1. You will need endorsement and support from the highest level of leadership – otherwise it will be the first thing to go (if something has to go) or, it will be received as just another company program and you may be wasting your time and money.
2. It’s important to have involvement from the key stakeholders – they will tell you what they need versus what you think they need – also good for team building and succession planning
3. The objectives of the program need to be clearly defined – just like any other program or project
4. The program objectives need to line up with the leadership competencies that you are looking – you need to be crystal clear here or you will fail
5. Evaluate and decide upon your best development options to develop the leadership competencies – internal or external – workshops – coaching – mentors – seminars among others
6. Keep in mind you have a business to run so a reasonable commitment to a calendar of events will be required – you may have better times of the year than others to be more aggressive
7. Determine how you will measure performance – I highly recommend 360 degree performance measurements
8. Get the program started and keep it visible with quality communication at all levels – no communication – no rewards – no recognition will result in you wasting your money and time
9. Now it’s time to measure results and refine the development of the leader – pay attention to the details here
Designing leadership development is fun, rewarding and critical to your success – exceptional companies take it to all levels within their organization … and I encourage you to as well – even if it’s in baby steps.