Bernie Anderson
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the blog

Current musings, whatever they may be. 

Investment In Development (Someone’s Gotta Do It)


People grow and develop. Anyone in a healthy physical and mental state can get better. You, and the person sitting next to you, can increase capacity.

This is the growth mindset. You can get better.

While this is an important consideration for our own personal growth and development, it’s especially important for leaders and organizations.

Where your people are today doesn’t have to be where your people will be in six months, or a year, or ten. years. Not only are people generally capable of growth, but most people also want to grow. Work well-done can’t help but bring greater happiness and job satisfaction to workers. Perhaps, more important, is the research covered in this 2016 article by Belle Beth Cooper: the factor that leads to the most employee satisfaction at work isn’t money. It’s autonomy.

Satisfaction is becoming so good at what I do that it can’t be ignored. To be a lynchpin.

Read the books with the research. This isn’t a new idea.

But it’s an important idea.

And it’s one with some significant implications.

Invest in development.

Professional development should be in every budget and on every annual calendar. The non-profit world is the worst at this. Rare is the non-profit who feels the freedom to invest in her current leaders, let alone her emerging leaders. This is a critical investment that we ignore to our peril.

Invest in yourself

If your company or organization is not investing in your personal growth and development (or if they are investing in the wrong kind of development), this is on you. This is on the choices you make. Organizations are slow to see the value of development. Invest in yourself. Make some choices with your time and your energy. Read more of the right books and professional journals. Invest in online courses. Finish out a degree. Take vacation time to go to a conference related to your field.

When you’ve led from the back to point that you’re leading from the front, take everything you’ve learned from your own development and invest in others.

That’s much better on your mental health than complaining about how little your parent organization cares.

I long for the day when organizations use the word “growth” in the context of people more than in the context of profit. Developed people bring more value and ultimately more profit and better results.