How To Present Your Leadership Development Plan To Your Boss

If you are part of a leadership development or succession program you will likely be asked to present your leadership development plan to your boss.  If you have the opportunity to do this, here are a few tips to ensure you do it well. Tip One: Prepare

Before you present your plan, make sure you are prepared.  Prepare in the same way that you would for a big interview: think about how you want to dress, consider the impact you want to have, anticipate questions, and figure out what you are going to say about your strengths and development areas.  If you are prepared you will be more confident, and articulate, and you will exude leadership presence.

Tip Two: Be Mindful Of Your Introduction

A key part of presenting your leadership development plan is the introduction.  What you say in the first five minutes sets the tone for the whole meeting.  One of the best introductions I have ever witnessed was from a middle level manager in a crown corporation.  “John” said:  "I want to start by telling you that I am happy to be here today.  I am genuinely interested in being an executive in this company and I consider it a great opportunity to be sharing my career aspirations and development priorities with you.”   His introduction got everyone interested in what he had to say next.

Tip Three: Showcase Your Strengths First

Although the topic of “leadership development” is usually focused on what you want to improve, make sure you talk about what you are already good at.  One female leader in a start up said: "Although I have a number of leadership strengths such as my ability to develop business strategy, and to create a high performing team, I also recognize that there are some areas I need to refine in order to prepare for an executive role."  When she said this, I thought: "Smart move, lady."  She used the opportunity to confidently remind everyone of her strengths before digging into her development areas. fast essay writing service Tip Four: Link to Business Outcomes

When the time comes to talk about your development goals, I recommend linking your plans directly to the company strategy and your day to day business outcomes.  For example, Tom is a Director, Corporate Development for a company going through a merger.  When presenting his plan to his boss he said:  “Given the amount of change in the business right now my department needs to become more visible across different functional groups, and we need to build our reputation with senior leaders.  To lead my team to do this effectively, I need to personally build my relationship and influence skills.” Compare this to Mark in finance who said:  "Morale is really bad on my team, so I need to get better at managing people.”

Tip Five: Pick a Presentation Style and Stick To It

Last, but not least, when you present the plan decide HOW you are going to present the plan.  Are you going to read the plan, or use a more narrative style?  Either way works.  Just pick an approach and stick to it.  If you go back and forth between following each bullet and talking in a narrative way it can be hard for people to follow you.  When this happens people often start flipping through the plan because they are confused about where to focus their attention.  Pick a method for presenting the plan, tell people how you are going to do it, and do it.  Also, let people know how, and when, you will ask for their input.

Good luck in your presentation.  Remember, when you present your leadership development plan it is an opportunity for you to showcase your career goals and your commitment to personal growth.  Make the most of the moment!