The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership.
–Harvey S. Firestone

Do you consistently meet with each of your team members and discuss how they view their career, possible growth opportunities, and development needs?

As influential leaders we need to understand where each team member “is” and where they want “to be”.

Some may be comfortable with their current role, with few (or no) aspirations for a promotion or plans to grow their career. If this is the case, invest the time to truly understand why.

Others may be anxious about how quickly they can get promoted. These too require discussions about realistic readiness levels and development needs.

Having a development plan is a great tool for facilitating ongoing discussions and for addressing timelines, progress, and obstacles.

There are many forms and formats for development planning. If you have a QwikCoach license you can find a template in Tools Direct; another option is to use our COMPASS worksheet for ideas for skills and abilities which may need to be developed, and you can also search the web to find dozens of forms to choose from.

Share with team members that they may think they know their greatest development needs but that some may be blind to them. Suggest they review content that was provided from feedback or past performance evaluations and have them document those they choose to action.

You can also help with assigning priorities – which items will most help them achieve their career aspirations? Jointly set timeframes for addressing each development area; some may be short-term but others may require being developed over time, have dependencies, or require a financial investment.

Asking other leaders, peers, business partners (and direct reports if applicable) for their input can also be valuable. Two simple questions can get a response:  1) What am I doing well?  2) What would you like to see me improve upon?

The development plan is great for one-on-one discussions; review the plans monthly and adjust priorities and timelines as needed.

Wishes for success!


Mike and Jan

Continuous personal and professional development is your key to the future.
–Brian Tracy