3 steps to Total Person Development

“If you were to define the top three development priorities for any leader that will have the greatest impact on their performance, at least one of those priorities is not an issue at work”

Every leader has a story. Some call it your leadership journey.

Whether you began as an individual contributor or as a manager, you’ve embarked on a journey towards becoming a better leader. To become better, maybe you increased your self-awareness, added new skills, or took training on emotional intelligence.

Regardless, you’ve begun and are still on the journey to becoming the best leader-human you can be. I am too.

I wanted to share my leadership journey with you, but instead of telling my story, I had our marketing manager, Jordan Ogren, interview me.

If you want to hear the main lessons learned from my leadership journey to this point, click the button below to listen to the episode.

In today’s Scoop, I want to distill one of the significant learnings I’ve had in my 30-year leadership journey:

The three steps to implementing Total Person Development into your organization

Before I go through each step, I want to define what Total Person Development (TPD) is, which is a core fundamental of becoming a Shepherd of the Talent:

TPD is a framework for developing the total human. This means focusing on developing both the professional and personal side of an employee.

That concept was foreign to me when I began my leadership journey. For years I only focused on developing my team at work (their hard skills) while hoping they would figure out their personal challenges.

I quickly found this approach to be insufficient in driving better performance from my team.

Why? The problems they faced at home significantly impacted their work performance. So much so that the hard skill development I was optimizing for was doing little to improve their total performance.

As leaders, our goal is to elevate our team’s performance and satisfaction through development and communication.

Embracing TPD is one of the key takeaways from my leadership journey that I want to share with you:

Step 1: The leader embraces the mindset of TPD

Implementing TPD into your business, like many strategic processes, requires leading by example.

If the leader does not buy-in to the concept of developing the professional and personal aspects of a person, HR/OD faces a more significant challenge in transcending this concept throughout the organization.

As a leader, making the mental shift to embrace TPD starts with being vulnerable and transparent with your team about the challenges you’re facing, professionally and personally. To lead others, you must first lead yourself.

It’s also important to share how you’re overcoming your challenges and what you’re learning in the process because if you aren’t addressing your own “total person” with your team, what makes you expect them to do the same with you?

Step 2: The leader creates a development plan for each direct report

The development plan should focus on both professional and personal challenges-growth opportunities.

I recommend focusing on the top 3-5 development priorities, professionally and personally, that will significantly impact that direct report. And then build the development plan around those 3-5 development priorities.

For example, if one of your direct reports has significant relationship issues, what resources can you provide him/her to work through it.

As the leader, help create a development plan for your entire leadership team. Make sure each of your leader’s development includes action plans with due dates.

Step 3: Have each leader create development plans for their direct reports

This step is when you begin to scale TPD within your organization. Like compounding, the more people who embody TPD and create development plans for their direct reports, the more your culture will resemble the principles of TPD.

As each leader, who has their own development plan, begins creating development plans for their direct reports, you exponentially multiply the positive benefits of TPD. Great leaders create more great leaders.

Here’s a visual example:

As the TPD concept cascades through your organization, you will begin to notice your people challenges start coming down while performance and satisfaction skyrocket up.

This is because your entire organization is transitioning from being reactive to proactive around development and engagement.

The result: You build a high-performing team filled with high-performing leaders.

Regardless of where you are in your leadership journey, understanding and embracing the concept of TPD will help accelerate your journey toward becoming a better leader and creating leaders around you.

If you want to learn more about the concept of TPD or how I have seen it implemented into organizations, click the button below to listen to this week’s podcast!

If you want help implementing TPD into your organization, check out our upcoming Shepherd of the Talent training here: http://bit.ly/SOTTTraining.

In this training, we train leaders on how to use behavioral science in all of their company’s talent processes, including leadership development.

Join thousands of leaders and sign up for The Weekly Scoop

A weekly newsletter with the tips, practical steps, and processes to achieve your vision in your business and your career and life with the right strategy and right talent