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Thursday, February 23, 2017
Professional Development Programs & Why Some Of it Disgusts Me...
I am a big proponent of lifelong learning and professional development. To be honest, it’s how I make my living as a business and leadership development coach. With that in mind, the intent of this article is not to undermine professional development in any way, or its necessity in both personal and organizational development. I’ve personally witnessed the impact it often has on individuals and organizations alike that are both committed to it, and who buy-in to the process. When engaged in properly, professional development can be life changing, and can have huge impacts on a company’s bottom-line.
As someone in the industry, I’ve become jaded with a lot of the programs available that are being actively promoted as personal growth and development. In other words, low-ticket and high-ticket items alike that have little substance to them whatsoever. I don’t care whether someone invests $97, $297, or $4997, value needs to be delivered to those individuals and organizations that have invested in themselves. It’s the right thing to do.
As a lifelong student of business and leadership, I’ve invested tens of thousands of dollars through the years in my business and myself. As my good friend and mentor, Jim Whitt says, “I’ve turned over a lot of rocks.” Some of the things I have found have worked for me, and some of them have not. And I’m okay with that, and you should be too if you make the decision to invest in yourself. There have been times that one piece of advice or wisdom has been worth the total investment I’ve made. And there have also been times when I didn’t see the immediate impact in my life, yet 2-3 years down the road, I was able to see where the things I had learned now benefit me. However, I’ve also eagerly awaited programs to show up on my doorstep, only to find out that it was audio CDs, books, and big binders filled with nothing but filler and fluff. It was garbage. I could use another word here, but I’m choosing not to. The problem here is two-fold: 1) it does a gross injustice to the client, and 2) it gives the personal growth and development industry a bad name. Please note, I’ve personally met a lot of people through the years who are in this space for all of the right reasons. They really want to make an impact with others, and want to make a difference. They aren’t simply in it to make a quick buck on someone else’s preoccupation with their own journey to success and significance.
Quite simply, people who are investing in themselves and their businesses want workable solutions. They want answers to their problems. They want systems and processes they can use and implement to help them get from where they are now to where they want to be. Many of them do not need to be told to “Take Action,” “Write Down Your Goals,” and “Recite Affirmations Daily,” etc. While all of these may be good advice or bits of wisdom, the “3-5 percenters” are looking for something more, and it’s our obligation as business, personal growth, and leadership development professionals to give it to them.
I will finish with this: If we’re really here to empower others and to make an impact, let’s make sure we are delivering a quality product in the process while we are fulfilling our unique purpose in life.
Nathan R Mitchell is the Founder of Clutch Consulting, a business and leadership coaching company committed to Growing Businesses & Empowering People. He is a Certified Speaker, Trainer, and Coach with the John Maxwell Team, and a Certified Behaviors & Motivators Analyst.