I’m refreshing resources in preparation to run mentoring sessions to help people develop a Professional Development Plan. I want to give people a different perspective on what it means to take charge of your own development. To unleash greater creativity and boldness. To help transform approaches to professional development. To help people stretch and build future-ready learning skills and habits.
I checked on Jacob Morgan’s YouTube channel where he posts about the future of work. Some of his videos are aimed at employers and leaders, other at individuals. I was looking for content talks about why continuous learning is an essential skill and habit for individuals. I discovered one I hadn’t seen previously which excited me. It’s something I think I would benefit from applying. My reaction is an indicator that it’s worth sharing with others. It contains one key idea.
Morgan’s ‘One Rule to Keep Growing and Learning’ is to do one thing every year you haven’t done before – and to do it really well. He’s talking about something big that you embed as a foundational element in the way your work and think (I would add ‘learn’ to this list of verbs). While Morgan talks about this in the context of building his personal brand (which can be inside an organisation or outside), it is completely relevant to your professional development and future-proofing your career.
Looking back on 2018 the one big thing I did was to launch Learning Uncut podcast with my colleagues Karen Moloney and Amanda Ashby. Of course, it wasn’t the only thing I did that I hadn’t done before, just the one that was the biggest stretch and took the most effort. It will also continue so is now a foundational element of my work.
I have several options to decide between for my one new thing for 2019. “Do I really need to limit myself to one?” If I want to do it really well … the answer if probably yes. Morgan’s point is about becoming great at one new thing. It’s about focus.
I’ve been hesitating to name my one thing as there is an opportunity cost. Putting effort and resources into one thing means less investment in other things. After leaving this penultimate paragraph unwritten for several hours I realise that I’m not quite ready to pick my one thing. I have short list of options. All are things I have done before. However I’ve not done any as well as I would like. None of these skills or practices have reached the standard I aspire too. I’m going to vary Morgan’s advice. Rather than doing one new thing, I’m going to pick one thing I’m already doing. Then I’m going to do it regularly, frequently – and become really good at it. I’m not yet sure which to pick. I’ll create evaluation criteria and rate each option. I’ll also speak with some trusted advisors before finalising my selection.
Watch Morgan’s video below and let me know what you think of his advice. Will you be doing one thing in 2019 that you haven’t done before? What is it and why did you select it?