Over the years, I’ve developed a healthy use of “Liz-isms” – those phrases that I use to drive home a point when I’m facilitating with groups. These include my oft-used boardisms and other parenting sayings that my kids have learned to both imitate (and hopefully internalize!). As a former English teacher raised by an English teacher, phrases like “words matter” ring true for me both in work and life, especially when it comes to illustrating important aspects of volunteer leadership.
One of my favorites was taken off a T-shirt my maternal grandmother gave me shortly after I graduated from USF. As a former educator raised by a long line of educators, this is something that was ingrained in me from an early age.
With the idea of continual improvement models and aiming for exceptional (even if we never get there) in mind, the point I’ve taken away from this is to never stop learning. To never get complacent. To never rest on my proverbial laurels and to in short, always be seeking out other things to educate myself on. The challenge is… how do you keep learning when there’s already so much to do?
All said it’s been several years since I’ve personally spent a significant amount of time researching and reading. Between the “balance” of work, parenting, personal life, exercise, and well… sleep I find that the time to keep up with all of the interesting resources available becomes increasingly elusive.
In all honesty, I just don’t absorb information and take the time to reflect on what they could mean for my business, my clients and my community as much as I would like to. I’ve become a hoarder of virtual and hard copy books – in other words, Amazon and Thriftbooks have become the friends on which my home office is built on.
As a recovering perfectionist, it’s easy for me to be critical of myself for not getting to all of these resources. But, as I’m half-way through my 10th year of consulting and on the precipice of a significant birthday in 2020, I’m taking pause to reflect on this aspect of my life:
How do I make professional development part of my company culture? How will I personally balance my interests with my limitations? How do I make this more than just an event on my calendar that I snooze, snooze, reschedule and eventually ignore?
Though I often avoid making New Year’s resolutions, I find that I still enter each year with a focus on what I’d like to accomplish. Whether this is the outlining of business/personal goals, writing a performance letter for my executive women’s group or just having a new mantra I work on being intentional – and much of that intention is focused on continual learning and/or continual improvement.
So this year, I’m moving back to the intentional learning part of building my business. I’ll be setting aside deep work time to read & reflect on several resources… and we’ll be sharing many along the way. And I’m inviting you to join me:
How will you make continual learning part of your 2020 success?
Interested in knowing what professional development favorites we keep up with? Check out Stanford Social Innovation Review, BoardSource, Harvard Business Review, Inc Magazine, Chronicle of Philanthropy and the Tampa Bay Business Journal.
We’d love to hear about your own professional development goals! Please feel free to share your favorites in the comment section.
Are you looking for a coach or ongoing accountability partner to help you reach your professional development goals? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to connect or schedule a free 30 minute consultation with a team member to find out how we can help support you.
About the Author: Liz Wooten-Reschke is President/CEO of Connect For More. CFM engages leaders and empowers philanthropists to help them accomplish their mission. As the lead consultant Liz focuses her efforts on providing ongoing support & coaching for chief executives and volunteers of nonprofits, workshop & retreat facilitation, and customized engagements to enhance board governance, agency strategy and leadership experience with her clients. Liz is a Certified Dare to Lead™ Facilitator and BoardSource Certified Governance Trainer. She is a proud member of the University of South Florida Alumni Association Board, a fourth generation Floridian and Key West Conch. She lives in Tampa, Florida, with her partner, four children, two dogs, and one cat. For more information about Liz or her work, please visit her company website, follow her on Twitter, or visit her Amazon author page