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Ten commandments of self development
Jun 02, 2006 12:01 PM 2112 Views
(Updated Jun 02, 2006 12:01 PM)


(*Prof R S S Mani is an eminent management educator & HRD Consultant of repute; U can reach him on )

  1. Leave your comfort zone:

Many people feel very comfortable and complacent in their comfort zone. Comfort zone refers to those areas of work with which we are happiest or fastest at. It is often observed that people bask in their previous glory and stop putting further efforts towards development. Thus, they breed a feeling of indifference within themselves and towards others around them.

2.Learning is a never-ending process:

This realisation could go a very long way in our process of self-development. Let us remember that education and training is a time-bound process but this is not the case with learning. One of the easiest ways to continue learning is to cultivate the reading habit. This not only enriches your knowledge and skills but helps you to shape your personality and character. Busy executives can spend travel time by reading. It is often rightly said ''A house without books is like a body without a soul''.

3.Attend seminars/conferences/workshops:

Many executives do so but more often than not the choice of the above depends on factors like location and comforts than on contents. We should study various seminar brochures and then decide on those courses which would be of greatest relevance and value-addition to us. We not only learn by listening to distinguished speakers but also learn by interacting with each other.

Further, the relationships so built, go a very long way in our process of self-development. If the company cannot sponsor us for a course which we think would be useful, one should not hesitate to invest one’s own resources for self-enhancement.

4.Develop others:

It is often said that what matters most in our life is what we do for others. It is our moral responsibility to give back at least something to the society at large. It is strongly recommended that executives spend time in teaching students or contribute through professional/social organisations like Rotary, Round Table etc. Various managers teaching in management institutes often share the sentiment that they feel more enriched and developed through this process. Similarly, if we develop our subordinates well enough, it gives us time to focus on our own.

  1. Confront Competition:

Competition gives us the unique opportunity to prove our own abilities and skills. It is healthy to accept that there may be many others who are better qualified or better equipped than us. This gives us the positive impetus to do better and reach greater glories. It would be cowardly and foolish to avoid competition or not accepting that it exists. Similarly, if the competitor is better than us, we should strive for excellence. This also helps us to perform better.

  1. Crisis Management:

Any crisis in one’s professional or personal life should be viewed as a challenge and an opportunity to grow and develop. At the same time, being proactive will go a long way in defusing problems before they blow up into a major crisis. The greatest successes that many people have enjoyed are in tackling the most difficult crisis.

To quote Joan of Arc ''all battles are first won or lost in the mind''.

  1. Practise what you preach:

''Easier said than done'' is an often-repeated remark. But to lead by example is the best way to develop oneself. It is here that executives should ensure that they do not become hypocrites. There are many executives who set double standards and indulge in questionable behaviour. This ruins their credibility among their peers, superiors and subordinates.

8.Develop your personal mission statements:

Many executives confess that their current positions and qualifications have been acquired by accident rather than by design. However, this may not always be true. It is strongly recommended that all executives develop their own mission statement and try to achieve it. This mission statement should be at the macro level or even cover a period of about 2-3 years. Once we have identified and conceptualised our mission statement, the charm and the challenge comes from living to achieve it. This perhaps could be the most rewarding and enjoyable route to



Feedback is an excellent tool for motivation and success. It is important to develop the maturity to accept negative feedback in the right spirit. Furthermore, we should realise that different people might perceive us in different ways. The ideal situation would be when our self-image coincides with how others perceive us. It is here that introspection could help to a great extent. Whilst praises and compliments prove the right energisers, our own assessment too is very valuable and important.

10.Remember: No one is indispensable

Many executives believe that they are indispensable to the organisation and that their absence could make the organisation collapse. Whilst this is wishful thinking, it is often not true. Besides, the executive’s efficiency should be proved in his absence and not in his presence. If the executive has practised delegation and time management, he surely can find time for his own development. Thus, not attending seminars/workshops by claiming to be indispensable is only an exaggeration. Let us remember that everybody is important but nobody is indispensable.

To conclude, most successes are achieved by doing things willingly and doing them without procrastinating. It is all these which add up to make the more meaningful and successful.

Remember: all development begins with self-development.

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