1.4 The Value of Self Development

Know the Value of Self-Development

Successful people are always focused on improving themselves and growing through increased knowledge and new experiences.  Although the process and means by which one chooses to grow may vary, the end result is always the same.  A strong focus on individual growth and development is the key to personal and business success.

Your Career, Your Growth, Your Responsibility

The first step in any type of personal development begins with a personal assessment.  Step back, take a hard look at yourself, and ask yourself this important question: “Is this the career path I truly wish to be on?”

If so, be honest with yourself and conduct a personal evaluation.  Start by determining what natural talents, skills, life experiences, etc. you currently possess that will help you be successful on this career path.  Next, determine which ones you don’t have yet, but need to acquire.  The results of this personal inventory will become the basis of your self-development plan.

Creating a self-development plan is an interesting exercise.  In its simplest format, you list the areas of strengths you have and identify ways to utilize them more extensively.

You also list key areas for development, and then develop action steps to acquire or address them.

As you continue to assess yourself, you will move into unfamiliar areas.  These areas may be uncomfortable and even difficult for you, but as long as you are learning and growing then there is value. 

No one can build a self-development plan for you, but it is important that you build one for yourself and constantly update it.  Having a plan and revisiting it on at least a quarterly basis helps you keep yourself on track and moving forward toward success.

“Those who reach decisions promptly and definitely know what they want, generally get it.  The leaders in every walk of life decide quickly and firmly.  That is the major reason why they are leaders.  The world has a habit of making room for the man or woman whose words and actions show that they know where they are going.” 

                                                                                                                    –Napoleon Hill


Creative Ways to Develop Yourself as a Program Director

It is said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.  Start an action list of creative ways to move yourself from where you are now to where you want to be!

  • Discover yourself by completing a personal assessment or personality indicator test.  It is also very helpful to lead your team through this exercise, as the results can provide insight on how to effectively lead, manage, and motivate others.
  • Attend the “5 Dysfunctions of a Team” seminar, based on the New York Times best seller by Patrick Lencioni.  Topics covered in this seminar include building trust, mastering conflict, focusing on results, achieving commitment, and embracing accountability – ALL needed for an effective team.
  • Learn and understand how to effectively manage your time.  Be a successful Program Director by focusing on the project at hand. 
  • Learn the business acumen essential for success. 
  • Present to various audiences.  Public speaking and presenting are a valuable skill that will certainly be beneficial as a Program Director at a PSS. 
  • Make attendance at personal development opportunities and events a priority.
  • Constantly be on the lookout for books to help you expand your knowledge in areas of training and leadership.  A few that are standards for Parisi include:
    • Success Patterns by Bill Parisi
    • The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni
    • Good to Great by John Collins
    • From Worst to First by Gordon Bethune


Remember that growth opportunities occur in many different formats, well-beyond formal education such as classes or conferences.  Think outside the box to learn and develop on-the-job from challenging projects or new experiences and expand yourself through others via networking and mentoring.