How To Be a Pioneer in Your Own Development

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There are clear shifts happening in our environment. The way people work, live, and play is fundamentally changing. The pace of change, fueled by the Internet, technology, and multi-continent collaboration is fast and furious – inspiring and scary at the same time. As a result, there is another important change happening, albeit a much quieter one. People are beginning to take responsibility for their own development at scale, and it is becoming the norm rather than the exception to pursue a path of self-development.

The New Frontier

  1. Self-development is not the same as self-help. Self-development means to have a focus on your own development, to be the author of your story rather than the main character.
  2. Early pioneers have realized great success. For the first time in a long time (but not the first time ever), news of the success of pioneers is inspiring others to question the status quo. This success is evident in the average person becoming a thought leader; the “mom and pop” business leveraging technology to grow a global clientele; the emergence of brand new business models never conceived before; and the creation of new ways of earning a living that add meaning, reduce travel, and contribute to (rather than subtract from) quality of life.
  3. Consciousness is no longer just for yogis and gurus. In the 1990s the field of psychology made a fundamental shift. For close to a hundred years, this body of research focused on how to heal the psyche from trauma. In the 1990s, the field (and the funding) shifted to include research focused on how to proactively create the conditions that build resilience and long-term flourishing. Psychologists and scientists like Seligman, Grant, Hanson, Fredrickson, Reivich, David, and Brown have built an extensive body of evidence-based work in less than two decades. Pink, Barker, Kofman, Heath, Godin, and Gladwell are examples of well-known thought leaders and authors who have successfully translated research into books and courses that appeal to the mainstream, bringing consciousness to the everyday person.

The Conundrum and the Invitation

The speed, scale, and scope of the industrial revolution we are in the midst of have never been seen before. Our technological, medical, and cultural advances are creating previously unimagined territory and, in the process, presenting us with challenges that we have no “map” for solving. Operating on instincts alone, the majority of us will choose a fight, flight, or freeze response because that is how we are wired. But, what we know without a doubt is that we can intervene on behalf of ourselves with great success. Human beings have the unique advantage of consciousness. We have the capacity to decide to decide. This is what it means to be the author of your own story. This is the invitation.

This is not easy because it means questioning status quo as well as the veracity of the way in which we see the world. The good news is that you don’t have to invent the way yourself, or go it alone … the pioneers are showing the way.

Frontier 1 – Decide you’re ready and willing to evolve your consciousness to accelerate the strength and speed of your adaptation.

Frontier 2 – Recognize that traditional learning opportunities are competency focused, i.e., they are focused on skill development and deepening subject matter expertise. While necessary, they are not enough and an overinvestment in them is unlikely to equip you to adapt in the ways that you need to.

Frontier 3 – Seek out non-traditional development opportunities. These will be learning opportunities that are focused on changing the fundamental way in which you see the world and think about problems and opportunities, i.e. programs that focus on human intelligence. They will be led by pioneers, will use digital technologies as well as human interaction, and will not use lengthy text books or manuals.

Our business is the business of manifesting positive potential in people. We believe that positive leaders make positive change and that positive change makes for a better world. We believe that human intelligence is the companion to artificial intelligence, not the predecessor, and if we want that to be true for the many rather than the few, we have to speed up the process. This is our life’s work, and we encourage you accept the invitation and begin the journey.

Want to read more about this idea? Read the following article on LinkedIn – “The Way Up is In – Why Human Consciousness is the Next Frontier in Leadership Development,” by our CEO, Gretchen Pisano.

Gretchen Pisano

Gretchen Pisano is the CEO and co-founder of pLink Leadership®. As a Master Certified Coach, her life’s work is helping people become wildly effective leaders and more awesome humans, fostering the transformation of business. The mother of three, Gretchen lives with her husband, children, and Goldendoodles in Maryland.