DEVELOPMENT TRILOGY – EPISODE III
Just at the beginning, I have good and bad news for you…
If you thought that after identifying Your Purpose and creating Your Development Plan that you could just make yourself comfortable on a sofa with a glass of your favourite drink to get some rest and relax a bit, I am afraid I’ll have to disappoint you. Hard work, failure and sweat are still in front of you.
The good news is that the fun related to your development plan is just about to begin!
Once you start driving development, you will never wish to stop it. Having a sense of ownership, achievement and fulfilment will help you to find extra levels of energy and inspirations every day. It will give you motivation, a shot of adrenaline when you push yourself out of your comfort zone and reach far into places where you have never been.
Nobody will manage it on your behalf. Neither your boss nor your guardian angel. You need to roll up your sleeves and take small steps each and every single day. Use every opportunity, each conversation and every project to grow and fulfil the development plan that you set up at the beginning. Do not waste time and effort on something which will not bring you closer to the purpose.
Below there are some tips which will help you to own and to drive your development plan.
EVERY DAY DEVELOPMENT – nowadays our agendas are overpacked. There is so much to do during one day. To use your time in the most effective way you need to focus on your priorities; you need to think of how to eliminate all the noise and time thieves around you and do what is most important to you. I am sure that you would not be surprised by me saying, that if you are reading this article, your development is on top of your list of priorities. Correct? If so, find 30 minutes every day for reading books, articles or blogs, for listening to podcasts, for watching inspirational TED talks or Youtube videos or even taking e-training – these activities will help you grow. Establish a new habit and block out 30 minutes in your diary for your development. Just 30 minutes daily means 7.5 whole days (!!!) annually; now you see that incremental steps and new habits add up to make a massive difference.
COACHING – look for a coach who will be asking you the questions which need to be asked yet you may not wish to hear. Coaching is like looking into a mirror. It will help you to be honest to yourself in a safe environment. A coach will challenge you with positive intent, it is not about hurting or humiliating you but about reflection, honesty, change and further improvement. You could also use your coach as a “sparring” partner to discuss upcoming challenges, problems or situations which you face.
MENTORING – connect with others, as experienced people can support your growth and help develop your skills and competencies. They can provide you with advice, challenges or they can just share a different perspective. Look for loving critics: people who will be nice but also to the point, and direct.
PROFESSIONAL NETWORK – you will not be able to achieve your goals without external support. Having a well-developed, strong and diversified network is critical. You can reach out to many interesting people at work. LinkedIn even provides you with a unique opportunity to connect with or follow inspirational leaders, professors or persons even if you do not know them. Participate in virtual or face-to-face events where you can exchange your business cards, expand your knowledge and meet interesting thought leaders.
FORMAL REVIEWS – from time to time, while on a regular basis, you need to measure the progress that you’re making with the implementation of your development plan. It can be done by yourself or together with your manager, coach or mentor. Additionally, you can connect with family members or friends and check with them if they have observed any change or progress; ask for feedback, advice or comments. When you conduct formal or informal reviews, you will appreciate the simplicity of your development plan. When you worked on some specific actions, we asked you to identify 2-3 SMART objectives for a focus area. Easy to understand and easy to follow up on!
FLEXIBILITY – when you implement your development plan, don’t see it as a set of unchangeable set of thoughts, focus areas or actions. Continuous improvement requires constant thinking and an adjustment process. Maybe circumstances will change, maybe your focus areas will change, perhaps you will see things from a different perspective? Be ready to implement changes and stop or start specific activities. Flexibility will help you to implement the most efficient plan you may have at a given time.
CELEBRATE – finally, an element which is very often forgotten. When you have achieved a goal or you have had a success, you have to celebrate. Reward yourself with something which will be motivational for you further. A dinner in your favourite restaurant with your loved ones? Buying a new book? A coffee and piece of cake with your friend? Regardless of what it is, it has to be motivational for you and close to your own heart.
Hopefully, all the above will inspire you to have every day development moments, full of reflection, inspiration, growth and joy!
Keep having fun!