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Small investment for big gains

Published on 15 June 2021

Small investment for big gains

I like to look at this as leadership and in this context leading our own lives. Just like any great leader, they aren’t born great leaders, they learn to become great leaders. Just imagine a life without taking any responsibility for leading your own life; remember no one else will take responsibility for you, so you will be aimlessly existing with a lack of purpose.

Leadership is the action of leading a group of people or an organisation and for the purpose of this article I want you to consider leadership for your career and life. As we know great leaders are renowned as someone who:

  • Motivates: drives forward with purpose and desire.
  • Achieves: this purpose delivers results, improvements and greater understanding
  • Excites: contagious enthusiasm and a positive feeling

When you read those, why wouldn’t you want to take ownership for leading and taking responsibility for your career and life. A key part of leadership is learning and improving, demonstrating how you’ve applied learning to transform. By sharing your learning with others, you start to inspire, influence and motivate others. This can then lead to others sharing their learning with you, which helps you to learn even more. A very easy cycle which can build huge momentum; however, you need to ride your bike to the top of the hill before you can freewheel back down again.

When designing the Strategy & Leadership Assisted Learning Pathway I wanted to focus on purpose, which is why the first module is the Strategy Pyramid. Understanding and then working towards your organisation’s strategy provides you with the “reason why” – the purpose. This can help you to lift your head out of the “here and now”, where you can get lost in the detail and not be able to see the bigger picture, and instead start thinking more strategically. The Goal Achievement Programme, which accompanies this learning journey, helps you to focus on you, creating the goals, life lists and dreams along with the tools to manage self-doubt and drive positive thinking.

By understanding your organisation’s strategy (not just metrics, measures and targets) you can create a better plan to achieve short-term and longer-term goals. Applying the same principles to your career and life means you can design a plan to achieve and keep achieving your goals and ultimately your dreams.

Even though we may already know this, it can be hard to keep it in the forefront of our minds and too often we just focus on immediate demands. Some of the classic excuses include:

  • Lack of time: sounds too easy to just make time, however, having clear priorities on the highest value pieces of work and development can help you to manage your workload and organise time.
  • Lack of understanding: this comes from not understanding the reason why and lack of clarity of direction, by keeping the big picture (and yes, stick a picture up in front of you if you need to) to can remain focussed on the goal, or dream.

Don’t worry if you don’t know what your life goal, career ambition or dream is and definitely don’t feel pressured to have one, or even worse live someone elses dream. If you set time to one side to learn, and above all else become interested in a range of subjects and perspectives, you will become more focussed on what really matters to you. Whatever this is, I’m certain learning & development will play a huge part in this so start building the learning habit now. I often speak of the value I get from 10-minutes each morning, which slowly builds up to over an hour a week. Yes, I miss some days but other days I find a great article, or video, or just reflect for longer. The more I learn the more I want to learn and ultimately improve.

If you would like to join one of our Assisted Learning Pathways and build the learning habit the next start date is Monday 6th September.

Quotes from previous Assisted Learning Pathway students:

“I found the whole programme informative and truly the only course that I have been on that has had such a strong impact on my personal and work life. I always look forward to attending your sessions as the material you provide, as well as the way the discussions are conducted, is highly motivating. I personally like how you always strive to achieve a great balance between theory and practice whilst ensuring the concepts are clearly and professionally explained.” Busola Akinsola, Senior Manager, Resource and Operational Planning at The Open University

“On both a personal and professional note, the timing of this programme was perfect! It has changed my way of thinking about not just work but also personally to different situations. It has made me more proactive in preparation for meetings/presentations as I am able to apply the techniques I have learned to get the desired results from my audience and to also ask more insightful questions to gain a better understanding of the task/situation. I have applied this to my immediate team but also to my wider stakeholders.” James Waller, Strategic Change Analyst at eon

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Author: Alison Conaghan

Categories: Strategy & Leadership


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