I ask managers on a regular basis how they are developing their skills and what they are currently reading or listening to.
It must be really annoying to those I ask every time I meet them!
The process of becoming an effective leader never stops! With so many different situations and so many different people, we only ever hope to become better through experience and learning. Some people want to wait until they are perfect at something before they try doing it. One thing that sets successful and effective leaders apart is that they are prepared to do something even though they don’t fully know what they are doing and the fact that it may not work first time. Learn More
So it’s the new year and it’s a good opportunity to take stock of where you are now and where you want to be in 12 months’ time.
Many people shun new year resolutions because they normally are made without any planning and last for only a short time. But there is something you can resolve to do that will make a real difference to your year and last a lot longer than an ill-thought-out, quick resolution.
The best thing you can do this year is look after your own career prospects.
Why is that? Because you can be totally in control, you get to choose the direction and you get to see the results.
This year, take a good look at the direction your job is taking you. As yourself:
“Have I got to where I hoped to in my career progression? Have I achieved what I have set out to do? What direction can I plan for 2011 to take me?”
This could imply long-term planning, and that’s sometimes better than planning to lose weight or give something up. It requires you to take stock of where you are now, where you want to go and what the rewards will be for it.
There is a saying that goes; “In one, three or five years, you will end up somewhere. The question is, is it where you want to be?”
You can control the direction you end up going. It’s your career, your future. Now is a good time to make those plans for your own personal development and ensure they end up going in the direction you want. Plan immediately for how you’re going to make this year a successful one for you and your team.
From myself and my team at MTD; A very happy, prosperous, safe and successful 2011.
Michelangelo once said ““The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it”
I’ve always loved that quote as it epitomises what we as managers should look out for if we are to continue our development as inspiring leaders.
It’s true that the greatest enemy of excellence is ‘good enough’. When we think we’ve reached a particular level, we oftentimes say that we’ve done enough and should stop there. That’s the danger that Michelangelo was warning against…the tendency and habit to do just enough and then stop.
Does this mean you have to continue and go on and on relentlessly, never stopping to take breath? Of course not! It means we have to be aware of our potential at all times and not allow ourselves to be drawn into the ‘good enough’ syndrome, when you know in your heart it could have been a little bit or much better.
Let me ask you, what are you aiming for in your job? What are you capable of? Are you really tapping into your potential, or have you settled for being ok, average, the ordinary Joe or Jo, mediocre and run-of-the-mill?
Someday, you’ll look back on your career and have to answer the question, ‘did I do my best? Genuinely? All the time?’
Only you can answer that. And only you can grasp the opportunity to be the best you can be, so that you aim high all the time, rather than aiming for mediocrity and achieving it.
By now you may have found a personal mentor but have you found the time to sit down with him, or even just yourself, to seriously discuss your own personal development plan?
You’re going to spend a ton of time helping your team mates and employees formulate personal development plans to enhance their own careers, and you shouldn’t let your own fall through the cracks. Here are a few things you need to consider when brainstorming your plan:
What are your ultimate goals? Where do you want your career path to take you?
How will you achieve your goals? Do you need to obtain additional training or start working on new projects in order to reach those goals?
How will you evaluate your progress? Will your own manager or mentor monitor you and hold you accountable for your level of success?
Remember, setting goals for the development of your management skills and career is a personal task. Take the project seriously. Come up with your own ideas as opposed to using a generic list of “goals” you’ve found on the internet or on another training website.
Your own supervisors, peers, and even your subordinates may have valuable suggestions for you to use in developing your personal development plan. Make sure you ask for their help or, better yet, make creating a personal development plan into a group project so that you can all help each other at the same time!