First and foremost, Happy New Year and thanks for reading my blog, Your Career, where we share insights to develop yourself as a learning leader. I love New Year’s because it offers us a fresh start and the opportunity to plan how to maximize the year in front of us; this includes our development.
As you consider what to include in your development, I’d like for you to consider the popular children’s fairytale, Goldilocks and the Three Bears. In the story,
Goldilocks went for a walk in the forest. When she came upon a house she knocked on the door, and when no one answered she walked right in. Let’s forgive the fact that she committed a crime so we can gain the lesson.
Living in the cottage were three bears, a papa bear, a mama bear and a baby bear. Perhaps she was starved from tramping around in the woods, but Goldilocks helped herself to porridge. One bowl was too hot, another too cold, the last one was just right. The story goes on to tell about when she got tired, how she went upstairs to the bedroom to lay down. The first bed was too hard, the second was too soft, and the third, just right.
Just as Goldilocks evaluated the options to make a choice, you must do the same with your development? First decide what to put in your development plan. Are you looking to enhance skills or change behaviors? Then decide how you will go about learning. Finally, and most important but often forgotten, consider, or even research, how often your new skills and refined behaviors should be demonstrated so you can have maximum success in your organization. Just as Goldilocks found, it can be too much, too little, or just right.
Start by choosing a behavior. Look around and observe how often other leaders demonstrate that behavior. Ask others what they think about the behavior and how often it should be demonstrated so that it’s not too little or too much.
Last year, we conducted a global survey where we asked business professions what behaviors they believe leaders need to demonstrate now and in the future. The results were published in The Global Report: Leadership Traits Insights for Today, Pathway to the Future and in the article, “How Should Today’s Leaders Behave?”
The list of top behaviors is a great guide for you to use when deciding which behaviors to explore. Around the world, and across all four generations in the workforce, leaders share two behaviors in common. They are forward-looking and inspiring. Other important behaviors include displaying intelligence and being honest. Using these behaviors can be a great starting point.
How do you go about deciding what skills and behaviors are too little, too much or just right in your organization? Share your experiences. We’d love to hear from you as you explore how to grow your career in the New Year.