Back to Reality

When is the ideal time to learn something new?  Put another way, when is there ever a quiet few months in which to tackle personal development goals?  I doubt there ever will be an ‘ideal’ or ‘quiet’ time, since the stack of competing claims on our time is increasing daily.  It might take a very long time to roll the dice correctly to earn permission to start.

Two dice

Make a choice, don’t leave development to luck


There’s also always the risk that some senior colleagues view that time as time spent being unproductive.

I vividly recall saying as much to a colleague whom I mentored.  His aspiration was to earn a promotion from his entry level management role to the next management grade.

I encouraged him to look at the common attributes called for in the roles he wanted to hold.  I supported him in identifying voluntary opportunities in his current role that he could exploit, to demonstrate his potential.  We came up with a twelve month development timetable he could follow, to gradually build up his skills portfolio.  His goal was to be at the front of the promotion pack one year hence.  Then reality intervened.

Somehow my mentee’s line manager never got around to creating the space for his wider potential to be demonstrated.  Perhaps that manager liked the results he was getting from my mentee and thought my mentee was happy staying in that role.  Inevitably that line manager then left.

Their successor needed to focus on maintaining results, not developing people.

An internal re-organisation followed.

Before the dust settled the ideal time for development had passed.

If there is a lesson to take away from this example, it may be this.  However difficult the reality, the ideal time for development may just be ‘now’.

A bit about Goals (and Motivation)

I was thinking about goals earlier today and the inner qualities we need to hold on to as we support ourselves moving forward.  Not everyone believes that ‘I can reach out for what I want’.  There’s a timely quote from the late Steve Jobs which helps in thinking about this issue:

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart, and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

(From an Address by Steve Jobs to a Stanford University Commencement Class on June 12 2005).

Obviously having the courage to follow your heart depends on: what stage you have reached in your life; what the people who depend on you think; your basic level of optimism.

Half full, or half empty?

A glass of water filled half way to the top


On top of those points there is the fact that different people see the same situation differently.  One person sees an opportunity, where another sees a threat.  The coach is only going to be able to work successfully with one of these people.

#YourGoals : When Will You Ask For The Things That You Need?

How Are You Feeling About Your 2014 Goals?

How Are You Feeling About Your 2014 Goals?

Do you have too little time to take a break from work? Or are you always too busy to make time for yourself (because you are prioritising someone else’s goals over your own)?

When you look at your answers to those questions, how happy are you with your reality? Are your authentic needs being met, at the same rate as the needs of those people around you?  How do your choices reflect your values; your standards of professional leadership; and your sense of personal fulfilment?

What Can You Do To Achieve An Authentic Balance In Your Life?

If you need to start adjusting your goals concerning that balance, there is a link in the next paragraph to a wonderfully simple TED* talk given by Dr Laura Trice, in February 2008.  Do yourself a favour and invest four minutes during your next break to look at what Laura has to say. I think you will be glad you did.

When Will You Set Yourself A Specific Goal To Ask For What You Actually Need?

Laura’s presentation shows that you can say thank you and ask for what you need By doing so you will motivate those around you to act differently.  You also deepen your authentic connections to others, at work and at home. Try it and see what happens. I’d love to hear how you get on (you can send me a tweet @RogerD_Said ).

There are more ideas relating to your work and life goals in the Archive section here and on Facebook and Google+ too.  Or if you are a Linkedin user you can visit View Roger Dennison’s profile

*In case you are unfamiliar with the acronym TED stands for Technology Entertainment Design.  It is a non-profit organisation devoted to ideas worth spreading.


Why Blog about Self-Development?

I am fascinated by people’s ability to Learn, Change and Grow in their professional or personal lives, once they have set their mind to it.

My management career started in the 1990s.  Over the following two decades I was privileged to help colleagues, who wanted to change, do so.

It was great to help them work out what learning opportunities existed and how they could make the most of them.  It was a definite Win-Win situation: colleagues got to grow personally and professionally; the organisation benefitted from their growth.

I found it incredibly positive to play a part in helping others achieve better results.  There are a number of strategies which can produce that result.

I recognise that increasingly Coaching and Mentoring, as well as good support from their management can all help people embrace change.  I’ll reflect on those areas and others in this blog.