Today we’re going to be talking about personal development. Before I get started, I wanted to share with you some stats that I came across in a blog that I was reading the other day. It completely supports why having this conversation is necessary.
The scary statistic is that 83% of organizations say that it’s important to develop leaders at all levels. But, only 5% have implemented development programs for their leaders. With statistics like that, we must take our development seriously, by taking it into our own hands.
Personal development means taking responsibility to develop your abilities and improve yourself. It is not rocket science. You can do that by reading books, learning a new language, taking up a new hobby such as golf, yoga, or anything that expands your horizons.
Personal development is important because it allows you to create the life you want. As you learn new skills and abilities, you can incorporate them into your daily life and be happier.
You can also improve your self-awareness. As you learn new skills, you’re learning about what you’re good at, your strengths and weaknesses, and what you like and dislike.
It also makes you a better person because you’re broadening your horizons.
Personal development also helps your professional growth, which in turn increases your earning potential.
As you progress from one level of leadership to the next, each role requires a different set of skills and abilities. If you’re going to make a smooth transition and be successful at that next level, you must develop the skills and abilities that are necessary.
If you don’t, a variety of things can happen, such as decreased morale, decreased performance, increased attrition or turnover
It can even result in your customers having a bad customer experience.
As an individual contributor, your responsibility is managing yourself and your performance.
But, when you transition into a supervisor role, you need a different set of skills. The focus becomes managing performance through others, which requires you to be skilled at communicating, relationship building, planning, developing, and decision making. This is likely to be the most challenging transition you’re going to make in your leadership career.
The transition from supervisor to manager is not as difficult as the transition from individual contributor to supervisor. The reason is that you’ve already developed some of the skills you need in the manager position. So, it’s an easier transition, but it’s still a transition that requires different skills, such as talent development and selection, and the deployment of resources.
The scope of responsibilities is broader, but the transition is easier.
Seventy-four percent of workers feel that they are not achieving their full potential at work because of the lack of self-development opportunities. And 83% of organizations say that they believe that developmental programs for leaders at all levels are important. But, only 5% of them have implemented programs.
That’s a scary statistic, and it’s a clear sign that we must take our development seriously. If we want to improve our lives, our career, our marketability and increase our earning potential, we’re going to have to take our development into our own hands.
Here are the five steps that you can take today to take your development into your own hands.
What are the skills and abilities needed for the next role you desire? If you’re not looking for a specific role, then identify what skills and abilities you want to develop.
Understand your strengths, weaknesses, and gaps. Gaps are the differences between where you are today versus where you need to be for whatever skill you want to develop.
Ask your manager, peers and direct reports about your gaps. If you have others around you who can give you honest feedback, their feedback matters.
Identify the areas of opportunity you’d like to develop. What are the results that you want to achieve and what action steps do you need to take to achieve the desired results?
If it means getting a mentor, reading a book, or taking a class, then do whatever is necessary.
You have to identify what resources and what tools are available to help you get from point A to point Z.
Once you’ve identified everything that you need to do, and the action steps you must take, it’s up to you to execute on your plan.
Very early in my career, I found keeping my action plan on my desk to be very helpful. And, I still do this today. I review it every single day and I update it quarterly to ensure I’m making progress.
Now you know what steps you can take to take your development into your own hands. But, I’ve also created a FREE guide called How to Become a Great Leader to assist you in your developmental efforts. You’ll likely find this guide helpful because it contains more detail on what you can to do improve your skills and abilities. Just fill out the form below and I’ll send you the guide.