If you don’t have a plan for your development then you are short changing your growth.
Now, let’s forget all those company IDP, PDP plans that are boring, overly bureaucratic, and almost always miss the point. It’s important to have a process but the process is about having a repeatable method for success – not a hoop to jump through that doesn’t seem like it has anything really to do with your desires and success.
This is about you, as a person, as an individual.
And the first step in managing your own development is to have vision. If you can’t see where you are trying to get or how you want to show up differently – you are destined for stagnation and frustration.
Your personal vision of where you want to be will ground you as you work on your self development. Having a clear idea of where you want to be in a few months or years provides something tangible to reach for. It provides the foundation when you are struggling and the going gets rough. It makes it clearer to know what you are working towards both for yourself and articulating this to others.
This is an important step and one that should not be skipped when coming up with a plan for your personal development.
I know this one is tough for a lot of people. It is far easier to just jump in and make bold statements of what you plan on doing. And then jump in and start doing the work. The problem is that for most people, that don’t work. If you don’t have a process. If you don’t do something different than you’ve been doing. If you don’t make something that you can use to remind yourself and hold yourself accountable, then it is just words, dreams, and fantasies. Well intentioned fantasies, but nonetheless you were never really serious about making change and growing.
Work on that personal vision.
Reflect on your values.
This is part of coming up with your personal vision and being able to turn it into a statement. If you don’t know what you stand for, what is important to you, which things are important enough to stand on a mountain and die for – then all the plans, ambition, desire to make change and improvement in your life and in your skills won’t really stand a chance at actually happening.
You may add some technical skills but you’ll never make any lasting change in how you approach life or the way you show up in your work if you don’t put in the work. When you know what you stand for – this becomes a great crucible for making decisions, especially when the times get tough. And let’s be real, any true development can only come from those tough moments. This is where we are pushed to our limits, push our boundaries, and make something new and special happen within ourselves.
- Write out where you want to be and by when.
- Why do you want to do this? And what are you willing to sacrifice to make it happen?
- What needs to change in you to make it happen? What skill are you lacking? What is the gap?
- How will you make use of your strengths to fill that gap?
Our strengths are a wonderful place to start. Leverage what you do well first. Sure you have things you suck at and they probably have something to do with that gap. But all too often we go to the negative without first looking at our strengths and what we bring to the table. Learning to first make use of those strengths to fill those gaps will multiply your efforts at hitting those goals. That may not be enough. But start with the strengths first.
Once you have this, then you can get to work on developing the plan.
Here are something that I’m following right now and I thought I’d share because you may find interesting.
- ‘Never be the same’: How Slack’s CEO sees the future of work
- Revisiting some of my old posts for some inspiration and wisdom.
- Talking out both sides of my mouth. The ways in which we are looking at careers are changing. The traditional model of career planning needs to be thrown out the window.