Be Responsible For Your Own Development

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Being a great leader means becoming responsible for your own development

You can become that great leader that you always wanted to be. You are born with all the natural abilities and talents that you can bring to your team. Have you asked yourself some heart-to-heart questions?

What is preventing you from getting your next job? Is it because you are not given the opportunity? You have been going to interviews and you always end up with the email that they went with another, more qualified candidate. I have been there, and been through a self-evaluation of my mental state, and all the skills I possessed, and I realized one thing. The only person that is responsible for your development is YOU.

We usually tend to accuse our manager or leader for not giving us the chance for that promotion and we stay in the background feeling hurt, angered, and full of resentment. But have you truly asked yourself why? What is preventing you from getting your dream job? Ask yourself, what steps have I taken to get close to my mission?

For example, have you asked for help from professionals that care about you, your coworkers or your leaders for their perspective and which skills they think you might need to strengthen? In addition, ask other people what they think about you as the next leader. Ask your family, close friends, or your peers that are doing very well, or other senior leaders you came across and worked on a project with for their feedback.

This is how I did it: I asked for feedback in every interaction or meeting I spoke at, even from people I did not even know. Before I was promoted to my consultant job, I went out of my comfort zone, I used to be so nervous, and it was necessary to push through that edge in order to become who I am today.

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Let me take you through some steps that helped me become responsible for my own development:

Have a vision of where you want to go: I had a vision for becoming a leader with empathy and perspective. No matter how many different leadership styles I had, this one was embedded in my DNA. It is how I was raised, how I loved people at home, and I wanted to bring the same feeling to my work.

My vision was to become a leader. I imagined it, I modeled it, and I invested my time into it. I truly enjoyed my life managing and developing talent, but I wanted to help more people, transforming managers into leaders with risk management top-of-mind.

After my last role as a manager, I transformed into the leader of my dreams. I knew it was time because I had no doubts that I could do the job. This was also due to my mental preparation and while I worked on every skill, I was told it needed strengthening. At last, I got my dream job.

Time: Have a time frame of how long you will need to get there and put it in your calendar. My motto is: “If you do not put it in your calendar, it will not happen”.

Use of calendar: How do you set time for yourself and your own development? We are very busy with daily projects, deadlines, you might be customer-facing, but the way you can do this is to schedule time in your calendar for your development, weekly, and monthly, and respect that time. Take time for yourself.

Engage your leader: Have you had a one-to-one with your manager to help you with your vision? Let them know that in 3-6 months or 2 years you want to become a leader. Ask them what skills you need to have and work on them. You might be good in some, and others might require a lot of work. One of my skills that required a lot to work was listening.

Skills: Knowing what skills and competencies you have is half the battle. As I mentioned above, gather your leader’s feedback and your own, since you know yourself and what skills you need. Then start working on them. Going back to my listening skills, I needed help from an expert, not a coworker, and my leader set me up with his peer from another area.

Even though it sounds humorous, I would interrupt when people were speaking, I would get bored in long meetings, and I would multitask, which I thought I was the super worker. Less than a year after receiving coaching from the best, I learned that skill. With self-practice and awareness, I continue to improve each day. I give people time and I listen without interruption.

Partner with a mentor: Find and partner with someone who is great at the skill you need to strengthen, a peer from another area, a senior leader, or someone you see as a mentor. Ensure your frequency works and gives you enough time to learn the skill and move onto the next. For me, I met my mentor once a month, and I had practice exercises in between.

With whom do you spend your time? What do you do on weekends and with whom? Maybe it is time to reassess this area. If you want to be a leader, surround yourself with people that can teach you something, that can better you in any way. This will help your development and help you to reach for more. Find groups that will elevate your mind, your spirit, and your growth.

For me, I spent a decade with the same circle and I felt I was not growing and learning enough. After realizing some groups did not serve me well, I searched for a great companion. So I reached out to educational groups, I volunteered for causes I believed in. So, surround yourself with trusted friends and high caliber people, or people you can learn from that have the utmost integrity, and people that care about your development.

You must believe in yourself and start carving your own path to your greatness!

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1 thought on “Be Responsible For Your Own Development”

  1. Great article! Many of these principles have been the corner stone of my career. Thank you for sharing. Many will benefit from your insights.

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