The Wheel of Modern Leadership Part 6: Personal & Professional Development

by Kira Bruno on June 24, 2024


Welcome back to our Wheel of Modern Leadership blog series, a meditation on the timeless traits of leadership that always serve us well, no matter what. We discussed accountability last time around, and today in part six, we’re digging into personal and professional development.

So let’s pause here for a moment. Where are you in your leadership journey? Do you feel like you’re making progress or just standing still? If you feel more like the latter after some honest reflection, it may be time to invest in some personal or professional development. As I often emphasize, individuals must take personal responsibility for their growth—it’s a continuous process that requires self-awareness, active effort, and the openness to receive feedback with grace.


I firmly believe that individuals are responsible for their own development. No one can take up that sword for you. This means recognizing your areas for improvement and actively seeking opportunities to learn and grow. When you acknowledge your development needs, the learning process becomes faster and more effective. You become more open, interested, and engaged in seeking information, which helps you become successful both personally and professionally.

Seeking Feedback

To grow professionally, you must seek feedback from those invested in your success. Ask your manager or other leaders about improvement opportunities. By asking and remaining open to feedback, you get further faster. People see your interest in growth, and in turn, they take an interest in you. This proactive approach not only accelerates your development but also builds a support network of people willing to help you succeed.

Learning from Others

Another notable aspect of development is learning from those around you. I find great value in observing others, especially those with unique skills or traits I admire. You can learn from someone about how they carry themselves and their executive presence. This doesn’t mean you have to be exactly like them, but you can incorporate positive characteristics into your own leadership style. A great forum for learning from others is within a leadership peer group, like those I facilitate in partnership with Cal State Fullerton Center for Family Business.

Continuous Learning

My personal approach to development involves a relentless pursuit of knowledge, which doesn’t necessarily have to come from a degree or certification. Much of my learning and development comes from my habit of reading everything I can get my hands on. This practice informs my decisions, enhances my conversations, and allows me to ask insightful questions. Continuous learning keeps you informed and adaptable, which makes you an asset in today’s fast-paced business world.

Embracing Challenges

Facing new and unexpected experiences is a significant part of both personal and professional growth. I believe in the importance of reflecting on these experiences through after-action reviews, asking questions like, “What happened? Why did this happen? What did I learn from this?” This reflection helps you grow by learning from both successes and failures.

Balance and Self-Reflection

It’s also important to balance development efforts with self-care. Recognizing when you are overextending yourself is an ideal way to prevent burnout. For me, stress is an indicator that I need to step back and reflect on my workload. Reflection and awareness are vital in personal and professional development, helping you find the right balance and ensuring sustainable growth.

Development is a journey, and as we grow and evolve, so do our goals and aspirations. Who we are at 25 is not who we will be at 50. Our experiences shape us, and it’s essential to remain open and adaptable. Personal and professional development is a lifelong commitment, and it’s one that can lead to profound and lasting success.

Thanks for reading! Don’t miss our previous installments in The Wheel of Modern Leadership:



Relationship Building



Ready to bolster your organization with the exact recruiting solutions to suit your workplace culture?

Tell us what you need, and we’ll do the rest.