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Living IDP: A Look at Real Life IDP With Andy

Senior Business Analyst Andy explains a day in the life as a senior executive with an IDP.

Key Takeaways:

  • IDPs are a great tool to help boost your career and personal goals.
  • The Susco IDP delves into your goals and defines the right actions to get you there.
  • Leadership IDPs are slightly different from standard IDPs, and knowing the difference matters.

As someone who consistently lives at full throttle, I sincerely appreciate any tool that helps me reach another level, no matter how high I’ve climbed. Business leaders often reach a goal, saying, “Well, That’s it. I’m here.” 

There is no ceiling, in reality. Your dreams never end, so you should never stop striving to realize them. 

That’s one of the things I love most about the individual development plan (IDP) I developed for Susco. As long as you can dream it, our IDP can help you achieve it. The key is making the correct adjustments for leadership. 

Here’s a quick rundown of how an IDP differs for leadership and what the experience was like for Susco’s senior business analyst, Andy.

IDP for leadership

An individual development plan for leadership is almost the same as one created for other employees, except for a few differences. These include:

  • Strengths and skills
    General employees often have different talents than leaders in the company. Leaders typically have more leadership-related expertise, like public speaking and administrative skills. They require an IDP that helps them obtain higher-level attributes that need a measure of experience along with learned skills.
  • Goals
    Leaders often have goals that incorporate the rest of their team. They may see themselves running a specific sector, for example, or heading up a project with special clearance. Some leaders aren’t trying to move up the corporate ladder at all, but instead gain a partnership or piece of the company or stock.
  • Actionable steps
    When the goals are different, the action plan must be different. You can’t get to a new place with the same map. Leadership IDPs contain steps that help you reach leadership goals.

A detailed IDP can help every employee of any business in any industry. The key is knowing how to use it to your advantage. Hearing other people’s stories can help.

Q&A with Andy

We asked Andy, one of our talented senior analysts, about his experience with the Susco IDP. Here’s a look at that conversation:

Q: Have you participated in an IDP before? 
A: My first experience was at Susco.

Q: What was your initial reaction to being offered an IDP? 
A: Impressed. Before working there, I’d never worked with a company that cared about anything besides work. 

Q: How did you prepare for your IDP?
A: I was on my own the first time around, and the people leader gave a brief intro and gave us some time to work on it. The second time we had an all-hands meeting that focused on working on IDPs, brainstorming, and figuring out what you wanted to do. It felt nice that time was invested in personal development. The facilitator walked us through the one-, three-, and five-year goals to make everything a lot more straightforward. 

Q: How did you feel about the process once it started? 
A: I felt awkward initially. Setting goals for my personal life at work was a little off-putting or uncomfortable. It really felt that the staff were there to support in any way that they could, and that made a difference. Monthly meetings with people leaders were set to discuss comfort and satisfaction of job and evaluations. I use them as a sounding board.

Q: What benefits did you see from participating in an IDP? 
A: I felt more at ease with the IDP and its purpose. It’s there for employees to improve in all areas of life. I had to get used to that.

Q: Were there any unexpected outcomes or benefits from your IDP?
A: Susco offers a gym or fitness subsidy and I quickly took advantage of that to make my related fitness goal. It ended up helping me in many other ways, such as making healthy goals and sticking to all sorts of decisions. I also found that when I started going to the gym, I felt better and felt more like working and actually enjoyed my work.

Another surprising benefit was how it helped in the interview process. I applied to be the project manager and realized I was a better fit for a business analyst. IDP set goals to help me move toward that. 

Q: Any challenges and obstacles?
A: Making public goals that weren’t work-related. It helped me to understand that they weren’t all required for the tracking system. Some things you can track privately, but they still have an effect on your career. 

You get out of it what you put into it. I was never a big goal setter, so this helped with goal setting and accountability, and I have more goals now than in the first year and will continue to grow and expand each year. 

Your experience might turn out very similar to Andy’s, or you may find a whole different situation awaits you. That’s what makes an IDP such a game-changer. Each time you use it, you can get a unique perspective on your life and a workable plan to move ahead.

Give it your all! Think carefully about the questions and only use your most authentic answers. This is one work experience that can change your world.

Show the world what you’re made of

One big reason I go to work every morning is to see the people in my universe reach their full potential. It touches my soul to witness someone realize their worth and see a world of opportunity open for them. 

Using your personal transformations to get ahead in business is a strategy many people overlook. My life’s purpose is to help people live more holistically and find their true power in personal transformation. 

Check out my LinkedIn and Twitter pages to see what personal transformation looks like firsthand and learn more about what it can do for you! 

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