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Senior Correspondent

I received an email question, “Some people in our organization aren’t interested in personal development. What can we do?”


Personal development is the top priority for everyone passionate to maximize their opportunities. It’s not selfish to develop yourself so that you can expand your service.

Never be a martyr. Put the oxygen mask on yourself before helping others. Everyone wins.

Along with personal development, commit to develop your team. “The team with the best players wins,” Jack Welch.


Enhance your work culture by honoring team members who value and embrace personal development.

  1. Provide free books, training and other resources.
  2. Honor buy-in with high-opportunity, high-profile jobs.
  3. Begin meetings with short discussions regarding principles team members are learning and applying.
  4. Ask a team member to begin a meeting by reading a paragraph from a book they found useful.
  5. Publicly recognize and reward those who complete personal development opportunities.
  6. Have a monthly pizza party to celebrate personal development and share lessons learned.
  7. Adopt a weekly leadership behavior that all team members focus on, try listening, positive affirmations or candor.


Some team members are stuck or stagnant due to fear. Give them time to embrace a personal development culture. Encourage them.

You may need to “manage out” the dead weight, eventually. Send them to your competitors. Do so carefully and in the best interest of all parties.


Reject the “leadership principle of the day” approach. This happens when leader haphazardly jump from one leadership principle to another without following through on any. You look weak and foolish when you do this.


Choose leadership principles, resources, and behaviors that align with your values, current projects, or greatest opportunities.

How can leaders create a culture where team member development is a priority?

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