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15 Personal Development Strategy Tips


A personal development strategy begins with a simple premise: your development is your responsibility.

At heart we probably know this to be the case, yet how often do we sit back waiting for that development to be put on a plate for us. For a lucky few things might fall into place easily, but for most of us that will not be the case.

So why not decide that you’re going to make your own development a priority, rather than leaving things to chance.

Here we suggest 15 tips to help you think about your own personal development strategy. In doing so we propose that you think more widely about how you’d like to develop. Don’t limit your thinking to just the work you’re currently doing.

For a happy manager, development is much wider than job specific training, it should be about you career and about your life.

Here are 15 tips to help you develop your own personal development strategy:

    1. Make your own development your number 1 priority.
    2. Spend more time developing as a person than developing as a manager.
    3. Imagine you had to make the case to yourself regarding the development you need. What would it take to convince you to invest?
    4. Give yourself a self-appraisal. (see our article: self-performance appraisal for some useful questions to ask yourself)
    5. Choose how you want to develop, rather than conform to whatever an organization might tell you to do. In some cases they may be one and the same – but the difference is that you choose to do it!
    6. Spend much more time on getting better at what you’re good at, than struggling to improve your weaknesses.
    7. Identify some specific strengths you have and commit to getting even better at them.
    8. What do you aspire to do/be?
    9. Make the “ordinary” part of your development – what happens in your normal day’s work that can help you to develop?
    10. Choose something you do, then try to do it to the best of your ability.
    11. Take real pride in something that you do.
    12. Take on an ordinary project and find something extra-ordinary in it – try to make a real impact.
    13. Vary your learning diet. Experience bite-size learning, the small learning snacks just when you need them. But make sure you also experience the breadth of learning from a longer, more measured, “learning” meal taken regularly.
    14. Cultivate a healthy dissatisfaction with how things are. If you are to improve you need to have some dissatisfaction with your current abilities. Be careful that your motive here is to improve, not to become frustrated or cynical.
    15. Learn more about what you really enjoy doing.

15 Personal development strategy tips

Perhaps a good place to end this article is with what could be described as St Augustine’s personal development strategy:

If you would attain to what you are not yet, you must always be displeased by what you are.

For where you are pleased with yourself there you have remained.

Keep adding, keep walking, keep advancing.”


Where to go from here:


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