As professionals and as leaders, it is imperative to continuously learn and grow. Without personal development, a leader may find themselves continually using the same skills and thought processes to address challenges, resulting in stagnancy and frustration. Without continuous learning and growth, innovation and creativity are slowed or even halted. Additionally, according to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, growth is a requirement for self-actualization, which describes the fulfillment of one’s potential.
While most professionals and leaders understand the need for professional development and learning, an issue arises when there are limited opportunities to engage in professional learning and growth. There are many reasons why leaders do not engage in professional development, including the following:
Regardless of the barriers one may face when contemplating professional learning and growth, a successful leader will own their own development. It is advantageous if the organization that a leader is affiliated with supports and facilitates professional development for its staff; however, if the organization does not, a proactive leader will seek ways to grow themselves professionally and advance their career. Here are a few strategies for taking ownership of personal development and growth:
There are three primary goals for seeking professional development: (1) personal growth; (2) job efficacy; and (3) career advancement. Taking ownership of your professional growth and development will result in personal fulfillment, the ability to meet and exceed expectations in one’s current role, and preparation for the next career phase.