I was working with an executive recently and we were discussing the numerous changes he had experienced during his career with a Fortune 50 company. The marketplace today is vastly different from what it was when he began his career 28 years ago. Rules of engagement with his customers have changed. The corporate culture has shifted. He has found that focus on personal development has been indispensible to keeping him current, relevant, and marketable. Times change almost continuously. Business markets change. Job requirements change. There are jobs that existed just 10 years ago that are no longer jobs today, either replaced with automation or simply not needed anymore. There are jobs today that didn’t exist just 10 years ago, and speculation on what the future hot jobs will be. Statistics show that an individual will hold an average of 7 to over 11 jobs in a lifetime. The days of staying with the same company in the same job for a lifetime have been long gone. As a leader, personal development isn’t a luxury it’s critical to your career longevity and success. Ways to Develop Yourself Personally:
- Hire a coach. The business of coaching has increased exponentially since its inception in the 90s. It’s the fastest route to real, sustainable results personally and professionally. Executive coaching has become a staple for the high potential leader that wants to continue upward mobility. In a study done by the Harvard Business Review, survey results show that the top three reasons for hiring a coach are:
- Develop high potentials or facilitate transition
- Act as a sounding board
- Address derailing behavior
Coaching will bring the clarity you need to achieve the results you’re after.
- Attend seminars, workshops, and conferences. These organized events are a great source of information from top experts in your field. All the research is done for you. It’s relevant, current and packaged in a motivational environment that will equip and empower you.
- Listen to audio books, podcasts. Make the most of every minute of your day, especially commute time. Listen to audio books or podcasts during your commute. Audio books can be rented from the library and podcasts can be downloaded off the internet. An inexpensive way to sharpen your skillset.
- Follow top thought leaders in your industry – You can get great information and advice by following experts in your industry. Follow them on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Sign up for their blogs and newsletters.
- Network with other professionals – What is everyone else doing? You don’t have to figure it all out yourself. Many cities offer sponsored networking events that you can take advantage of either for free or for a nominal fee. Don’t reinvent the wheel; learn from others in your field.
To enjoy consistent success, leaders must make personal development a priority. Similar to the airplane safety instruction of putting your oxygen mask on first then helping others, leaders must first develop themselves. What one way will you develop personally today? “The leader that doesn’t focus on personal development soon becomes irrelevant and replaceable.” Kaylene Mathews KSMLifeCoaching LLC