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everest cs Blog » Blog Archive » What’s Your PDQ?

What’s Your PDQ?


I’ve known these folks for at least five years – some of them even more. I’ve heard them describe their children’s afterschool activities: soccer, color-guard, golf team, football, baseball – and boast about how much time and money they invested. Water-cooler chatter of week-long vacations at Disneyland, Puerto Vallarta, Grand Canyon, Hawaii, or long weekends spent dune-buggying on the coast or catching a show in Vegas. Inter-office conversations floated around about different television shows, reality programs, soap operas and the like – hours spent in front of the tube. Our birthday lunch conversation centered on how little time and money each had to invest in their personal development. And yet these same people were spending thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours on activities that did not support their personal development.

Performance and PDQ

As a performance consultant these lunchtime comments weighed on me. ‘Susie’ felt she couldn’t develop her skills unless she quit her job. ‘Bill’ felt trapped by his family and work responsibilities. Others believed the only way they could develop their skills is if their employer paid for it. None of them felt they had the power or ability to improve their position at work. I knew different.

There is plenty of evidence that people can achieve success beyond the scope of their current job descriptions. A chewing gum salesman does not automatically promote to the most successful capital investor (Warren Buffet); nor does a garage code-hacker become the richest provider of computer software in the world (Bill Gates). I decided to find out why some succeed while others fail to achieve.

I researched comments and conversations from Warren Buffet, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs – all ‘successful’ business people. Each of these giants has talked about how they concentrate their resources on improving themselves – either through self-teaching, reading, investments, meditation, education or any of the dozens of forms of personal development. They invest their resources back into themselves. Smart business people have learned that they will get a return on their personal development investments.

How do these leaders ‘find’ the time and money to invest, while others don’t?  Why did my friends believe as they did – that their development was dependent on someone else?  I discovered through my research, that the motivation to invest in personal development is dependent on what I call ‘PDQ’.

What exactly is PDQ?

I define ‘PDQ’, or Personal Development Quotient, as a ratio of total personal resources available compared to how much is invested in personal development. ‘PDQ’ is a self-reported tally of one’s commitment to oneself. In other words, the more resources you spend on personal development, the higher your PDQ.

Through my research, I found that individual personal development revolves around certain activities. While the experts do not always agree about how to group the activities or what to call them – they are essentially the same activities.  I group them into ten Areas of Personal Development, which are:

  1. Self-Awareness & Personal Autonomy
  2. Self-Image & Building Identity
  3. Strengths & Talents
  4. Wealth
  5. Spiritual
  6. Employability & Human Capital
  7. Quality of Life
  8. Health
  9. Aspirations & Planning
  10. Social Ability

Personal Development Quotient (PDQ) is measured according to your balanced investment in each of these ten Areas of Personal Development. A balanced investment means that resources spent in developing one Area should not hinder growth in another. For instance, when you take a vacation to relax, it should not interfere with your ability to growth wealth or improve your talents. prev next

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