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Riches vs. Enrichment

Posted by on March 14th, 2013 with 0 Comments

In 2008, I had a very good year at work.
I took on a number of key projects and delivered on those projects with great results.

That fall, I received the biggest bonus of my career, as well as the biggest raise of my career.
Unfortunately, our business was softening in our industry with a potential downturn on the horizon, so payouts were postponed for 4 months.

With the tenuous business environment, my business travel decreased substantially.
I decided I needed to make the best of this situation.

Ideally, each employee should set enrichment goals that will increase opportunities for challenge and growth on the job.
– Beverly Kaye

I took two personal development actions that fall:

  1. I enrolled for a Masters Degree in Adult Education and Learning:
    While I’d been teaching for two years, I had no formal background in education. If I wanted to be world-class in my field, I figured that a theoretical foundation would be helpful. Over the next 18-months, I completed my degree – but I also put many of those theories into action. My work jumped to the next level and many of concepts I learned during my studies provided further points for deeper discovery.
  2. I attended Nancy Duarte’s “slide:ology” Workshop:
    I wanted to improve my visual presentation skills. More than that, I wanted to spend time with a thought-leader, and it was clear that Nancy was a thought leader. Unexpectedly, Nancy and I ended up collaborating on her workshop for the next year. I got to spend a lot of time with her brilliant team and receive what I often call “an informal masters in design” from one of the brightest stars in the design universe.

As you probably already know, that ‘softening’ of business turned into the worst economic downturn since the depression. I never received that bonus or raise.

Don’t cry for me, after business picked up, I did fine financially.

But this is the point:

If you offered me the chance to go back in time and get my money back – remember, it was A LOT of money, easily paying for the degree and much more – but I’d have to give up my degree and opportunity to work with Nancy, I wouldn’t make that trade.

That’s right, those two opportunities are worth more than money.
I cannot put a dollar amount on the developmental gains I made during that downturn.

And enrichment always wins over riches.

Now, every year, I ask myself, “How will I develop this year? How will my development be so amazing that I wouldn’t trade it for a stack of cash?” And then I write a plan to accomplish that.

How about you?

SMART as Hell Exercise:

  1. Write: down your development plan for this year.
  2. Estimate: how much that development is worth to you in dollars.
  3. Reflect: why isn’t it worth more? Why, in fact, isn’t it priceless?
  4. Rewrite: your plan such that it is priceless.
  5. Act: on your plan

Share your questions, thoughts, and comments below.

 

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