Biggest problem in professional development, no matter the profession, is an unwillingness to recognize that you can still improve. Masking inadequacies with over-confidence is all too common. It is a disease the infects all types of work, even soccer coaching. As a coach, are you open to new ideas? Are you considering how you can improve individually? Are you willing to collaborate and share with others things you have learned and honestly ask for help in areas you know you are weak?
The last phrase is the kicker because if you do not know where your weaknesses are then you will improve at a snail’s pace. Are you willing to self-evaluate?
I was reading a profile of Al Pacino (The New Yorker, Sept. 15, 2014, “Caught in the Act”) and one of Pacino’s comments struck me. Comparing Pacino’s rise and success to Brando, the author quoted Pacino as follows:
I believe I have not reached my stride, which is why I persist. The day I turn to you and say, ‘John, what I just did in this role was a real winner,’ I hope you’ll have the courage and decency to throw a wreath around my head, and then so very quietly and compassionately shoot me.
This is from an actor who has been nominated for 6 Academy Awards (winning one). How great does he think he is? How great do we think we are? If you think you are, then you are done growing. Are we “persisting?”