Personal development and leadership — What I’ve come to know

In my years of building businesses and leading teams, I’ve found that the highest rate of change I’ve had to deal with is within myself.

Having a vision for my numerous business ventures coupled with harnessing the opportunities and resources around me to make that vision a reality, came from a continued sense of understanding and challenging myself. This was not always easy. Failing is the way to learn. Failing forward is the best way to learn.

Being in the education investment sector, we’re continually developing, defining, acquiring and integrating new institutions and methods of learning and developing. Through these interactions, I’ve been able to understand and imbibe the necessary quality to lead: being teachable.

Being teachable is at the heart of personal development. The consistent and persistent willingness to learn and accept constructive feedback on one’s flaws or shortcomings is critical to heightened self-awareness. Self-awareness is bred from having deeper insight and acceptance into real-time emotions, energies, and responses or reactions you project or absorb from an environment.

In the business world, great leaders are always on the quest to provide guidance and direction to those who are inspired by their vision. In a new global survey by Korn Ferry of 7 500 business executives, one of the major recommendations for leadership strategy, that resulted from the survey advised: 
“Encourage a sense of purpose and mission: Individuals and organisations are far more motivated and energised when they are connected to a higher purpose or feel they are providing a service to the world, their customers, and their community.”

The higher sense of purpose is drawn from a heightened sense of self-awareness. Leadership coach and motivational speaker Simon Sinek in his book ‘Start with Why’ explained, ‘The fundamental difference between the “Apples” of the world and everyone else is that they start with “why.’ Asking why means investigating one’s purpose. This is the ongoing course of personal development.

To inspire others is to be inspired. Being inspired comes from investigating and questioning that which we know or think to be true, and needs improvement within ourselves.