Solve your Blind Spots - Deepstash

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6 Ways to Take Control of Your Career Development If Your Company Doesn't Care About It

Solve your Blind Spots

Ask for feedback, learn from it and adjust your performance (or behavior) according to the areas of improvement that you get to know from others.

Example: After giving a presentation, talk about what went well and ask if there is something that you could have done better.

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Leadership Development

Leadership development is viewed as a current and future priority. Despite efforts to produce and nurture new leaders, only 7 percent of senior managers think that their companies develop global leaders effectively. Around 30 percent of US companies admit that they lack enough leaders with the right capabilities.

Overlooking context

Many training initiatives assume that the same group of skills or leadership styles are suitable without considering the strategy or organizational culture of a company.

An excellent leader in one situation does not necessarily perform well in another. Focusing on context means equipping leaders with two or three competencies that will make a distinction to performance, rather than a list of leadership standards that is of no specific benefit.

Separate reflection from real work

Companies face a challenge when it comes to planning the program's curriculum.  Adults typically retain only 10 percent of what they hear in classroom lectures, but nearly two-thirds when they learn by doing. 

The answer seems straightforward: tie leadership development to real on-the-job projects. While it is not easy to create opportunities that simultaneously address high-priority needs, companies should strive to make every major business project a leadership-development opportunity as well.

Motivation to learn

We have an impressive ability to learn, but our motivation to do so tends to decrease with age:

  • As children, we are naturally curious and free to explore the world around us. 
  • As adults, we are much more interested in preserving what we have learned, to the point of resisting any information that challenges our views and opinions.
Knowledge and expertise

In this digital age, knowledge and expertise have been devalued.

What you know is now less relevant than what you can learn, and employers are less interested in hiring people with particular expertise than with the general ability to develop the right expertise in the future.

Access to information

When we can all retrieve the same information, the key differentiator is not access to data, but the ability to make use of it, the capacity to translate the available information into useful knowledge.

Benefits of a learning culture

During the last recession, companies that invested in their employees, in part by providing the training they needed to move forward in their careers, enjoyed profit gains of 26 percent, compared to losses of 14 percent at companies that were worst at this type of engagement.

When hiring, screen for learners
  • Ask about passion projects. Learners tend to pursue something else outside work (training for a marathon, playing with a band, etc.)
  • Focus on curiosity as much as hard skills. Bring up problems currently facing the team and see how the candidate responds.
  • One of the most important things to a learning mindset is the ability to admit you don't know something. So be aware of how they approach the things they don't understand.
Learning as a company policy

This means explicitly defining ongoing learning as a core company value.

Empowering employees can mean providing the time or money to enable learning - in other words, offering learning opportunities as a job benefit like health insurance.