You may have a dream for what you want to accomplish, but that dream can only be realized if you have a written plan that makes sense. A written plan that accounts for more than what your organization is asking you to do. A well thought out written plan is the key to accomplishing your long-term goal and your dreams.
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This week let's talk about making a plan for your goals. You may have a dream for what you want to accomplish, but that dream can only be realized. If you have a written plan that makes sense. A written plan that accounts for more than what your organization's asking you to do. A well thought out written plan is the key to accomplishing your long term goal and your dreams. Please enjoy the episode. Welcome to the finance leader podcast where leadership is bigger than the numbers. I am your host Stephen McLain. This is the podcast for developing leaders in finance and accounting. Please consider following me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. My usernames and the links are in this episode's show notes. And also, please join the Facebook group I have for this podcast community. Thank you. This is episode number 76. And we'll be talking about how an effective individual development plan helps you advance in your career. And I will highlight the following topics. Number one, our individual development plan is a commitment to ourselves. Number two critical components of the IDP often overlooked. Number three, an effective IDP goes beyond what your organization is asking you to do. Number four, your IDP must be assessed and updated often. And five ensure you include learning leadership in your plan. American businessman and founder of Firestone tires, Harvey Firestone said, the growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership. We are already more than one month into 2022. And we have covered a lot of great material so far. In season nine. In Episode 71, I covered goal setting for 2022. And I have asked you all to ensure you add in important personal events to your calendar, I am asking you to commit time and effort to the important people in your life attend the events that matter. In Episode 72, I discussed how leaders should be keeping a daily journal. In episode 73. I talked about finance and accounting career trends for 2022. In Episode 74, the topic was what to do in a new work role in a new company. And last week in Episode 75, I talked about how habits contribute to your success. If you miss these episodes, please go back and check them out, you won't be disappointed. This week, I'm talking about what an effective individual development plan is, and how well design plan can help you advance your career. You need to write out your goals, not just dream about them, but actually write them into a plan. A plan that makes sense, a plan that can be achieved and will help you advance. I want you to have a vision for where you want to go. It's important to know what you want to accomplish in the long term. It's also important to dream a little. And hopefully, you're thinking about and dreaming about more than just your career. And to achieve that dream, you must develop an effective IDP, so you get there so you can achieve what you want in the long term. Create that vision and then capture it in a written plan that will work for you. Your written plan should be assessed and updated regularly. And written plan is the key to success. A goal without a written plan is a dream. Now I am all for dreams my dreams keep me going every day. But a written plan is something you can see that outlines a path to what you want to accomplish. And don't forget about the very real intangibles that you have to develop. It's not only about the technical skills these intangibles include mindset, critical soft skills, general business knowledge and leadership skills. Because it is leadership that can set you apart from your peers, finance and accounting professionals focus much energy on those hard skills, like learning every tool in Excel. And I understand that I have done that too. But I'm asking you to also consider the soft skills that will carry you into senior leader positions down the road. If you plan to advance your career, then you need to devote time to develop your skills beyond Excel or Access or SQL and other similar hard skills. So ensure you include leadership in your plan. I talked about learning leadership as a habit in Episode 75. This will be important to the advancement of your career as a finance and accounting professional. If you combine your deep technical knowledge of our profession with that of a great leader, you will be noticed you will be getting results and you will find great opportunities out there. I know you are a finance and accounting professional who also wants to sharpen your technical skills. And we have to be current with our professional knowledge and accounting practices. In the future of financial analysis, we must invest time to develop these skills to and also our finance and accounting knowledge base. Usually, this is our most important focus anyway. So I know that I don't have to convince you to do that. But I'm sure you're going beyond just the technical skills, so you can continue to advance. I believe that a well thought out and well written plan gives you the best chance of success in your career. It's definitely better than no plan. And just guessing as you go, your plan must have a mix of hard and soft skills, plus leadership account for the key elements that will help drive you to that long term goal. Now let's talk about how an effective individual development plan can help you advance in your career. Number one, our IDP is a commitment to ourselves. Our IDP is a written contract with ourselves. So we stay committed to our long term goal, it is a method to track our progress. So we stay focused, so we stay on track. Sometimes we need a mechanism to keep ourselves accountable, and a written plan is visible. It's written we can see it, it is something we can see and measure and evaluate our progress with. It is a document that we can update and write what we want our future to be. That is why it's great to have a written plan when we can quantify and qualify our dreams into reality. And with that plan, we can commit ourselves to achieving it, we can turn our dreams into reality. Number two critical components of the IDP often overlooked. Mindset is so important for us to master if we don't get our mindset, right, we fill with self doubt and believe that anything we do may result in failure. Our mindset is the gateway to progress and moving forward. Our mindset holds the key to everything else going on around us. So we can focus properly, so we can grow and overcome those challenges. You have to include critical soft skills that are needed in the next role. And the next role after that. Specifically, look at strategic and communication skills. These will help you grow into the next role and into your next senior leader role. Grow your business knowledge, always we must know the business so we can advise leaders around the company. And what I'm talking about is not just finance and accounting, I'm talking about marketing, and operations and human resources, all aspects of the business. Leadership will always be a critical skill that we must add to our plan. So more on this later. So don't forget mindset soft skills, business knowledge and leadership as we develop our plan. Number three, and effective IDP goes beyond what your organization is asking you to do. Your company is going to ask you to develop in the direction what they need you to do for the company. And that makes sense. But you need to be thinking about what you need to work on beyond what your company wants you to accomplish. Don't underestimate what you do get from the company, you are getting valuable experience and developing your skills. This will help you tremendously in the future. I am asking you to go beyond what others are expecting from you, you have to determine your goal and build on what your manager or senior leader has outlined for you to accomplish in the coming year. So remember, as you are developing the plan, your supervisor wants you to do that you're going to do a little bit more so you get closer to that long term goal. Number four, your IDP must be assessed and updated often. At a minimum, you must review and assess your IDP quarterly. But I recommend that you do it monthly and ideally updated as you complete training as you gain experience as you accomplish a piece of your professional Foundation. And as you complete a goal. Your IDP is the living document, therefore it is never complete. You update it, you assess and review and you add more details as you complete and add on more goals towards your long term goal. It's possible that you might change your mind on your long term goal, which would create the need to change many items in your plan. Everything in your plan should be supportive of that long term goal. And every day and week and month, you are making progress towards that goal. So continue to update it, assess it, and go back and look at it actually look at it. It's a written document. That's what's so great about it. You can go through and you can read what you want to accomplish. And then you can continually assess and update it. It's a living document number five, and sure you include learning leadership and your plan. Leadership is a key skill you must learn to achieve your long term goal if that goal is to advance to a senior leader role. If you don't know where to start read a few leadership books like leaders eat last by Simon Sinek or any book by John Maxwell or Stephen Covey. You can also sign up for a few leadership development courses, but ensure you add in leadership development into your plan. And it doesn't matter what level You're at No matter your role, you should be continually developing your leadership skills and abilities. I will never stop talking about learning leadership. And I will never stop talking about growing your mindset and strengthening your mindset, leadership skills and mindset. You have to own your goals and own your career. A written plan is a commitment to yourself. So you work towards your long term goal. Consider your plan a contract with yourself. So I'm asking you to uphold that contract with yourself. Don't let yourself down. And don't overlook the importance of mindset and leadership development as part of your plan for action today. First, do you have a written plan that highlights the following work on your professional foundation that includes your undergraduate degree, your advanced degree, a professional certification, a mindset assessment and your business knowledge. You also have to develop your finance and accounting knowledge, including best practices, and recent government rulings and decisions. And don't forget about the key soft skills ensure you have soft skills in your plan. Your plan must also have your short and long term goals written out. And then I also want you to include is a timeline for how you're going to accomplish it and when, and then you must go ahead and schedule the training or whatever you're going to do to develop yourself it might be reading a book, it might be taking a class, it might be looking at a Youtube, it doesn't matter, just get that training scheduled, get take some action, keep moving forward, and then continually update and assess your plan. And also, I want you to perform a real self assessment to measure your skills and your mindset. You have to be honest with yourself, so you schedule the training and development that you need to grow. Today I talked about how an effective individual development plan helps you advance in your career, and I highlighted the following points. Number one, our individual development plan is a commitment to ourselves. Number two critical components of the IDP often overlooked. Number three, and effective IDP goes beyond what your organization is asking you to do. Number four, your IDP must be assessed and updated often. And five, ensure you include learning leadership in your plan, your development and growth matters. And so your individual development plan must work for you. Your IDP is your commitment to yourself. So you will be focused and ready to accomplish your long term goal. I also want to encourage you to look beyond what your supervisor is asking you to accomplish in the upcoming year. That plan is developed around your current role, and maybe does not include the next role and the next role after that. Develop a plan that looks at the next 10 to 15 years. And maybe beyond that. Make a plan that makes sense for you. What is the difference between the successful person in the unsuccessful one last week I mentioned habits mindset in our leadership ability. This definitely helps our success. And now let's go one more step. It's a written plan. It's good habits, a growth mindset, and great leadership built into a written plan that accounts for how we want to accomplish our long term goal. I am excited for you and your journey for where you are today and for where you want to go in the future. In season eight from last fall, I presented a series to help you prepare for becoming a chief financial officer. Because I believe that is the goal for many of you. Along with going to that next step Chief Executive Officer. This season, we have been back to the basics of goal setting habits and developing a written plan. I can't wait for all of you to succeed. If you want to share your goals. Please email me at contact at Stephen McLain calm. I would love to hear about your plans. Next week, I'll be sharing about the five pillars of career advancement which are leadership, growth mindset, your professional Foundation, taking risk, and advocating for yourself. I hope you enjoyed the finance leader podcast I am dedicated to helping you grow your leadership skills to change your mindset to clarify your goals to advance your career. You can find this episode wherever you're listening to podcasts. Until next time, you can check out more resources at finance leader academy.com and sign up for my weekly updates. Don't miss an episode of the show. And now go later to it. I'll see you next time.