14 Dec

Self-development is a key component to business success

Throwing stones at tigers, leveraging collective strength, resilience, turning disabilities into abilities,  and triumphing against dangerous pirates! These were just a few of the themes from TEDx Auckland 2017 that I was privileged enough to see this past week.

I left the talks feeling invigorated and motivated and gave myself a real talking to on the way home, about not attending more of these inspiring events.

The odd thing is that even if you really love your job as I do, we can very quickly find ourselves stuck in the mundane day-to-day hamster wheel of life and when you look up from the appointments, paperwork and “being busy”, 6 months have passed and you have given your self-development no attention. The saddest part is that you have missed out on these amazing opportunities.

Success is not just about focusing on the business goals, but a huge component of your business success or failure comes from how healthy the mindset of your team is, which includes yourself.

So how do you know if there is a healthy mindset in your organisation? It all comes down to how productive and proactive you and your team are. You can have the most highly motivated team members, but there comes a time in every organisation when people’s enthusiasm starts sliding. How can you combat this?

  1. Firstly, acknowledging that it is essential to encourage a balance between business development and personal development.
  2. Talk to your team members and understand the areas they would like to develop. This is not about job skills and competencies, but personal skills and competence. This includes you, by the way. Define the areas you would like to strengthen and explore.
  3. Set goals and deadlines and define what these “self-development” projects will look like. Will they be books, motivational talks, webinars, courses, workshops, mentorship programmes?
  4. Write these goals done for yourself and your team members and keep yourself accountable.
  5. Finally, don’t forget to action it!

We are absolutely spoilt for choice these days. Every where we look there are events taking place, which could add such great value to us personally and to our team. So, lift your head up from your “work”, think about your personal development goals and spend some time researching what’s best for you. You won’t be disappointed.

14 Aug

Do we ever stop learning?

Do we ever stop learning? Most people would agree that no, we don’t.

So if we believe that we should be continuously learning, should we not always be open to opportunities for growth and development? Unfortunately, so often that doesn’t seem to be the case. Why do we limit ourselves from being developed, or when we have the opportunity to learn we poo-poo the idea and make excuses to avoid it?

One of the biggest obstacles for many people’s personal growth and development is their unhealthy pre-occupation with work. The “job” becomes all-consuming, and unreasonable work obligations are allowed to take away from personal learning time.

I often hear things like “Ah, I would love to attend that talk or seminar, but I’ve got work to do” or “No, I haven’t managed to read that book, I needed to finish off a work report”. You could say that work has become the be-all and end-all, and anything outside of it is less important. Lack of work-life-balance comes to mind.

Is this trade-off due to our feeling of guilt if we pay more attention to something other than work? The feeling that we will be seen as a “slacker” by our peers, work colleagues or heaven forbid, our bosses?

If your answers to the following questions highlight that your personal development time is lacking due to work, what are you going to do to change it?

  • Do you allow your job to overshadow your opportunity to develop?
  • Do you put other people’s requests and demands before your own development opportunities?
  • Do you allocate time during your week or month for personal development and growth?
  • Do you discuss your personal development goals with your boss?
  • What would happen if you actively included personal development into your schedule?