Leaders Develop Everyone

At the Business Record’s “90 Ideas in 90 Minutes” event from September 2017, Miriam De Dios of Coopera made a case for organizations of any size to implement “Personal Development Plans for All.”

Most organizations do some kind of development plan for people in, or preparing for, leadership roles. But what if everyone had a plan?

People on a manufacturing line.
Incoming customer service.
IT assistants.

De Dios makes the case that people at all levels are engaged and challenged by helping the whole organization get better while getting better themselves

– and I agree with her.

She suggests keeping it very simple: Every single employee has three objectives for improvement and three strengths to develop. Their supervisor ensures that the development goals have specific tasks and deadlines, and the person commits to some coaching and help as needed.

What can you make this look like? Well, remember to keep it simple, yet measurable. Something like this:

Objectives for Improvement:

  • I will work better to proactively pursue inputs. (One task: email Robyn every Wednesday at 1pm if I don’t have her TPS reports yet so I’m ready to deliver the summary on Thursday morning.)
  • I will learn how to use spreadsheet pivot tables. (One task: convert my pen-and-paper method to a spreadsheet system by Q2, seeking help from Dale as needed.)
  • I will get better at presenting slides. (One task: read “Presentation Zen” by the end of October and incorporate 2 new ideas into my November meeting deck.)

Strengths to Develop:

  • I will expand my Activator strength by helping Deb’s team write better action plans for next quarter.
  • I will exercise my Communication strength by helping Kyle refine his November 3-minute speech.
  • I will use my Individualization strength by attending the December diversity exchange event and sharing ideas.

Anyone, at any level, can do this. I used the Strengths Finder themes above, but you don’t even have to be that fancy.

Take ten minutes right now, and do the above exercise for yourself, then identify one team member and help them through the process. It’s worth it.

Miriam De Dios speaks at the Business Record’s 2017 90 Ideas in 90 Minutes event. See all 90 ideas at www.businessrecord.com/90ideas

This post is part of a set inspired by the Business Record’s “90 Ideas in 90 Minutes” event from September 2017. Learn more, download a PDF, and see all the speakers from September 2017 here.

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