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The 7 Best Personal Development Platforms for Busy Leaders

Updated: Sep 11, 2023



“If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.”

-Zig Ziglar.


1.Follow Experts

Ever told you about the time I reached out to Dr. Myles Munroe for mentorship, but received an email from his personal assistant to say he didn't have the bandwidth to take on any more mentees?

I shared that story with one of my mentors, and he gave me wisdom that has helped me level up in every area of my work and life since then. He said that not all my mentors will be people I get to connect with in person. He recommended instead, that I follow and learn from them from afar; whether that be by reading their books, watching their videos, attending their conferences, or, my favorite, following them on social media (LinkedIn & Twitter).

From then on, this is what I set out to do, and I would highly recommend it as a personal development practice to you too:

Follow experts and influencers in the areas you want to develop. If they are on social media, also look at who they are connected to, or who they mention as their influencers, and follow them too. You will be surprised by how much you will learn from their daily updates. If you link with a second or third connection and their content doesn't resonate with you, simply unfollow, or unsubscribe. But since birds of a feather flock together, you are most likely to find immense value in accessing industry thought leaders.

PS/ I did finally connect with Dr. Myles Munroe in person, and he did finally agree to mentor me. Sadly, he and his wife passed away two weeks later. But the lessons I have learned from his books and videos will last my lifetime.




2.Audio Books

How many books have you started and not finished? My abandoned books are staring at me from my bookshelf as I type.

If you want to upgrade your knowledge and gain the skills to be relevant in your organization and industry, but just don't have the time to read paper books, subscribing to audio books may just be the solution for you.

I subscribe to Audible.com. My husband is forever trying to get me to switch to Scribd or Blinkist (this one actually summarizes books for you).

Whichever one you choose, it will be a game changer. You can listen in the shower, on your commute, in a waiting room, or while you're working out. Just don't listen at the dinner table, or when your spouse or kids are trying to speak to you - that's rude.

How do you know what books to listen to? You can Google the keywords related to the field you are interested in, or pay attention to the books and industry authorities that peers or experts you are connected to recommend.

You're welcome.



3.Podcasts

Found a leader, coach, author, speaker, expert, comedian that you cannot get enough of? Check out to see if they have a podcast and subscribe to it.

Podcasts are particularly powerful when you want to build your authority as the industry go-to. This is because podcasts make learning inexhaustible, as the host presents that topic from a different angle each episode. Another awesome thing about podcasts is the guests - you suddenly have access to the wisdom and experience of the world's titans of industry, academia, global development, and so many other fields that you may never have heard of, all under one podcast roof.

I subscribe to a few podcasts that offer me the benefits of knowledge, industry insights, coaching, and consulting in short 20-40 minute episodes each month.

Do you subscribe to any podcasts? What field are they in? Any you would recommend on leadership?




4.Online Conferences

Over a decade and a half ago, I confided in one of my most trusted advisors that I would like to do an MBA because I felt I lacked technical insights in some areas, and it was hurting my business management. Knowing my situation at the time, he told me 'My opinion is, rather than invest time and money on an MBA, attend very specific conferences. You will get to learn about the areas you find most challenging, and connect with the industry gurus that actually wrote MBA textbooks. You do that a couple of times, and you will be way ahead of the game."

And so I did. I have attended leadership, human capital, change management, youth, and education, trade and finance, Africa development, women empowerment, board management, small business, personal finance, and even internal auditing conferences the world over. And it has exponentially increased my understanding, shaped my perspectives, elevated the quality of my contribution to discourses, and built my network powerbase.

Make a list of the areas you want to focus your development on for the next six to twelve months, then search for specific online or on-site conferences you can attend. I made a new list yesterday, and cannot wait to participate and connect with my next level next year.

PS/ This is not to put down MBAs (I'm doing one now), it is just to say, there are other ways of developing yourself apart from investing time, finances, and effort in a full-blown degree.



5.Remote Coaching, Consulting & Counseling

You never have to walk alone (no, I am not a Liverpool Fan, my Arsenal husband reads these newsletters too).

As leaders, sometimes we are too busy for our own good. We need help to increase our leadership, management, and personal effectiveness, but can't make the time to get it. So we continue to struggle and torture those under our leadership influence with our ineffectiveness.

It doesn't have to be this way.

The double-edged sword of having to work from home when we moved countries opened up a whole new world I had no clue existed - the online world where you can access any product or service at the tap of a screen.

I have signed up for leadership, business, personal finance, marketing coaching, and consulting, and drawn much strength from personal, marital, and parenting counseling.

Try it out.

With more and more professional services being offered remotely, you can signup for coaching, consulting, or counseling services from the comfort of your office, car, room, garden, or even closet (the struggle of parents working from home is real). Wherever you can have an uninterrupted hour to connect with a professional to help you work through your challenges, do that. It will help you immensely, and those under your leadership influence will thank you for making the investment in your development.



6.Masterminds

What's better than learning from the world's best industry leaders? Doing so in a mastermind of peers from across the globe you can debate and discuss the latest developments, trends, best practices, case studies, and approaches with.

Masterminds are high-value, high-impact peer-to-peer mentoring focus groups that are either one-off or recurring opportunities to learn and share.

If you are looking for a platform that will sharpen your saw and keep you on your toes in your development, sign up for virtual or in-person Masterminds around your topic of interest.



7.YouTube Tutorials

Where would we be without YouTube? I honestly do not know.

YouTube is not only the world's largest library of videos on every subject imaginable (and unimaginable), it is also the second largest search engine next to Google (which it is now owned by).

You can start typing a topic and YouTube will give you hundreds of thousands of options to choose from. Whether you need a two-minute overview to refresh your memory, or want to delve into a three-hour in-depth study, YouTube's got you.

YouTube is my go-to for both my personal and professional development. I also do 90% of my workouts on YouTube, and enjoy decompressing and relaxing to nature sights and sounds at the end of my day.

Want a free platform to upgrade every area of your life? Start on YouTube, and watch, or listen yourself smarter, wealthier, and healthier. Cheesy, I know.







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