Alan Andrews, former US President of The Navigators put together a helpful outline for some how-to’s in self-development. Here’s his thoughts with my additions in brackets.
HOW TO DEVELOP YOURSELF IN A GIVEN AREA
by Alan Andrews
A. Identify your areas of need.
B. Prioritize areas of need.
C. Make self-development an integral part of your lifestyle.
D. Plan self-development over six-month blocks.
E. Identify the key area of self-development that the Spirit of God is indicating to you.
F. Pray constantly that God would enlighten your mind and heart.
G. Delegate research to interested individuals. [This assumes that you have an executive assistant or someone working with you than is available to do this research.]
H. Try to obtain a mentor in a particular area of development.
I. Use the Bible as your primary source and authority. [Kingdom leaders need a biblical leadership grid from which to operate and evaluate other leadership input.]
1. Identify the number of times key words are used
2. List the verses in order of appearance in Scripture, writing out each passage
3. Identify key verses and passages
4. Outline key verses and passages
5. List key observations
6. Cross-reference to other passages [to develop depth]
7. Do word studies to discover various word meanings [be sure to study words in the original languages]
8. Read outside material on the subject — both secular and Christian
9. Check with your mentor [for suggestions on resources or help in your development]
10. Review your study asking new questions
11. State your overall conclusions
J. Draw on resources of experts, churches and other organizations.
K. Keep your development always in line with the aim of your calling.
L. Don’t strive to master everything you read. Read to generally identify crucial points in your overall purpose.
M. Develop a consistent pattern of thought.
1. Concept first
2. Content second
3. Personal application third (tell them what you thought, not what you’re thinking)
4. Apply cautiously on an organizational basis
N. If experience does not vindicate your study, go back to the drawing board. [Be humble enough to admit you were wrong; and today always acknowledge that this is what you understand at this stage of your development.]
O. Once your development has the confirmation of experience, of your co-laborers and of the peace of God, then begin to package your material for communication purposes.
P. Exercise leadership in the area of development.
Q. Always add or change information as the Lord gives new insight. [Be a life-long learner.]
R. Always maintain balance of communicating your convictions and keeping a humble, open mind to other points of view. There is still plenty of room to grow.
Are you being intentional about your own development as a leader. Just because you are gaining experience does not necessarily translate into you becoming a better leader.