development plans

Development Plans Are Critical…For Everyone!

Development Plans Make The Leader

What are you doing to get better?

If you have followed us for a while, you know we are strong believers in the concept of ongoing learning. We believe if you are not growing and learning, then eventually you are going to get left behind and its true.

It doesn’t matter your position, your company or your industry. Everyone of these is continually changing and morphing, with new technology, different approaches, changing equipment, etc. There was a time when it would take decades and decades for change to impact someone, but in today’s world it is happening all around you.

On some level I think most of us understand this is happening, but for many, its like they don’t seem to think it applies to them. They believe the work they are doing today, in the way they are doing it, will be the same work they are doing in five or ten years from now. The change will impact someone else, but not them.

For many business owners, the pandemic required them to make changes they didn’t expect to be making, but this should be a wake up call to you, that the need to make changes can happen when you least expect it, so it is important to try, where you can, to get ahead of it.

Now before you disregard this, let me ask you, do you personally have a development plan? Not one where you tell yourself that one day you will take this course, attend that conference, or read such and such a book, etc. but never commit to anything. I mean one that is written down with actual development activities with dates and resources committed to it.

Do you have one?

If not, I want to compel you get one and here is why:

  • As the leader in your organization, it is up to you to lead by example, but more importantly it is your role to set the direction for your business. If you are simply looking in the same four walls, then how do you expect to be able to lead your team to something different than you already have? Trust me, your competition is looking to the future and if you don’t, then you are leading your team to becoming irrelevant.
  • Getting out of your box is difficult. Change is difficult. But it is less difficult when you are the one in control. Putting in place a development plan allows you to be in control of and ahead of the changes that are happening in your industry. It allows you to plan and resource changes easily. When you get behind the ball, then change is happening to you and that is never fun for anyone.
  • It feels good to learn something new. Now, I didn’t say the process is always fun but the result is wonderful. People shy away from learning new things because they hate the feeling of not knowing and the uncertainty that comes with it. Learning is a process. If you are already good at everything, then you are not learning. Learning should bring with it those uncertain feeling so that when you come through the other side, you get that even better feeling of satisfaction.
  • You need to get pushed. There isn’t a leader out there who doesn’t push their employees to do better and to recognize their own talents and successes. Leaders forget that there isn’t anyone who does this for them, but them. You are letting yourself down, if you don’t do the same thing for yourself. You owe it to yourself to push yourself and to find out what you are truly capable of. Part of your development plan should include elements to make sure you are being pushed; mentors, business groups, advisors, coaches, formal programs, etc.

A plan doesn’t have to be overly complicated, but it is worth thinking about and writing it down. More importantly it is about making a commitment to yourself to follow through on it. Write down a book you intend to read or a conference you are committed to attend. Find a mentor you are going to meet with regularly or a course you are going to take. This is about expanding your horizons and committing to you and your business’s success. Do it…you will thank me you did.

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