Professional Development

How to Create an Action Plan to Improve Leadership Skills 

action plan to improve leadership skills

If you’re ready to get to the next level in your career but aren’t sure where to start. You’ve come to the right place.

When it comes to getting promoted; if you fail to plan. You plan to fail.

And that’s where an action plan to improve leadership skills comes in. 

Becoming a boss doesn’t happen by accident. You’ve gotta put in the work.

Now let’s talk about how to create an action plan to improve leadership skills.  

What is a Leadership Action Plan?

A leadership action plan is a step-by-step roadmap outlining the education, skills, and training you need to develop as a leader

Leadership action plans typically include leadership goals, actionable steps,  timelines, and success measures.  

Action Plan to Improve Leadership Skills

Now that you know what a leadership action plan is. Let’s go over how to create an action plan to improve your leadership skills. 

Step 1. Set Leadership Development Goals

The first step is to set leadership development goals. What do you need to do to become an effective leader? 

Set leadership goals that are SMART —  specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-sensitive. 

Here are examples of SMART leadership development goals. 

SMART Leadership Goals Examples


1.	I want to get promoted within 12 months into a leadership role in finance. I've led finance teams before, my feedback at work is promising, and I have 9 months to improve on my weaknesses.


2.	I want to earn a PMP Certification by the end of next quarter. I have 5 years of relevant project management experience to leverage. And I’ve scheduled a test prep course to increase my chances of success. 

Step 2. Identify Your Skills Gaps 

Next, reflect on what’s standing between you and your next promotion

What skills do you need to achieve your leadership goals? 

To help you answer this, think about the feedback you received during your last performance review. What were your areas of improvement? 

What skills were you asked to develop? Consider any weaknesses that could stand in the way of you leveling up.  

A skills gap analysis can help you identify skills you need to meet your leadership goals.

 
Join For Free!
Upgrading your career shouldn’t break the bank. 
Get started with our 20+ Free Career Resources!
Thanks! Keep an eye on your inbox for updates.

Step 3. Determine Your Training Needs 

Once you’ve identified your skills gaps, your next step is to determine the training and education you’ll need to fill those gaps.

We call this a training needs assessment. 

A training needs assessment reviews your current skills against the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed for your desired role.

Here are some questions to ask yourself to help determine your training needs.

Training Needs Assessment Questionnaire

1.	What skills do I have?
2.	What skills do I need to meet my leadership goals?
3.	What needs to change for me to reach my goals?
4.	What skills do others have in my desired role?
5.	How do I learn best?

Step 4. Identify Leadership Development Opportunities

Now that you’ve identified your skills gaps and know your training needs. Your next step is to find opportunities to improve your leadership skills. 

There are many leadership development opportunities online and IRL. 

You can take online courses. Take on a leadership role in your community. 

And visit our Free Career Center for leadership guides, templates, and resources.

Check out this article on clever ways to learn new skills without breaking the bank!

Step 5. Measure Your Success 

The final step in your action plan to improve leadership skills is to measure your success.

To do this, revisit the leadership development goals you set in step 1.

Assess whether you were able to meet your goals. This is why setting SMART goals is so important. 

Feel free to make adjustments to your goals as you see fit. And add new goals as your career evolves. 

Lastly, take time out each quarter to assess how things are going with your goals.

Getting Started with your Leadership Action Plan 

Creating an action plan to improve leadership skills can help you become intentional about elevating your career.

Hopefully, these 5 steps give you a starting point. Join NetWerk for instant access to our Free Career Center with dozens of guides, templates, and checklists to help you evolve as a leader!

You’ve got this okay? Remember to be patient with your glow-up.

Over to You

What leadership skills are you trying to develop this year? Let us know in the comments section @netwerkmovement!

Remember, sharing is caring. Send this to a future leader in your network.

Shop Products From This Article

The Modern Guide To Leading When You’re Not The Boss

The Ultimate Guide For Building A High-Value Network

ATS Friendly Templates To Share Your Achievements With Ease And Sophistication

Your First Line of Defense Against Underemployment

Your First Line of Defense Against Underemployment

A curated collection of must-have tools to get you promoted

60 Printable Sassy Career Affirmation Cards To End Underemployment

The Modern Guide To Self-Promotion

Your First Line of Defense Against Underemployment

A curated collection of must-have tools to get you promoted

60 Printable Sassy Career Affirmation Cards To End Underemployment

The Modern Guide To Self-Promotion

The Modern Guide To Leading When You’re Not The Boss

The Ultimate Guide For Building A High-Value Network

ATS Friendly Templates To Share Your Achievements With Ease And Sophistication

Your First Line of Defense Against Underemployment

Related Posts