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What’s the biggest obstacle to you investing in your own development?


SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 210,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

What’s the biggest obstacle to you investing in your own development?

  • I don’t have time: 42%
  • I don’t have budget: 20%  
  • I don’t need development: 1%
  • I can’t find any good development opportunities: 8%
  • My boss won’t let me: 7%
  • Some other reason/combination of the above: 23%

Making time for what’s important. I’m sure some of the 23% of “other/combo of the above” involves not having time to develop yourself. I’d argue you don’t have time to ignore your own development. If you’re not doing your job as efficiently and as effectively as you can, you’re wasting time on rework, fixing problems, or generally not knowing the best way to do something. Unfortunately people don’t plan beyond the week ahead. I challenge you to change this dynamic. Carve out some time every quarter to invest in yourself. Allocate the budget to it. Sometimes all it takes is a day or two for you to build that next level of skills. If you don’t set aside the time or the money, it’ll never happen. It’s sort of like retirement planning. It’s not up to your boss to figure out your development plan or make it happen. It’s purely on you whether you choose to invest in yourself or simply be satisfied with how things are going now.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS and the host of the upcoming Executive Insight 16 — a leadership conference being held in New York this November.