“Invest in your professional development. Team up with colleagues who have different strengths.”
Whether you attend conferences or seminars or earn a certification or professional credential, professional development matters. Not only does it help you learn new skills and identify new trends, but it can also help you advance in your career. However, many experienced professionals don’t often make time for professional development.
Lolly Daskal, an executive coach and founder of Lead From Within, frequently works with skilled leaders who don’t see the value in professional development. They feel they know everything they need to know and there’s nothing new that could enlighten them. The truth is that while you may be great at leading a sales team or developing creative campaigns, if you aren’t willing to grow and change, you won’t be the kind of leader your team needs. Instead, you should make time for professional development and commit to it regularly.
In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we highlight Daskal’s thoughts on why professional development is so important.
It increases your self-awareness.
Pursuing professional development can help you discern your strengths and weaknesses. The more you understand yourself, the better you can understand your employees, colleagues and clients.
It can help you boost your natural talents.
Maybe you’re especially skilled at public speaking. Or maybe you have a knack for negotiation. Professional development can help you harness these skills, which can motivate you and inspire others, Daskal says.
It can help you leverage your weaknesses.
When you’re not aware of your weaknesses, you can’t address them. Through professional development, you can pinpoint your improvement areas and begin to grow in these areas. This may not be easy, Daskal says, but it’s worth pursuing because it will pay off.
It can get you comfortable with being uncomfortable.
If you don’t normally venture outside of your comfort zone, professional development can help. It gives you the confidence to confront the areas you need to improve. Leading can feel uncomfortable sometimes, but leaders must press on anyway.
It can make you a respected role model
Smart leaders know that to be respected, they must be the kind of leader who inspires and motivates others. The best way to do that is to lead by example. Help your team members find their own path of personal development by showing them how it’s done.
Professional development takes time, but it’s always worth it. From growing your natural talents to helping you strengthen your weak spots, it sets you on a path of continual growth. Professional development opportunities abound inside and outside the promotional products industry. Commit to exploring the many diverse workshops, classes and conferences that are available, and see where it takes your career.
Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: Lolly Daskal is the founder of Lead From Within, a global leadership and consulting firm. She is also a leadership coach, speaker and author.