You may have heard the term “create your masterpiece” in relation to life goals and personal development. I believe it applies to your management development as well. If you follow this Blog, you know that taking personal responsibility for your own professional development is a core principle.
How does one go about this development?
This is where I suggest the analogy about creating your own masterpiece. You could call it a Development Plan, a Goal Plan, whatever, but let’s use “Creating My Own Masterpiece” for professional development. This may sound basic at first but it is powerful as a concept. Let’s get this on track. If you are expecting your company or someone else to come along with just the right career long training and development plan, then think again. Most corporate programs are aimed at corporate objectives. Training departments come across the latest “quick fix” program currently in vogue. In the 12 years I spent with one large corporation, there were at least 6 such programs. I guess each succeeding one was the next best thing?
It’s all about you. You are the Artist responsible for creating your own professional development Masterpiece. It may will take you an entire career. It will take great effort. It will take planning and modifications over time but in the end you can create your professional life masterpiece. Why not? The more science looks into the human genome and studies the neurology of how the brain works, the more amazing the human being becomes. At some point in our evolution, homo-sapiens change how the brain processes energy that allowed us to develop a brain many times bigger than our body size warranted. The significance here is that every one of us has the makings of being a master piece. We can accomplish great things. Achieve results beyond our current expectations. But here’s the rub, no one is going to do it for you.
So, let’s at least get started in the right direction. Here is your “Visualization” exercise. Let’s see our entire professional development program as being applied to a large canvas. Picture a 4 x 4 foot painters canvas. Now you are going to start laying out all the key things you want to accomplish and particularly all the training and development needs you have now. More can be added in the future. I remember in my 5 hour Humanities Class in college, looking at all the sketches the Michelangelo did before he ever started painting on the canvas.
Next, actually take out a piece of paper, better yet, get a large piece of wrapping paper about 4 x 4 feet and tape it to a wall. Divide your Visual Canvas into at least 16 – 20 sections. With a pencil, lightly divide it into 16 – 20 squares, just to give us a framework. As a starting point, jot down at least the following items in the top of any box (except for the 4 center boxes).
The 4 Center boxes are reserved for your 4 most important career goals. Your ultimate accomplishments. These will be added as your career unfolds.
Strategic Planning Skills
Time Management Skills
Stress Management skills
Leave the last few Blank as you will find other management skill development goals as your career unfolds.
For each of these boxes, pencil in the next most needed “skill/knowledge” development you feel you could use as a next step. That’s it. This is where you start. Once you have a “skill development” goal in each box you simply start with the most important and find a way to acquire it. It may be a training program at work or at a local university. The Chamber or Commerce may offer classes. Go on-line and Google the specific skill (skill/training). As you accomplish one skill objective, take a colored marker and “paint” it in a section of the that box (leave room in each box for more). You can draw a picture depicting the skill or scroll out a description. Use a lot of colors to really have fun with it.
Now you have started painting your unique Career Development Masterpiece. Believe me the power of this process is terrific. Don’t assume for one minute that this is not both fun and career changing. It is. You must take responsibility for this development. You have all the capacity that is needed for growth, development, change and achievement. Why would anyone settle for less?