Episode 128: The Importance of Continuous Growth with Sid Meadows
Sid: Professional development is the targeted enhancement of skills and knowledge specific to your job, maybe your desired job or your career path. Now, unlike personal development, which focuses on overall growth, professional development hones in on the topics you need to excel in or that you want to stand out in. It's about staying current, competitive and continually improving in your role. Now, the importance of professional development is multifaceted, as I hope all of you agree.
Sid: Hey, friends, and welcome to the Trend Report Podcast, where we have real conversations with real people about all things contract interiors. My name is Sid Meadows and I'm your host. I'm a business strategist and certified professional coach and a longtime student of the office furniture industry, and I'm excited that you're joining us today and my hope is that you will gain some insights, inspiration and motivation that will help you grow and your business grow. So let's dive into today's conversation.
Sid: Hey everybody, and welcome to this week's episode of the Trend Report. I'm glad you're joining me today for another conversation between you and me. Today, I want to talk about the importance of continuous growth. Now, a few weeks ago, some of you may have noticed that I wrote a column for Viewpoint Magazine, which is published by Office Insights and Rob Kirkbride, and I'm taking this article and I'm actually going to enhance it a little bit and share my thoughts with you in a podcast format about the importance of continuous growth. So let's dive into today's conversation.
Sid: So I'm sure that you'll agree with me that there's no doubt that our world is changing around us. I mean, it's in a state of constant change, evolving, and in most cases, we're moving forward. Now, whether you're a seasoned professional like me or a budding newbie to the industry, or maybe somewhere in the middle, forward progress is critical for your continued growth and success. In fact, standing still is like moving backwards, and the pursuit of continuous learning, development and growth is no longer a luxury. It's a necessity.
Now, my journey of continuous growth started just a few short years ago. For those of you that know me, I'm sure you probably realize that's kind of hard to believe that it was just a few short years ago, but in fact it was, and it was on the occasion that I had the opportunity to actually step into in March of 2017, some of you have heard me talk about this before where I entered a room with 25 other inspiring coaches and I got to tell you, my world changed forever. Now, in the past, yes, I've attended a couple of occasional sales training or leadership training over the years, but honestly, it was more like a box to check than it was anything that I was doing that was strategic for me or my growth, or my growth and development plan.
Now, during my coach certification program it was a year long program as I was working to become a certified professional coach I discovered that professional development and growth is what it really was all about and, honestly, it's about me. It's about me doing the work, sometimes really hard work to understand who I am, who I want to be and how I'm going to become the best version of me. Because it's all about me and it's all about you. It's about you doing the work necessary to reach your goals. It's about you taking control of your own destiny. It's not about your boss or your company doing it for you. Each of us is responsible for our own future.
Now, there are a lot of areas that you can focus on that will help you grow and develop, but over the past few years, I've discovered that focusing on three core areas have really helped me stay the course and reach the place I am today. These include personal, professional and industry. But before we briefly review these, I think it's important to know that I have a goal around my personal development and growth, and you should too. My goal is to take one step forward every day. Or, as bestselling author James Clear said in his book Atomic Habits, the goal is to be 1% better every day. So let's dive into the personal aspect.
You know, personal development is the continuous pursuit of self growth and self improvement. It's about understanding who you are, identifying your strengths and weaknesses and taking deliberate steps to become the best version of you. Now, unlike professional or industry specific training, personal development transcends job roles and career paths. It's actually about enhancing life skills, building your confidence and fostering resilience that can be applied in every aspect of your life. The place to start is answering this question: what areas of your personal life do you want to enhance or improve? Then ask yourself how can you do this, or what resources do you need to make this happen? Now, for some, it might be reading a book, which most of you know that I'm a huge fan of. For others, it may be listening to a podcast or attending a group event.
Honestly, there are endless options available to you, and the best place for you to start is Google. Just enter the information that you're searching for and see what comes up. Let me give you an example. For me, my primary focus recently has been communication, and not just basic communication skills. It's about enhancing my skills and communicating with my children, who are 18 and 20. As a Gen Xer, it is important for me to understand how to effectively communicate with my Gen Z kids because, trust me, they're a lot different than us Gen Xers are, but what I'm really trying to do is to learn how I can support and encourage them along their journey. I discovered some really amazing resources around this topic, and you can find the same type of resources around your topic as well. Just look at your personal life, determine the areas that you want to improve and grow, and get started. Google's waiting on you.
Now let's dive into professional for a minute. Professional development is the targeted enhancement of skills and knowledge specific to your job, maybe your desired job or your career path. Now, unlike personal development, which focuses on overall growth, professional development hones in on the topics you need to excel in or that you want to stand out in. It's about staying current, competitive and continually improving in your role. Now, the importance of professional development is multifaceted, as I hope all of you will agree.
But first, it ensures that you are equipped with the latest skills and knowledge allowing you to perform at your best. This not only leads to your personal career growth, but also contributes to organizational success, because the better that you are, the better the organization is. The second one is professional development fosters a culture of learning and excellence within the workplace which promotes collaboration, innovation and a shared commitment to quality. So I guarantee you, if your coworkers see you investing in yourself and growing and learning and succeeding maybe getting a promotion they're gonna wanna do the same thing as well.
Now, for me, my primary area of professional development is all about becoming a better leader, and trust me when I tell you that this is a journey. There are days when I know that I am at my best, and then there are days I wish I had done things differently, maybe responded in a better way or acted differently, which happens, honestly, more times than I care to admit. However, when I realize what has happened, I immediately ask myself a few questions: what could I have done differently? What did I learn from the situation? What resources do I need that will help me get better, then I think the most important question is what will I do differently the next time?
Now on my journey to become the best leader that I possibly can be, I discovered a podcast called At the Table with Patrick Lanchoni. Some of you may know of Patrick Lanchoni In fact, I think I've mentioned him a few times before on the show. He is a best-selling author, speaker, consultant and he's an advocate for creating culture and enhancing the skills of today's leaders. I really can't begin to tell you how impactful it has been for me to listen to this podcast. In fact, it's one of the ones I have a bell on so that I can get notified every time they launch a new episode. One of my favorite podcasts to listen to. Now, whatever area that you want to improve, I know there are resources out there to help you. A couple of my favorites include peer groups and masterminds. Most people think of these as reserved only for leaders and executives, but that could not be farther from the truth. Depending on what you're looking for, you can find a group to join. There is a lot of power in being a part of a group of like-minded people who want to grow and help each other along the way.
Now let's talk about industry. I have been blessed to be part of the contracting and interiors industry for over 30 years. I worked with some amazing organizations. I met some pretty awesome people along the way. Like a lot of other veterans, I've seen our industry change. My first job was in sales at a dealership, where we drew everything by hand, using graph paper and pencils, and we typed our quotes on a piece of paper and then personally delivered them to our customers. We had no technology, no spec tools, no internet. Now look at how far our industry has come.
Today, you can spec products online using all kinds of cool tech and order them basically with a click of a button. Talk about change. That, my friends, is a lot of change, but as an industry, I truly believe that we are in the midst of a dynamic shift that is impacting everyone. Our customers are embracing hybrid work. Some are only in the office a couple of days a week. As we know, real estate footprints are getting smaller, leases are getting shorter, trends are changing and evolving and new ones are emerging. How do we keep up? How do we stay current, especially given the pace at which change seems to be happening within our industry? Well, my answer to that is that we each and every one of us need to become students of our industry. We need industry experts, not product experts. Yes, we sell products. I know I've talked about this many times before. We sell products. What we really do is help our customers create dynamic workspaces that impact their organization and their employees. Becoming an industry expert is a journey that has no destination. There is no finish line. There is only learning, growing and adapting.
Some of the things that you can do to learn more about our industry are pretty obvious Reading, maybe attending trade shows like NeoCon or Orgatec or any of the ones that go on out there. Going to seminars and CEUs. Ceus are not just for interior designers or designers at dealerships. Therefore, anybody salespeople you should be attending CEUs to learn about the trends and things that are happening in the industry, because that makes you an industry expert or contributes to you being an industry expert. It certainly helps you when having conversations with interior designers or architects. So you salespeople out there, go attend CEUs. But I think there are a lot of other ways that you can enhance your knowledge.
Obviously, one of my favorites is what you're doing right now, which is listening to podcast selfish plug for the Trend Report, but you can also look at taking an online course or maybe attending an in-person or virtual panel discussion, especially those that are not scripted, where people are truly sharing their thoughts and their ideas. At the end of the day, guys, your options are endless, and there are a lot of people out there sharing their thoughts and ideas that go well beyond me and well beyond the Trend Report. So join them and join in the conversation. At the end of the day, it is up to you to determine what will benefit you, your career and your growth With the bottom line friends, no matter where you are in your career. Just start. Start today, embrace education, training and development. Just pick one thing today and do it today. Then tomorrow pick one more and keep going.
Listen, I know you're busy. We all are. We've got a lot of things going on at work. Then there's our family and our friends, there's rest, there's fun and so much more, but there's only one you, and I encourage you to choose. You. Invest in you, because if you don't, who will? You got this. I'm cheering each and every one of you on every step of the way. Thanks for joining me today. Go out there and make today great and I'll see you again in a couple of weeks. Take care everyone.
Thanks for joining me today on this episode of the Trend Report Podcast. I'm glad that you're here and I hope that you got some amazing value out of today's conversation. For more about our podcast and this episode and our other episodes, please visit my website at www.sidmeadows.com. We look forward to seeing you next week and go out there and make today great