Top 10 Development Goals for Better Leadership

Top 10 Development Goals for Better Leadership

What Is a Leadership Development Goal?

If you are in a position of leadership within your job, then it is generally a good idea to develop your skills within your role.

This development process is important whether you are a natural leader or not.

By being aware of areas that need development and seeking ways to build on your skills, you will be able to be a better leader for your team or employees.

Is This the Same as a Business Goal?

No. Although leadership goals may help to benefit the business as a whole, they are designed to develop who you are as a leader.

The idea is to grow the skills and abilities you will need to effectively lead your team and increase productivity and morale.

Is This the Same as a Personal Goal?

Again, no. Although leadership goals will help you to develop who you are as an individual, they are not quite the same as personal goals.

A personal goal relates to a skill you wish to learn purely for your own benefit.

In contrast, leadership goals are for the wider benefit of the company and those who work with you.

Why Do Leadership Development Goals Matter?

There are many reasons why companies will encourage their leaders to develop their leadership skills. Some of these will be for the benefit of the company as a whole.

Other goals will relate to boosting staff morale and productivity and enabling better overall teamworking skills.

Attracting Better Staff

Taking the time to improve your leadership skills can lower staff turnover and attract better applicants to fill vacant roles. When a company possesses good leaders, it becomes more desirable to work for.

People want to be employed by companies that will look after them, empower them to learn new skills and enable them to reach their full potential.

Better leaders will also help to foster an enjoyable working atmosphere, where employees feel as though their efforts are valued.

More Likely To Be Creative and Promote Innovation

By taking the time to develop leadership skills, individuals will have a greater number of tools at their disposal.

These tools will enable you to see problems and obstacles in various ways, which can help you find unique solutions.

It will also mean that you possess the skills to enable your team or employees to find new methods and solutions too.

Appreciate a Sense of Ongoing Development

When individuals work to set and achieve their own leadership goals, it also helps to create a sense of understanding of the importance of ongoing development.

As the newly developed skills are implemented and begin to provide results, there will be an increase in appreciation for the importance of developing new skills.

All of this will combine to create a sense of the importance of ongoing development. This will not only be as an individual but also an understanding of how employee development as a whole can benefit a business.

Drives a Fresh Business Strategy

Businesses are always looking for new ways to develop and reach their goals.

Individuals who have a consistent focus on leadership growth will be at the forefront of new ideas and techniques as they develop. This can help to identify new areas for growth and strategy, which can be used to help the business progress further.

Top 10 Goals for Leadership Development

Once you have decided that you want to set leadership goals for yourself, the next step is to decide what those goals should be.

Become a More Active Listener

An effective leader needs to be able to do more than guide their team. They need to be able to listen to feedback and concerns that team members might have.

Developing the skill of active listening can also mean that you can hear and take notice of suggestions or stumbling blocks which you hadn't perhaps noticed before.

Being an active listener will involve learning to interpret non-verbal cues as well as conversational skills, which will enable everyone to feel as though their viewpoints and opinions have been noted.

Become a Better Coach

Leaders should ideally also be coaches. They need to be able to tell their teams what to do but in a way that is encouraging and enables individuals to learn for themselves.

By developing coaching skills, you will be ensuring that others can learn and progress while also meeting the targets that you set for them.

Develop Greater Resilience and an Ability To Adapt

One of the best skills that you can have as a team leader, or indeed as an individual, is resilience. This will enable you to see a difficult situation and find a way around it rather than feeling overwhelmed.

Resilience and adaptability are like muscles that must be constantly worked on to remain usable. This is why it should be a skill that is consistently practiced and developed.

Learn How To Give More Effective Feedback

There will be a number of occasions when you need to give feedback as a leader.

This can be after a project has finished, during annual reviews or in general conversation when an opportunity arises for you to give praise and offer suggestions.

It may seem easy to give feedback. After all, you're just telling people what they did right or wrong.

In reality, though, it's much harder than it seems to give feedback which encourages and doesn't lead to a drop in morale. This is why feedback skills should always be on the list of things to be developed and built upon.

Improve Process Optimization Skills

When processes are optimized, it can mean that tasks are able to be completed more easily and in less time.

This then enables businesses to consider expanding areas of their business further, perhaps taking time to engage with new clients or develop new products and services.

Top 10 Development Goals for Better Leadership
Top 10 Development Goals for Better Leadership

Act as an Example to Your Team

Leaders should always aim to lead by example. Your team will be much more inclined to perform well if they feel as though their leaders are going to pitch in and pull their weight.

It can be tempting, as a leader, to think that the best way to lead is by giving instructions and telling people what to do.

While this is important, sometimes it is more beneficial for everyone if they can see what needs to be done in a visual way.

By showing that you are willing to work as hard as your team members, you will be showing that you respect them and the work that you are expecting them to do.

Become a Mentor

Essentially, a mentor is someone who teaches others the skills that they have developed throughout their career.

They will share their knowledge and expertise with other individuals with the intention of enabling others to progress through their chosen career paths.

Mentors are a valuable part of any business, and it is a particularly useful skill for a leader to have.

By taking others under your wing and sharing the things that you have learned, you will show your team that you are able to see their potential.

Learn How To Deliver Bad News Tactfully

One of the most important things that you will need to know how to do as a leader is how to give bad news. This could be in terms of general feedback or can relate to someone's role within the company in general.

In the worst case, you may need to tell someone that they are no longer going to be employed by your company.

Knowing how to give this news tactfully can help to maintain relatively positive relationships with current and past employees.

It can also help everyone involved to feel as though they are able to move forward in a productive way.

Understand How To Accept Personal Responsibility

No matter how good you are at your job, there will be times when you get things wrong.

Knowing the best ways to acknowledge and accept your personal responsibility, whether things go well or not, is an important skill for anyone to know.

By managing your abilities and accepting when things don't go to plan, you will learn to build resilience as an individual, which will help you to progress further.

Modeling these skills will also show others that it's okay to make mistakes, but the important thing is to accept responsibility for your mistakes and find solutions.

Identify and Develop Internal Talent and Future Leaders

For a company to be successful, it needs to have a constant flow of new blood bringing new ideas and practices to help keep things up to date.

When a company doesn't do this, its leadership is at risk of stagnating and becoming out of touch.

One of the very best things that a leader can do is learn how to identify individuals who are likely to become leaders in the future.

They should also be willing to help develop leadership skills among these individuals so that they are able to step up to the challenge of a leadership role in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions

The SMART method is a great tool to use when it comes to deciding on goals for yourself and others.

Because it follows a pattern, it offers a template that can be followed no matter what type of goal you are setting. It is especially useful if you aren't familiar with the goal-setting process.

The SMART method is an acronym that stands for:

  • S – Specific – Make sure that your goal is specific. This will help to make it more defined and measurable.

  • M – Measurable – You should be able to measure how well you have accomplished your goal. Consider what you will do to measure progress.

  • A – Attainable – Make sure that you set targets that are achievable and realistic. It's impossible to stay motivated to achieve a task if it isn't actually an achievable target.

  • R – Relevant – A goal is great, but it's only useful if it's relevant to the industry you work in or the needs of your team. For example, it would be completely pointless to take a course in food hygiene if you work in an office; instead, it would be a better idea to maintain training on the systems that you use.

  • T – Time-based – How long are you going to give yourself to achieve your goal? You should always have some kind of time limit in mind. This will help to keep you motivated and offer a target to work towards.

Some may say that there is no such thing as a bad goal.

A target is a target, and if it is something that you are aiming towards, which encourages you to keep going, then it can be considered a good thing.

With this considered, there are some goals that are better than others. For example, a bad goal could be considered to be one that is too vague.

This would make it difficult to track progress, meaning you will be unable to tell whether you have achieved your goal or not.

When considering which goals to focus on, it is probably a good idea to evaluate the strengths you already possess.

Taking the time to consider your personal strengths and weaknesses can help you to identify the areas that are most in need of attention.

For further insight, you could also ask employees for feedback regarding any areas that they feel could be improved.

The best way to get impartial feedback from others would usually be anonymously, as they are more likely to be honest responses.

There will be certain measurable variables that will enable you to track progress, such as whether your team is consistently hitting their targets, the level of staff retention and employee satisfaction.

You can also measure progress by asking others for their feedback. During your reviews, superiors may be able to tell you whether they feel as though you have made progress.

Your team members may also be able to provide feedback regarding whether they feel that progress is being made.

It is important to maintain some kind of accountability as you work towards your goals.

Often, this can be something as simple as making sure that others know the goals you are hoping to achieve. This can be done by setting written targets during employee reviews.

Alternatively, you can tell a superior or colleague the goals that you want to achieve and ask them to hold you accountable. They may be willing to check in with you occasionally to ask about how you are progressing.

Final Thoughts

No matter what industry you work in, leadership skills are an important part of what makes a leader. These skills may appear to be naturally acquired to some but will generally require some level of development.

Understanding the importance of developing these skills, as well as which skills are the best ones to achieve, is the first step to growing as an individual and as a leader.

Taking the time to focus on developing yourself will not only benefit you within your career.

It will enable your team to work more effectively, foster greater levels of morale and potentially benefit the company as a whole.


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