adjust your action plan as necessary.

Stanford Leadership Evaluation and Action Planning Overview

Why is an action plan for leadership important?

Understanding your leadership strengths and weaknesses is crucial for setting improvement goals and taking action to become a stronger, more capable leader. Your leadership action plan essentially outlines the thoughtful steps you will take to develop the abilities required to take on higher-level roles at work and advance in your career. Additional justifications for creating a leadership action plan include the following:

What is an action plan for leadership?

An action plan for leadership is a roadmap that explains how you intend to advance to positions of leadership in your career. A leadership action plan can include a number of essential components, serving as a roadmap for your professional and career development.

How to create an action plan to become a better leader

You can use the steps that follow to create your own leadership action plan to direct your path to becoming a highly effective leader.

1. Assess your strengths and weaknesses

Make a list of your perceived leadership strengths and weaknesses. For example, two skills that effective leaders may possess are the capacity to motivate others and support challenging team projects. As a result, they may add motivation and delegation to a list of their professional strengths. An area of your skill development that you want to work on, expand, or even learn for the first time can be considered a professional weakness.

For instance, you might not yet have a graduate degree but your company demands one for a particular role you want to advance to. Your lack of credentials in this case represents a professional weakness. Because these are the areas to concentrate on during your professional development, your list of leadership weaknesses can make a great starting point for your action plan.

2. Create your mission and set your goals

Establish one or two goals that will help you strengthen your weakest leadership areas using the list of your professional strengths and weaknesses. Consider your mission as a leader, too. Create a mission statement that reflects why people would want to follow you once you achieve your goals, for example, if your goals are to earn a higher degree or credential to increase your leadership opportunities. You can use the following queries to generate ideas for your purpose and formulate a mission statement that reflects the objectives you want to reach:

These kinds of inquiries can help you gain understanding of your purpose and the professional objectives you must meet to realize your purpose.

3. Set a timeline with measurable actions

Divide each objective into more manageable milestones that specify the actions you must take. Then, set a timeline for achieving each objective. For instance, you might divide this goal into short-term objectives like finishing a six-week leadership development course and participating in leadership training by specific dates if one of your leadership goals is to become more influential and motivating within larger teams. Making a schedule for completing your goals can keep you inspired to complete worthwhile leadership development goals.

4. Track and evaluate your progress

Plan to regularly assess your progress so you can see how you’re doing in relation to each of your short-term goals and overall career goals. You can spot areas in your leadership action plan where you need to make changes, such as rearranging your timeline, implementing new development strategies, or altering how you go about achieving your objectives, by regularly self-evaluating. Make some notes about your progress so you can assess what you’re doing well and what skill sets you might still need to work on.

5. Adjust your action plan as necessary

In the event that you run into challenges while developing your leadership, remain adaptable and willing to change. For instance, let’s say you want to lead your development team more effectively and want to take a quick course on emerging software development concepts. However, the course is full for the next two terms. This indicates that you might need to modify your schedule to account for the delay in achieving this short-term goal.

Leadership action plan example

Assume, for the purposes of this leadership action plan example, that a high school biology teacher with a bachelor’s degree in secondary biology education wants to advance in their career and eventually take the helm of a university research team. They produce an action plan for leadership that has the following format:

Assessing strengths and weaknesses:



Creating a mission and setting goals:


promoting international open collaboration between experts with various scientific backgrounds to advance the development of new techniques that enhance research applications in the fields of agriculture, healthcare, and pharmaceuticals


Action steps and estimated timeline:

Complete graduate degrees in microbiology by 2024:

Secure instructional position at Columbia University:

Lead university research teams:

Self-assessment and measuring progress:


What are some leadership actions?

10 Important Actions of Leadership
  • Put others first. …
  • Possess a vision, a set of principles, or an objective that everyone can support.
  • Practice praise and gratitude. …
  • Be there. …
  • Communicate effectively. …
  • Be decisive and lead by example. …
  • Delegate to competent team members. …
  • Practice respect.

What is a action plan Example?

Action plans can occasionally serve as a communication tool that greatly simplifies intricate projects and programs. An action plan, for instance, might be used by a city to communicate ideas for enhancing a neighborhood with more open space, amenities, living streets, and better train service.

What are action items for leadership development?

A leadership assessment, a meeting with a manager or mentor, reading a leadership book, or finding training or educational opportunities are some examples of possible action items.

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