Working as a consultant in the areas of leadership, culture and high performance , I spend a lot of time facilitating workshops, coaching people and developing teams to be great.  It is a very rewarding job and one that I love.  I work with terrific clients, people and get to work on large and complex projects.

After a recent workshop I facilitated, each of the senior executives in the management team remarked on what they were going to be working on in 2014.  Everyone in the room discussed their personal commitments, areas for development and what support they needed from others to be successful.  It was a great way to end the workshop.

One of the executives in the team remarked on their focus for 2014 was going to be their professional development.  He mentioned the fact that for a number of years he had put other people first, the project first and had sacrificed his professional development for the sake of others.  It had meant that he was now in the position where he craved to learn more skills, continue to grow and focus on himself.  It was great to hear his honesty around this and his determination to change this in 2014.

It got me thinking about my focus for 2014.   When thinking back over the last couple of years, I could relate to the executive mentioned above.  I have run hundreds of workshops in the last three years, read many books, blogs and listened to numerous audio CD’s.  What I had not done was attended training and development and coaching courses nor gone to workshops with other like-minded people who are experiencing the same challenges that our practice is.

When discussing this with other consultants I know, they have said the same thing.  We get busy doing great work for clients without spending time developing ourselves.

As the airlines say when taking off on your flight, place the oxygen mask on yourself in 2014. Identify a coaching program, training workshop or other form of learning and devote the time to developing yourself.  The love of learning is a quality all great consultants have.  Give this gift to yourself leading in to 2014.  It will pay you back in spades.