with greg layton

The Inner Chief is for leaders, professionals and small business owners who want to accelerate their career and growth. Our guest chiefs and gurus share powerful stories and strategies so you can have more purpose, influence and impact in your career.

Listen on

In today’s minisode, I’m going to cover how to choose the right program for your own career development. I get asked this an enormous amount and I always give a very honest opinion if one of our programs or an external program is better for an individual, so I want to share with you just the top three questions you should ask yourself about a program. 

Before I do that, we have to start with mindset, Chief. You know that anything that we do at Chief Maker is about the core mindset or principle you're applying here. And the one to apply is this: career ownership precedes career victory. And what I mean by that is, are you owning the developmental pathway for your career? Are you making clear assessments of your own performance, seeing how you stack up against competition, seeing how your capabilities line up with what's required in your job?

Start by stepping back and almost look at yourself and your career trajectory and ask yourself, “If I was coaching me, what kind of advice would I give myself about the kind of development, or changes, or improvements that I need to make?”

So, Chief, here are the three questions to always ask yourself.

Will the course or program give me a step change performance improvement?

Will it actually help you to be better at your job? I can tell you now, there are a lot of very theoretical programs out there now that don't result in performance improvement lift. You’ll get a whole lot of knowledge, maybe read a lot of books, but do you actually become a better professional? Do you go from green belt to red belt or red belt to black belt?

It's a really important piece so be sure to ask yourself these questions. And when you're doing the analysis of the program, speaking to whoever is running the program, be it a university or provider like us or anyone in the market, speak to them and ask them how it's going to improve your performance by a level.

Do you have the time?

We are all very, very busy professionals and family members, we have a lot on our plate. Make sure that you have the time in order to do this. Do you have the time to do the work properly? To put your head down, block out work for a bit, and do all the technical or strategic kind of work, do all the exercises, come prepared to any calls or whatever else is on, so that you absolutely nail the program.

Do not sign up to a program you can only do half-arsed, it will not work. And you'll always be questioning the money and time you spent. Go all in on any program you get, Chief. Do all the exercises, read all the materials, so that it works. And if it says it's four hours a week over the next six months, and you can't give that time, then don't do it!

Does it actually translate to my job every single day?

The reason I put this in is because in the 70-20-10 rule of learning, one of the most important things that helped us embed and grow and achieve that step change is that we can immediately apply the learnings from a program or course to our work. We can actually practically make change in our work, in the way we do our technical or tactical strategic work. And if you do that, then you will get better results and you will feel like a more confident and capable professional.


So Chief, they're the big three things. Will it result in a step change performance improvement in your job, do you have the time to fit this into your schedule, and does it practically help you apply new learnings to your work right now?

If it ticks those three boxes, go and do it, Chief. You'll love it and I'm sure it will be a good investment of your time and money.

Deal hope,