Points of view

September 2020

Pantelis C. Fouli explains the importance of personal development to your career prospects.

Exams are over, summer time is here, and it’s time to kick back, or at least put the accountancy books aside and take stock.

It has been a challenging year to date, we have won many battles and we have learnt from the setbacks.

Working on one’s personal or self development should be a priority for anyone and it’s during these times of reflection and evaluation that personal development should be practised to expedite our growth and continue on this wonderful journey we call life.

What is personal development?

Personal development focuses on developing yourself to grow more, become more and have more. And there are many ways to develop: it could be reading a book on finances, where you learn how to save or invest money, or a book on how your mind works and why it’s so powerful.

Why should we do personal development?

Everything starts in the mind, with a thought. If you want to grab a glass of water you first have to think about drinking water, and then think about getting up, walking to the kitchen to grab a glass, etc.

If everything starts in the mind – from the way we talk, to the way we handle people, to the way we do business – then developing that mind with the right thoughts and feelings is of course crucial. Besides, if personal development focuses on changing the way you think, act and behave in a positive, new way, it means your results will also improve positively.

That means that if you don’t have the results you want, and it does not matter in what aspect of your life, you should do personal development every day.

Personal development truly does make a difference. Not if you only do it for a couple of days, but if you are persistent with it can literally bring magic into your life.

What’s has personal development taught me?

Perspective: Stand two individuals opposite each other and ask them to tell you what they see. Each of them will give their own perspective on how they view the world. I am sure we have all seen this before, but have we actually taken the time to take stock and evaluate how it applies to our own life?

Perspective is how we see the world, our own reality. It’s unique to us and us alone. But is our reality the only one that exists? Absolutely not.

Every person has their own realities, whether it’s job positions or people in general. These positions and perspectives are based on our reality.

We live in a professional world that moves fast and where people do not always take the time to step back. Leaders often confuse their perspectives with reality and have difficulty truly understanding the point of view of others.

A perspective is not right or wrong by default. It just is what it is: the point of view of a single person based on their life experiences and values, among other things. We each have one; sometimes we share it with others, and sometimes we do not.

I would like to leave you with these questions to ponder on.

Our perspectives shape how we act or react in a situation. Grasping the concept of perspective is important to the next stage of your personal development as the leaders of tomorrow. So ask yourselves these questions:

1: What could be different in your leadership if you chose to be more generous in your interpretations of perspectives?

2: What could be different in your personal leadership if you could better take, seek and coordinate perspectives?

• Pantelis C. Fouli is ACCA qualified and an ACCA Advocate and student mentor.

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