Most people don’t need to be convinced of the importance of personal growth. But the importance of developing a personal growth plan often takes a bit more persuasion. So here’s three reasons for creating a written plan for your personal growth and development:
1. It Helps You Transition From Optional Growth to Intentional Growth – Optional growth is based on feelings, moods, and interests. In other words, your daily growth is dependent on your daily feelings. But intentional growth takes place because of a commitment to a well-developed plan. Optional growth is based on a desire to grow while intentional growth is based on a discipline to grow. And the discipline is often stimulated by the specifics of a growth plan. When you have a written plan, your personal growth moves from the vast playground of noble ideas to the narrow sweet spot of your potential.
2. It Increases Growth Traction – Author and consultant, Bobb Biehl provides a simple but insightful formula for making progress: Track + Action = Traction. Some leaders are very action-oriented, yet often find themselves spinning their wheels. They fail to gain traction because they’ve never created a quality plan to run on. Other leaders have the opposite problem–they make plans but are horrible at execution. The key is to create a quality track (growth plan) coupled with accountability for action. A solid growth plan includes four ingredients: a clear growth goal, practical action steps, personal accountability, and a regular evaluation process. Such a plan provides a track, stimulates action, and results in traction.
3. It Reveals and Enables Your Potential – If I were to ask a college freshman, “Do you have the potential to lead a multi-million dollar company?” they may or may not respond positively. But what would happen if that same student graduated with a degree in organizational leadership, pursued an MBA, aggressively read everything they could get their hands on about business excellence, interviewed high-capacity leaders monthly, attended leadership conferences annually, interned with a great company, and met regularly with a business coach? If, after all of their personal growth efforts, I were to ask this same student about their potential to lead a multi-million dollar company, their response would likely be an emphatic “yes!” Why? Because past growth reveals future potential. So imagine what could happen over a lifetime if every year you created and implemented a clear, purposeful, written growth plan. The pursuit of your plan would enable personal growth which in turn would reveal your potential for the future.
Questions: Do you have a written personal growth plan? If not, what is keeping you from crafting your own plan for personal and professional development?