Some are born great while some have greatness thrust upon them. Well, this could have been true for the bygone era but the present we live in is a different scenario altogether. Today you have to rise above the greatness you may or may not have and hone your skills to match the rapid changes that mark our times, stay ahead of the race and then lead. It is not easy and therefore needs a comprehensive leadership development plan to ensure a 360 degree development of mind, body, character as well as skill sets.

You need to apply some key strategies to develop and build a solid leadership development plan. A brief look:

Strategy #1 – Vision – A true leader is a mind which can envision a better and prosperous future, a positive and successful journey towards a particular goal. If you do not see the bigger picture then you cannot hope to lead a team towards success. Therefore the first step is introspection and self-assessment to determine what your true vision for the future is.

Strategy #2 – Goals – No leadership development plan will be complete without goals. But before your goal setting exercise begins you must first determine the kind of goals ahead of you and prioritize. These could range from financial to honor achievements, from political aspirations to storming the social media, or simply taking your team to new heights of glory. Once you know what you want your path will be clearer as well.

Strategy #3 – Communication – A better understanding of the self is very essential and the first two steps go a long way to help one discover one’s own mind. Once this is achieved it becomes easier to reach out to the target audience and influence them. A leader has to be, first and foremost, a confident guide. It is only then that he/she can hope to understand the dynamics of human behavior and steer people towards a definitive success.

Strategy #4 – Evaluation – Another key aspect of a leadership development plan is constant periodic evaluation. This is important for two reasons. A – One cannot act in isolation and therefore there is a need to evaluate one’s action vis-a-vis the target audience. B – The world is in a constant flux and changes are faster than they have ever been before. A good leader needs to evaluate not just actions but also knowledge as well as update skill sets to stay ahead of the race.

Strategy #5 – Feedback – A leader should be open to all kinds of feedback, whether they come from an individual or a group, whether they are personal or objective comments from professionals. Together these create a solid information base to change and improve for the future. A good leader will learn to filter the information and garner relevant data, mobilize resources better towards goal achievements and act with renewed vigor and energy to make more lasting impressions.

A comprehensive leadership development plan is an essential tool for success, for optimum performance and to create a sustained leadership role.

Gary Takacs is the founder of The CEO University is a US-based, CEO and Executive Peer Group Organization that creates opportunities for accelerated business growth and personal development through CEO Peer Group Meetings and Executive Coaching that are CEO-led, focused on unique business and personal challenges, and purposeful learning events.