The intentional process or effort one makes to continuously develop one's own character, knowledge, skills and abilities.


Those who learn, grow and change continuously across their careers are the most successful. Whatever skills you have now are unlikely to be enough in the future. Acquiring new skills is the best insurance you can get for an uncertain future. Some of us won't face our limitations or we make excuses. Others are defensive and fight any corrective feedback. Some of us don't have time for development or simply don't know what to do.

Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance.Proverbs 1:5

Skilled Characteristics

  • Committed

    Is personally committed to and actively works to continuously improve him/herself

  • Flexible

    Understands that different situations and levels may call for different skills and approaches

  • Developer

    Works to develop one’s strengths

  • Compensator

    Works on compensating for one’s weakness and limitations

What is the most impactful book, workshop, person, scripture, article, etc, that you learned something significant from in the past 6 months?

Unskilled Characteristics

  • Lazy

    Doesn’t put in the effort to grow and change

  • Lack Awareness

    May not know what to work on or how

  • Hesitant

    May know what to learn or develop but doesn’t act on it

  • Rigid

    Doesn’t adjust approach to different audiences and situations

  • Dismissive

    May be immune to negative feedback—arrogant or defensive

  • Fear Failure

    May fear failure and the risk of admitting weaknesses

  • Doubt

    May not believe people really change, therefore it’s not worth the effort

  • Fooled

    May believe one’s current skills are good enough or sufficient

  • Busy

    May believe in development but is always too busy – prioritizes other things before ongoing learning

What is your personal learning goal for the year?

Causes of Weakness

  • Arrogant

    Believe you don’t have any weaknesses

  • Defensive

    Protects oneself from negative feedback

  • Unaware

    Don’t know what you should be developing

  • Unsure

    Don’t know HOW to develop, learn or grow in an area

  • Negative

    Don’t believe that it is really possible for people (or oneself) to change

  • Fear

    Fear of failure or of admitting one’s weaknesses

  • Busy

    Too busy focusing on other things such as work – doesn’t prioritize personal learning and development

What is holding you back from continuing to learn, develop and grow to your maximum?


Review the simple application steps below and choose 1 or 2 things you can do to spur yourself on to further growth.

  • Assessment

    ASSESSMENT: find a good assessment, a 360° questionnaire, or poll 10 people who know you well to give you detailed feedback on what you do well and not well, what they’d like to see you keep doing, start doing and stop doing.

  • Categorize

    CATEGORIZE YOUR SKILLS: Assess yourself in the following areas: Strengths, Overdone Strengths, Hidden Strengths, Blind Spots, Weaknesses, Untested Areas

  • What's Important

    WHAT’S IMPORTANT? Find out what’s important for your current role and the two or three next roles you might have an opportunity to get. What might you need to be learning to prepare yourself?

  • Leverage Strengths

    LEVERAGE STRENGTHS: How can you use your strengths more on the job, or to help others?

  • Develop Your Weaknesses

    DEVELOP YOUR WEAKNESSES: Create a development plan with 4 main parts: (1) stretching tasks in which you develop the skill or fail at the task; (2) continued feedback to help you understand how you’re doing; (3) building skills through courses, books and workshops; (4) and thoughtfully transfer all your learning into your real life activities.

  • Compensate

    COMPENSATE: Find others who do your weakness well, change roles or restructure your current role.

  • Untested Areas

    UNTESTED AREAS: Look for real chances to develop in areas that you’ve never had a chance to try before. Find out what the core demands of performance in the unknown area are, then work on those before they are necessary. Get involved in small versions of your untested areas.

  • Blind Spots

    BLIND SPOTS: Collect more feedback from people and be open to consider weaknesses you may have but have been unaware of. Study three people who are good at this and compare what you do with what they do.