This article is the part of a series - Note to a Software Developer Six Sigma. Before you read this article, I highly recommend you to read my introduction note.
This is my second article, Sigma 3, of my series “Note to a Software Developer”.
I’ve come across many developers, who are proactive in the beginning of their job, then they loose their interest and go blank; thus they are waiting for Employer to offer some training or a kick from their Managers’.
Let me be honest here that “Personal (or Professional) development is not somebody’s responsibility”. You have been employed because of your knowledge and it is solely your responsibility to maintain this rhythm. I am repeating here your Personal Growth is your responsibility to manage and pursue your professional (and yes, personal — they are in fact connected) goals.
In this article, I am going to talk you about three main points that you should use while building a Personal Development Process.
List down your Powers (strengths) and most importantly keep a track of these strengths. Your strengths will be your result card to track your progress.
You don’ t need to build a list on “Weaknesses”. However, my recommendation is to build a 5 key strengths that you need improvements and categorize those as your strengths with Power meter (level).
Keep it simple as much you can. And I recommend you carry this list as a hard copy so that you can view anytime, every time. This will help you to keep your mind focused on 5 strengths at a time.
Once the power level of specific item is 100%, remove it from your strength list and add another item that you would like to improve. Remember, you want to build strength that you don’t have and that is what this Power List is for.
Do a few things at mastery versus many things at mediocrity.
2. Planing and Correcting
As you will go to the path of self-improvement you need to understand that there is no correct path and if there is, you will find an another that is better than the current one. Of course, you need some sort of a plan that will lead your Power meter to 100%. But it is hard to find one when you don’t know what is right. That is why Planning (
NOT PLAN) is required.
There is a difference between “plans” and “planning”. Planning is an active way of discussing the goals, objectives, strategies and tasks that we need to accomplish. Plans are the documentations of planning. Since things change, plans need to get updated on a regular basis. Planning is a continuous process that helps us adjust course, keep on-track and make accomplishing our goals more likely.
In this planning process (Plan+Act), you’ll make mistakes, as will your team, your customers, and your board. And you’ll fix those mistakes by honestly taking stock and changing the way you do things. That is why you need Correcting.
Correcting is the path of self-improvement and it is a MUST for leaders.
Make the work you are doing today better than the work you did yesterday.
The bottom line is, Keep planning, Keep Correcting.
3. Show and Learn
I believe learning is the part of life. Just like Business, where change is a must, we need to have a reflection of those changes.
Till now you have identified strengths and made some planning with accommodating feedbacks (correcting). Now, it is your time to show some output. The output that can be measured against the power that you are trying to achieve. This output could be in any form and you should be able to “SHOW” (measure).
The best leaders are the most dedicated learners. Read great books daily. Investing in your self-development is the best investment you will ever make.
Message: You are a Leader.
In conclusion, you are the owner of your own future. You must know your powers that you want to achieve. You need to define your planning with continuous improvements. Whatever you do, the output should be measured against the power that you have act against. I will end this session with the great quote from “Swami Vivekananda”:
We are responsible for what we are, and whatever we wish ourselves to be, we have the power to make ourselves. If what we are now has been the result of our past actions, it certainly follows that whatever we wish to be in future can be produced by our present actions; so we have to know how to act.