Everyone cheered as my CEO announced that he wanted to grow our company internationally. Then came the punch line. He asked us to give the top 10% of our resources to staff this new expansion. Our team answered with a resounding, “No!”

Did we not have enough second string players to fill these important roles? Did our second string see their opportunities? I decided at that moment that I had to do something. I would build an optional training program that would help associates with their potential, and build their skills by developing a strategy for their career growth.

From the time I started working, I preached the mantra “A day without learning is a wasted day!” Self-improvement is one of the best actions a person can take to achieve his or her goals and attain happiness.

The Path to Self-Improvement

Self-improvement is not a fad like another weight loss diet. Self-improvement is a well-formulated plan, that when executed, leads to personal growth and satisfaction. How can we possibly get where we want to go if we have no plan or vision to get there? Most companies today have a vision, a mission statement that describes their core values, and a business plan to accomplish their vision. Why can’t we do the same for ourselves?

1. Vision

A vision is an imaginary plan. We can close our eyes and see ourselves as the President of our company someday. Perhaps we see ourselves as a better parent. Whatever our plan, we should visualize ourselves in that new role. With a piece of paper, we write down our vision in positive present-tense language. Be specific.

For example, “I am the President of my company and have led the company to financial stability and increased earnings for the past 5 quarters.”

Add a date to your plan that is no more than 3-5 years away. Example – “Today is January 1, 2020 and I am the President of my company……”

2. Consider Values

Our core values are our fundamental beliefs that are our guiding principles, which dictate our behavior and action. Our core values help us know right from wrong; they help us to determine if we are on the right path fulfilling our business goals.

What core values are we willing to break to achieve the goal of President? Hopefully, none.

We need to assess our values to ensure we stay on track. Consider values such as religion, family, honesty, compassion, work/life balance, and social responsibility. There are hundreds of core values. We need to understand our values in order to write a personal mission statement.

3. Personal Mission Statement

Does our goal require sacrifice to achieve success? Probably, but we should never sacrifice our values, which are part of our mission statement. Create a personal mission statement to live out while achieving your goals.

4. Business Plan

Develop a Business plan for success. We start with our vision. If we want to be President in 3-5 years, what actions do we need to take to achieve our goal? Review the education, work history, and personality types of those have already achieved similar goals. Build an action plan to form a similar background.

We will likely have to take some interim steps along the way. It will be worth the sacrifice when we achieve our ultimate goal!

Follow the path to self-improvement. By accomplishing your goals through a well-executed plan, you find a sure way to lower stress and achieve happiness. Struggling to find the time to create your path to self-improvement? Click here to download Dale Carnegie’s Time Management Tips Guide!

Posted by Mary Kuniski

Mary Kuniski is a catalyst for business and individual change. Throughout her career, she has consistently led corporate businesses into the future, often achieving process improvement and change that others could not. Mary’s enthusiastic attitude and tenacious ability to keep moving forward is why she identifies with this quote from Dale Carnegie: “Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” Passionate about problem resolution and committed to coaching and leading others, Mary is driven to ensure that everything she does provides lasting value. At a young age, her leadership and public speaking skills were recognized and nurtured through her ten-year participation in 4-H. She has also fostered change for businesses such as Parkinson Voice Project, where she directed the implementation of their website and online learning management system, and Overhead Door Corporation, where she created and launched a successful core data process improvement strategy. During her tenure with The Michaels Companies, Mary held five Director positions and three Vice President roles, and pioneered the company’s expansion into Quebec. Her efforts to lead the transformation of over 40,000 craft items to three languages resulted in Michaels becoming the first international retailer to acquire language certification from Quebec on the initial attempt. This meant Michaels successfully adherred to strict French-language laws. Mary has over 20 years in executive leadership in the retail industry and for 10 years led supply chain shipment improvement and savings and reduction efforts at Michaels. Mary is a Dale Carnegie graduate, certified trainer, and consultant for Dale Carnegie DFW's Executive Leadership training. She holds an MBA in Global Management from the University of Phoenix and a degree in Human Development, Clothing Studies from Pennsylvania State University.


  1. Thank you so much for sharing this, I also believe that we should always be wanting to learn more. I am definitely going to try your guide for Self-Improvement and let you know how it all works out.



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