Putting The Five Practices into Practice

As many of us know, once The Leadership Challenge® Workshop is over, the real work begins. Leaders return to the workplace with their results from The Leadership Practices Inventory® (LPI®) in hand. They may have every intention of focusing on their development to become the best leaders they can be. But, old habits die hard. 


At People First Productivity Solutions, we help leaders focus more deliberately on their own development using a formal Leadership Development Plan that includes four distinct sections: 

  • A Management and Technical Skills worksheet helps leaders identify strengths and areas needing development. This portion is included because, as the research of Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner shows, credibility is a cornerstone of leadership. The purpose of this section is to prompt leaders to create an action plan for solidifying competence in their assigned job function. 
  • Leadership Behavior Skills worksheets are grouped by The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership® and help leaders determine which of the 30 behaviors they will focus on for the next six months following the workshop.  (To download a sample Model the Way worksheet from the People First Productivity Solutions Leadership Development Plan, click here).

  • The Career Stallers & Stoppers worksheet invites leaders to consider LPI observer feedback offered in open responses. Korn Ferry’s list of the most common career stallers and stoppers is offered as a starting point to help leaders acknowledge and address barriers that may prevent them from becoming the best leaders they can be.

  • The Planning worksheet helps leaders balance their routine work responsibilities with leadership development activities and focus. To complete this worksheet, leaders partner with their managers to discuss what could be delegated or discontinued to free up time needed for development. The worksheet also prompts discussion about resources that may be needed to ensure development goals are attainable.  

In my experience, when organizations use a development planning process like this, the heightened accountability for and commitment of leaders keeps The Five Practices front and center. Real and lasting change is reported by leaders who create and work through a development plan.   

Deb Calvert is a Certified Master-in-Training of The Leadership Challenge® and president of People First Productivity Solutions. With expertise in constructing leadership development programs, conducting team effectiveness workshops, and boosting organizational performance through executive coaching, she can be reached at deb.calvert@peoplefirstps.com

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