14 Personal Development Goals Every Leader Should Set for Themselves

personal development

Strong leadership is not entirely defined by how popular. It also has nothing necessary to do with your power and influence.

More often than not, strong leaders find themselves working in the background. That’s because they are more comfortable being an agent of change. And they do that by bringing the best out of their team.

Strong leaders do not desire power, assert their influence, or control other people. Instead, they mark their success with the number of people they have inspired and empowered.

Why Are Leadership Goals Important?

Leadership goals are vital because they help leaders know what their priorities are. When you create leadership goals with your team, that is where you can become a more efficient and effective figurehead. 

Moreover, these goals provide you with the necessary skills to help your team members perform their roles well.

Goal-oriented leaders have better direction on where they would like their team to go. As such, they can identify what key performance indicators to measure and how to do so.

Usually, both short-term and long-term leadership goals allow the team to stay focused. So, pick goals that would enable you to develop your leadership skills and provide an excellent example to your team. Show them that by setting goals, they can achieve more by performing their roles well.

Important Personal Development Goals

Every leader’s goals are different. Here are 14 examples of the best personal development goals that leaders can strive to achieve:

Handling Difficult Situations

Excellent leaders know how to handle different challenges effectively. This can include boosting their team’s motivation and delivering unpleasant news.

That’s why you should know how to tackle various situations, such as dealing with a difficult team member. After all, no team is perfect, and you are likely to encounter a toxic employee or two.

These issues are often handled by setting a clear expectation and integrating a feedback system. More often than not, employees need guidance and clear, constructive feedback on whether or not they’re doing well and how they can improve. 

Furthermore, you should also know about human motivation. That way, you can separate the person from the behavior when addressing such issues. 

Active Listening Skills

Good leaders should constantly work on their active listening skills. It can be as simple as asking questions to gather information. Luckily, a trustworthy personal development guide can help teach you how to develop your listening skills.

So, what is active listening? Usually, this is making a conscious effort to listen to what the other person is saying. It’s often more than just hearing words, but understanding what the other person has to say. 

By developing active listening skills, you’ll be able to come up with much more impressive ideas. After a leader listens carefully to team members, they might come across ideas that they otherwise couldn’t have come up with on their own. 


Rather than assuming that you already know everything, be flexible and stay open to learning new things. By doing so, you can position yourself in a much better place in the long run. 

For instance, there will be times when you need to pivot your resources and operations to accommodate changes in the economy. When changes happen, you must adapt to them quickly and then help your team do the same. 

Ideally, your goal should be to overcome these challenges that often come along with change. When you use your skills and strength as a leader, you can help your team feel more secure and comfortable working during a transitional period. 

By staying flexible and open to new opportunities, it will be easy for you to adapt to abrupt situations. Doing so allows you and your team to have a growth mindset.

Mind you; you can use this skill in more ways than one.

Communication Skills

Good leaders know that managing teams are often challenging. Several obstacles along the way can lead to miscommunication. 

That’s why exceptional leaders need to develop their communication skills. Doing so allows you to manage expectations, share feedback, listen intently, and inspire action and change. 

If leaders lack the skills to communicate effectively, they can create a potential roadblock, not just for them but also for their team. 

Leadership Presence

Showing positive traits like confidence and authenticity allows you to get your team’s attention more. Working with your team provides you with insight into their day-to-day. 

This can also go a long way to understand better how your team works and offer how improvements can be made.

Having an Open Mind

Good leaders should work hard to engage in the dialogue with those who challenge you, allowing you to grow in the long run. 

One of the best traits of a good leader is the willingness to discuss something with an open mind and never stop learning. 

Being More Strategic

By becoming more strategic, you’ll improve your ability to see the bigger picture and improve your perspective. 

Doing so also allows you to step back to see the big picture. It also lets you focus on the “why” instead of the “what” and “how.”

Time Management

More often than not, one of the most important goals for leaders is to have better time management skills. For instance, they might be handling multiple projects all at once, and it’s vital to meet these deadlines and make the most of your time. 

As a leader, if you’re always getting your work done on time, then the rest of your team will likely strive to do the same thing. Show your team the value of meeting these deadlines, managing priorities, and coming to work on time by doing these things yourself.

Coaching Skills

While coaching their team may come quickly for some people, it’s a learned skill. 

If you want employees to succeed, you need to learn to coach them through tough challenges. You should also identify your team’s strengths, individually and as a group, as this often creates an environment conducive to growth. 

So, set goals in honing your coaching skills. You can use measurable results like improving profitability and employee performance. 


Another personal development goal that you should learn is to practice self-discipline.

Self-discipline is often a vital aspect of leadership. That’s because it’s often a strong force that leads to consistent action and yields better results. 

Self-disciplined individuals create better results in the long run. Also, when a leader exhibits self-discipline, this can be a powerful motivating force for his team. That’s because actions often speak louder than words. 

If a leader makes a decision based on what’s the best for the company, this sends a message about integrity and is often inspiring. 

Strong Cross-Functional Knowledge

A strong leader should also strive to improve their current knowledge and skills. Have cross-functional expertise or perspective. This means that you know the other aspects of a business. 

An excellent leader should realize that he is responsible for managing people of different backgrounds. Hence, despite being an expert in one field, they must have basic knowledge of other business aspects.

This means that they need to step into their game to know different viewpoints and communicate in a way that will often resonate with others. 

Usually, cross-functional skills allow leaders to manage employee expectations and how they can contribute to the team. 

Gratitude and Appreciation

Every great leader out there knows that the biggest asset of a business is its employees. That’s why showing appreciation and gratitude is essential. More so if you and your team can reach a milestone. 

Having satisfied employees can improve productivity and decrease turnover rates in the long run. So, acknowledge how much you value your team and employees. Never take them for granted, as they’re an essential asset to your company. 

Host regular staff meetings where you can publicly praise one another. Do not hesitate to mention those who have gone above and beyond with their efforts. 

Personal Responsibility

Good leaders are the ones that accept personal responsibility. 

If your team can realize the importance of their actions, they should also take full responsibility for their decisions. You might be surprised how this can open the door to impressive results. 

Leaders can only achieve that level of authority and manage other people if they know how to handle themselves. 


While this trait isn’t often found in the personal development goals leaders should strive for, this is important. Humility isn’t a sign of weakness. 

Instead, it is the opposite. It’s an important quality that allows a leader to make progress. 

More often than not, humble leaders are more approachable. That’s because they have a better understanding of the organization’s needs and its employees. They can also provide better feedback and are highly respected in the workplace. 

Truly humble leaders can learn from their mistakes and accept that they’re human too. That there are specific areas that they need to work on as well. 

These personal development goals allow you to advance in your career as a leader. This also means that you can be a source of motivation and inspiration to your team. Hence, you should continue to develop your personality.


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