What are you bringing to the table?
Given the opportunity, every one of you would want to do a little bit better. How do I know? Easy, you’re still reading this post! The question you’re asking yourself - most likely - is something like: “How, when I’m already as busy as I am, will I ever find time to be better?”
- A better leader.
- A better friend.
- A better parent.
- A better spouse.
Well, that is exactly why we suggest you take courses.
Now, if your organization sponsors classes you can attend please register for them. If you find course you’d like to take, figure out a way to get that day/time off, and go! I can give you at least three reasons why in this video; just click the play button to get started (it’s 2 minutes and 28 seconds long…).
In all of our work, we suggest you take a FOUR stage approach to improving your professional (and personal) skills. It’s easy to remember them with the acronym: IDeA. Before you read what each letter represents, open a notebook to a fresh page and on top write the name of either (1) a PROJECT you want to start, or (2) a CHANGE you want to make. Ok, are you ready?
I: Identify: be specific about the project to start or the change to make. Clarify not just WHAT you want to do, but why you want to do it. Author and TEDx speaker Simon Sinek wrote a book titled “Start With Why.” I remember listening to his TEDx speech thinking, “This is really, really important!”
D: Develop strategies to engage in specific actions and techniques to direct your professional improvement and personal development. The easiest way I know of to do this is to surround yourself with and by other people who have similar goals as you. Personally, I get ideas on how to work out when I’m at the gym with other people who work out. I get ideas about how to be a good husband when I’m out in an environment where other couples are treating each other well. I get ideas… you get it.
e: experiment by planning for and taking actions that generate bursts of momentum. (The e is small on purpose… it just takes a bit of experimenting to know if you’re on the right track.)
A: Assess the value the effort has created. In every course I teach for the United States Air Force - USAF - we schedule time to DEBRIEF the mission. Sure, my missions are not to fly airplanes or maintain bases, but that doesn’t let me off the hook. Every course I teach, every PPT deck I build, every article I publish gets a full assessment. Think about what YOU can look at that you’ve done over the past 3-6 months and ask, “What can I learn from this?”
As YOU think about your themes for the coming year (or, even the next 3 months) ask yourself how YOU will be better.