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Take Charge of Your Professional and Personal Development

One of your most important leadership goals for 2018 should concern your own development as a leader. After all, if you’re not growing as a leader, and improving your leadership skills, how do you expect to accomplish any of your other goals for the year?

This is particularly true for new leaders and new managers. One of the biggest mistake new leaders make is thinking they already know everything they need to know in order to excel in their new leadership role. However, the skills, knowledge, and experiences that create a successful and talented individual contributor are not necessarily transferable to the role of a leader. The truth is, you will never learn everything you need to know to be a great leader. Continuous learning and development are mandatory for continued leadership success.

For instance, you may know how to motivate yourself. But what motivates you is not necessarily what motivates any or all of your team members. The same applies to communication preferences. You may prefer delivering your messages orally, but some team members may need to see these in writing for them to understand and retain the information in them. This advice from Jedi Master Yoda is particularly relevant for new leaders, “You must unlearn what you have learned.

Your development as a leader will also come through experiences, especially difficult ones. As basketball coach Morgan Wooten has noted, “You learn more from losing than winning. You learn to keep going.

The art of great leadership requires a continuous evaluation and evolution of one’s own leadership skills, mindset, philosophy, actions, and development.

All great leaders know that they need to continuously develop themselves. This is why taking charge and leading one’s own personal and professional development is a core component of the art of great leadership.

To help you get started, here are eight of my favorite quotations related to leading one’s own self development as a leader, taken from my new book Great Leadership Words of Wisdom:

Don’t ever wait around for someone else to tell you how to develop yourself. April Arnzen 

Great Leadership Quotes | Quotations on Leadership

Great Leadership Words of Wisdom

The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life — mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical. Julius Erving

Nothing so conclusively proves a man’s ability to lead others as what he does from day to day to lead himself. Thomas J. Watson

A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others. Ayn Rand

Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going. Jim Rohn

We can often do more for others by trying to correct our own faults than by trying to correct theirs. François Fénelon

He who knows others is learned; He who knows himself is wise. Lao-Tzu

The world makes way for the man who knows where he is going. Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Best wishes for continued success as you grow into becoming a better leader in 2018.


This article is partially excerpted from the book Great Leadership Words of Wisdom, available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. 

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