How to Choose A Dynamic Self-Development Goal

The first development is self-development.

Image of a sheep looking at you.

You know how to move forward after you choose behaviors that propel you forward.

#1. Explore widely.

What leadership skills and behaviors seem most relevant to pressing challenges and current opportunities? Make a long list.

#2. Use an aspirational lens.

Look through the lens of aspiration. How do you aspire to contribute to the world? Make a list of skills and behaviors that might enable you to fulfill your aspiration.

#3. Combine challenges, opportunities, and aspirations.

How might you combine the lens of challenges and opportunities with personal aspirations? Suppose you aspire to the corporate suite. How might you solve today’s challenges in a way that expands your ability to sit at the corporate table?

Suppose you aspire to public speaking. What speaking skills connect to current challenges? The development of empathy might be relevant. The skill and ability to connect with people is always applicable.

#4. Narrow your focus.

No one eats tonight if you try to grab all the fish at once.

After exploring widely, narrow your focus to one dynamic skill.

You might choose to work on learning agility. (All leaders should work on this one.)

#5. Commit to one or two observable behaviors.

Doing too many things at once dilutes results.

Behaviors that improve learning agility:

  1. Feedback-seeking. (How to Seek Feedback)
  2. Learning from mistakes and failures. (Five Ways to Learn from Mistakes)
  3. Recording lessons learned from experience. Journaling.
  4. Noticing patterns. What frustrations do you repeatedly feel? What new responses might you develop?
  5. Learning with mentors, coaches, and advisers.
  6. Practicing curiosity. Increase the number of questions you ask with genuine curiosity.
  7. Stopping. Stop doing things that don’t work. Make a list of three things you do that don’t add value.

You know how to move forward after you choose behaviors that propel you forward.

What development goals seem most relevant to you?

Bonus material: Improve your Ability to Learn (HBR)