What did you invest in your own CPD (Continuous Personal or Professional Development) so far this year? How are you feeding your goose, if it’s the one laying your golden eggs?
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I was incredibly fortunate back in the very early 90’s when I met some extremely wealthy and influential people, some of whom became mentors to me in different spheres of my life’s work. One piece of advice stood out above all others. He said: “very rarely will your economic outcomes come before your personal development“. One key differentiator of the 5% that know why, is that they continue to invest personally in themselves first – always.”And then he suggested that “leaders are readers” and put me on a personal and professional book of the month program.
And so in the last 25 years that’s exactly what I’ve done – read at least one personal or professional development book every month.
Your CPD. When was the last book you read?
When I check in with my clients when last they read a personal or professional development book, disappointingly, most acknowledge that it was a while back. And remarkably many say it was last when they were in uni.
Of course losts of people read “technical and other journals” all the time in order to get and stay on top of their field. That’s often because they “have to”, and not necessarily because they “want to”.
And that’s not what I’m talking about here. Reading (or listening to) books is but one part. Other than any courses your company sent you on, what have you invested in yourself? Personally?
My mentor rather colloquially suggested that most households spend more money on toilet paper than they do investing in the personal or professional development of their inhabitants. He then winked and suggested: “don’t you think they’re concentrating on the wrong end”?
CPD. How Hungry Are You?
What I am talking about is the hunger and the will to feed our own development needs.
To round us off as a person. As a sibling, a friend, a partner, a parent, an employee, a leader, an entrepreneur, a community contributor etc.
To develop our skills in a professional sense. To enhance our emotional intelligence. To strengthen our influencing and persuading skills. To build our ability to become more relatable and comfortable and to speak with ease to so many more different kinds of people. Acknowledging how that will also help us in the above, more personal sense.
There is plenty of research that suggests 70% of our learning happens on the job. 20% through coaching and mentoring and only 10% through courses.
CPD. Leaders Are Readers
What I have found from my decade of coaching and mentoring hundreds of clients just like you and me, is that the readers and those investing in their own CPD are able to learn so much more and so much faster in the 70% “on the job”. Why? They are curious. They ask questions. They listen to understand, not to respond. They are interested. They are more authentic.
And I’m sure you’ll agree with me that you can recognize those that are well read, can’t you? By their vocabulary. Their confidence. Their knowledge – but not to brag with. To leverage when and how it serves you, them and their situation best.
They are not only more open to being coached and mentored themselves, but also more willing (and able) to coach and mentor others around them.
However, please remember that like leadership has to be “taken”, nobody can “give” you this hunger I’m talking about. This has to be “fetched” by you. To be driven by you. For yourself, but not by yourself.
CPD. Making it work for you
Everyone who has met a coach or mentor will know how we keep rabbitting on about goals. Why do we do that? Well, because they work. If we want to get somewhere (and faster than the rest), we need to know where we want to go and why (WIIFM?).
And so I refer to results goals which define the why. And also refer to activity goals which define the when and the how. And in Turbocharging Your Goals, I outline an accelerated approach which, combined with the necessary planning will help assure you stick to what you really want to achieve in terms of The Price and the Prize.
CPD. Continuous Personal and Professional Development. So What?
So what does this mean for you right now?
Firstly, I would urge you to assess for yourself whether you are happy with where you’re at. And whether you’ve invested enough in yourself to keep driving you to get there or exceed those expectations. If you are, I’d be surprised if you’ve read or listened this far.
Secondly, if not, why not take some undisturbed Me Time and capture some ideas and pictures of where you’d prefer to be at let’s say the end of the year? Or maybe at the end of 2020?
And then make a commitment to yourself (and hence indirectly to those that depend on you) to do whatever it’s going to take to get there? Which will undoubtedly necessitate some prime (time and money) investment in yourself. (Notice I never speak of cost, but always of investment.)
And then thirdly set some goals which you will hopefully share with someone you trust to help hold you accountable, so you can’t chicken out.
And finally, supplement those goals with some clear plans of your investment in the price, which keeps reminding you of the prize, to keep you interested and motivated.
And if you really are serious about wanting to make this work for you, why not engage a coach?
Questions? Please feel free to email me at
Tim Boyle says
good prompt Heiner. We need to get serious about this and make it as important a to-do scheduled item as anything else.
We get caught up in the daily task of running our businesses or jobs. Was it Jim Rohn who said “Work hard at your job and you make a living. Work hard on yourself and make a fortune.”