Individual Growth, Collective Success: A New LinkedIn
Series for Philanthropic Organizations and Employees

When entrusted with countless to-dos and flooded with feedback requiring immediate action, personal growth and development so often take a backseat and land low on our list of priorities. While this trade-off seems to make sense in the moment, it hinders us both personally and professionally in the long run. That’s why I’m here to flip the script for you: As the sole person responsible for your growth, you can (and must) take charge and maximize your potential. And if you lead a team, you can (and should) help your direct reports home in on this.

“Gallup data show that a lack of development and career growth is the No. 1 reason employees leave a job. Development is part of a typically unwritten set of expectations that workers anticipate will be fulfilled. However, personal and professional development does not occur in a vacuum; it takes thoughtful effort and attention by both managers and employees over time.”

— “State of the American Workplace,” Gallup

Over the coming months, I will discuss several practical tools and tips to help us all get started. But first, let me introduce myself. My name is Rebecca Cisek, and I am the Senior Director of Talent and Organizational Development for the Bainum Family Foundation. As my colleague Clara Northington mentioned recently on the Bainum Blog, the Foundation is committed to being a great place to work, and we’re invested in both individual and organizational growth and success across our entire team. Primarily on LinkedIn, and occasionally here on our blog, I’ll be regularly sharing ways we’re advancing our commitment and explaining how you can apply our learnings to your own life and work teams. Our hope is to help you — and, ultimately, the philanthropic sector — achieve even better results for the communities you serve.

We’ll kick this off by focusing on individual growth. While I may not be in the room with you, I can imagine what you’re already thinking. I don’t have enough time. I don’t have the resources. I don’t have a “you” at my organization. I have more than a dozen other things I need to get done right now. I hear you. I really do. But none of those excuses should stand in your way. Let’s flip that script.

This series is based on a recent workshop I conducted with the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers. Our in-depth discussion resulted in several key learnings for workshop participants, all of which I will share — so you can invest in yourself on your own time and/or make a business case for building this infrastructure in your organization. Here are the upcoming topics we’ll be tackling:

  • Defining your mission and purpose
  • Developing a growth mindset
  • Implementing the Principles of Adult Learning
  • Leveraging your strengths
  • Setting SMART goals
  • Engaging in ongoing developmental routines

When combined, these components can lead to truly incredible results. So please keep up with us on LinkedIn — and join in the conversation as we together embark on this journey to our best selves.