Having a Plan to Develop Your People

After a leader has set up a personal development plan, they should take time to develop their people. Socrates said, “The individual leads in order that those who are led can develop their potential as human beings and thereby prosper.” The goal in developing your people is so they become better people and more productive, both in their personal and professional life.

The best companies and organizations realize the importance of people development. People development helps to build a high-quality organizational culture and working environment. The people being developed start being more productive, motivated, valued, and engaged. The organizational results of developing your people come through profits, returning customers, and a growing business or organization.

Before a leader can successfully develop others they need to know and understand each of the people they are developing and their personal learning style. Then a plan can be developed interactively with the person that allows them to maximize strengths and  development. A leader needs to remember there is no one system or style that will work with everyone, though there are times when a leader has everyone involved in a team development activity.

When developing your people you should provide:

Resources-Some different resources a leader can offer or have as a requirement are books, audio lessons/books, workbooks, or suggested blogs. These allow someone to learn and grow within a specific area or topic.    

Mentorship- One of the best ways a leader can develop their people is by taking time to mentor them. Tony Dungy said, “Mentor leadership requires a deliberate decision to get involved in someone else’s life.” I believe if more leaders take time to start mentoring others then everyone wins; the leader, the person being mentored, and the organization.

Training- Sending your people to conferences and workshops or having in house training is another form of developing your people. The training should focus on topics that would allow them to begin to reach their potential.

Practice- This is an essential aspect of people development. A leader should be providing opportunities for their people to have hands on experience. One way a leader does this is by assigning a person to a specific project or task, which allows them to practice and work in the desired area of development. This allows the person to get out of their comfort zone and grow.

Questions: Do you have a plan to develop your people? What are some other ways a leader can develop their people?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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22 thoughts on “Having a Plan to Develop Your People

  1. Mentorship may be the biggest one on that list, I feel, because there are programs for training and exercises but a leader that cares will actually mentor someone because they believe in them personally.

    • I agree with you, mentoring is a big one. I think forms of practice and resources can be done or used while being mentored. For example, if a leader and follower read and discuss the same book then apply it into what they are doing. The leader can be adding to the topic of the book with personal story’s and points. This shows the follower the leader cares and values them and their development.

      Thank you for adding your insights and thoughts,

  2. You always include some great quotes, Dan. Dungy is a wise leader, glad you used him as an example.
    I’m with you on developing your people. People get bored if your not stretching them, challenging them, and teaching them how to grow.

  3. I like mentoring as a way to develop people. Personaly, I would not be where I am today without my mentors.

    Mentoring is very personal and relationships influence people in a deep way. In life, many things are “caught” rather than “taught” and mentoring provides a great atmosphere for “catching.”

  4. I think mentorship is the key. It’s kinda disappointing when a leader just hands you a book and is like “Go at it!” I really think the personal guidance drives home the lesson more and it lets you know that the leader cares.

    • Loren,

      A big part of leadership is in the mentoring and people development. Great point about not just providing resources then leaving them to it, a leader needs to be involved in the growth of their people. Thanks for reading and sharing.

  5. I agree with Loren, mentorship is key. It motivates people so much more to know a leader really cares about them and they are not just one lost in a sea of millions to that leader.

    • TC Avey,

      Mentoring others does show others you care and value them. I know this has been true with the people who have mentored me. Thank you for taking the time to read and share.

  6. Dan, another way you can mentor your group is by getting together frequently and having some fun. Get to know your people and what makes them tick. Find out more personal details about them. Once you know that I think you can truly learn how to Lead effectively. I need to read the Mentor Leader from Tony Dungy. I’ve read all his other books.

    • Lincoln Parks,

      All great points. I think you bring up a great point about having fun. A leader needs to develop people but also take time to have fun with them. Both are important to knowing, connecting, and developing your people.

      I highly recomend The Mentor Leader, its such a good book.

  7. seems like a lot of comments have been on mentorship, and not that I am completely against the concept of mentorship, but it would seem to me that a historical or typical mentorship is like a co-dependent relationship, where one person needs the other.

    A mentorship that makes sense to make me, and therefore I don’t like the word is one where you as the leader bring someone into the process of whatever you are leading and whatever skill or lesson you are trying to teach would go something like this:

    1) do it, 2) I do it — and you watch, 3) you do it – and I watch, 4) you do it…..and I set you free to rock it.

    • David,

      I totally agree with the process you shared, to me this is true mentorship. I also think part of #4 is to have them teach someone else the process.

      Thanks for adding to the discussion.

  8. This sounds like some things I could work on. I agree it starts with caring about others and not being so insecure that we can pour as much into a person to develop their potential.

    I need to be more thoughtful in this regard. Good stuff. I’ll be back. Thanks Dan

    • Floyd,

      Glad the post helped. I think more leaders need to be intentional about people development. Good point about not being insecure, which is so essential in adding value to others.

      Thank you for sharing and stopping by.

  9. These are all great aspects of a leader. The only thing I would add is that a leader must put all of these thing into action and set an example.

  10. Honestly, I have seen some of the greatest development happens in the context of relationship. Training is great. Resources are needed, but true development happens as I allow people into my life, and they allow me into theirs, and we are able to speak into each other freely and openly and help each other grow. It’s the model Jesus used with his disciples.

    • Jason,

      You hit the nail on the head with your insights. It all starts with building and having a relationship with your people. Since Jesus used this model we should follow His leadership and use it as well. Thank you for adding value to the topic.

  11. Excellent post Dan. I agree with Lincoln’s comment. When I was a Plant Manager leading about 40 people I found the greatest leadership tool was to understand who they were as individuals. This gave them a sense that cared about them as a person and not just another worker. When they knew I was genuinely concerned about, they were more productive. The key was that I was genuine. I strongly believe to be a great leader, you must develop your people and be willing to walk with them through the process.

    • Bernard,

      You bring up a great point, your people (the people we lead) need to feel genuinely cared about. It’s the first step to influencing, adding value, and developing your people. Thank you for taking the time to add to the discussion.