Few topics are so much written about as personal development and different aspects of it. Lets start out by getting clear on what personal development is. A friend of mine once drew a picture of this concept that made a lot of sense to me.
The illustration of personal development
She started out with self insight at the bottom, i.e getting to know more of who you are. This you can achieve through for example feedback from others, tests och therapy. This is the first step to personal development.
The second step that comes out of the first one, is self esteem, meaning feeling good about who you are. This step obviously requires the first step of self insight, other wise there is nothing to feel good about.
The third step then, is self confidence, which is built upon self esteem, meaning feeling good about what you do. Again sound self confidence stands on the shoulders of self esteem which in turn is based on self insight.
These three steps as she explained it, is what personal development is all about.
Personal growth is part of nature and of life
One of my teachers and mentors, Anthony Robbins, says that it is with us humans as it is with plants, that which is not growing - is dying slowly. There is no status quo in nature and not in the human psychee either.
Either you commit to lifelong growth, continuous personal development or you start to deteriorate slowly. This is also one of Robbins key concepts, CANI, which means constant and never ending improvement.
Personal development to be used in all walks of life
This commitment to personal development I believe to run trough all parts of life. In leadership, in relationships, in work. If you are not growing you will find it hard to be happy in the long run. In leadership you will finds you leadership undermined with time, in relationships you will find the passion and joy dwindling over time and at work you will meet with boredom.
Remember that personal development can come in many forms, not just going to seminars or classes. For example eading books, talking to friends, spending time in reflection all count as good vechicles for personal development and growth.