Why Investing in Personal Development is Integral to Social Enterprise Leadership
We’ve all heard of it.
But what is it and why is it important? Beyond being an occasional buzz word, at its core, personal development is a lifelong commitment to becoming the best version of yourself. It’s not always shiny and rosy either. Sometimes personal development is just plain hard. It’s important to stress that personal development is a mindset, not a ‘quick fix’ seminar or weekend course.
To lead a team requires strength of character and an infectious vision. This is particularly important when it comes to social entrepreneurship. A strong leader who has a keen sense of themselves, their values and direction and an ability to communicate this is going to be more equipped to inspire others. However, for most of us these skills don’t come naturally. They require work.
Over time, leaders who have consciously worked on their own self-development will stand out. Furthermore, they’ll be more likely to maintain the energy and the drive that it takes to guide and motivate a team to create large-scale change.
The Identity Trap
As a social entrepreneur, having the ability to separate what you do from who you are is crucial. It’s easy to fall into the trap of throwing yourself so into your work that each business win is your win and each loss is your loss. You’re either doing great or you’re not enough. Personal development, through a process of self-awareness, can facilitate the separation of your identity from your business’ performance. Entrepreneurs who do this are more resilient, more adaptive to change and open to new opportunities.
A key part of personal development is taking the time to reflect on what you’ve learnt. In social enterprise, there are constant demands and for some it might seem difficult or almost impossible to take time out. However, reflection is crucial. It creates space to understand how you’re tracking and to identify where you can be personally more effective to get the most out of yourself and your team.
The greatest leaders will not only realise that personal development is essential for them, but for their staff as well. Increasing your team’s learning will not only increase motivation and empower them in their job but also help them thrive. You will find that your business starts performing better too!
The key to effective personal development is to recognise that it requires ongoing effort and a commitment to a journey.