Are You Growing? How Do You Know?

Leadership and growth go hand in hand.  In order for us to truly lead to new adventures and exciting opportunities we have to grow there before we can go there.  So the question is WHAT IS YOUR PERSONAL GROWTH PLAN?

 

Before we we talk about your plan, let’s discuss some important concepts that help your growth plan succeed.

1.  Consistency:  I’m a results oriented person.  I love setting a goal and reaching it.  I truly appreciate the beauty of achievement.  If you are like me and most result oriented people we have a tendency to work towards the goal.  So the process is merely a means to an end.  This thinking can create what I call growth spurt living.  In other words we grow until we get our results then we are looking for something else to chase.  Consistency cures that.  If we want good, healthy, long term growth consistency is the key.  Consistency also has the ability to compound and produce far more than merely working towards a goal.  If we develop our plan and do it every single day you will never worry about reaching a goal, it will happen and your results will be far greater.

2  Intentionality:  Growth happens on purpose

“How far I can go depends on how far I can grow.”

~ John C. Maxwell

It’s a huge mistake to think that growth is automatic.  It doesn’t just happen.  Just because we are living doesn’t mean we’re growing.  To learn, to develop, to grow takes intentional action.  One of the saddest things in life is when people don’t learn from their experiences.  In order to grow from our experiences we have to do it on purpose.  I know people who have lived a long life and haven’t grown in 20 years and it’s just sad to see them going through the same problems over and over because they refuse to get intentional about growth.

3.  Personal:  I know it sounds redundant to say personal growth is personal, but it is amazing to me how many people observe life but don’t participate.  People who theorize but never actualize.  Just because you’re watching someone else do it doesn’t mean you are.  Just because you are reading about it doesn’t mean you’re living it.  I was working with a group of students a few years ago and they were taking some leadership classes I was teaching.  I walked in to start class and overheard a conversation.  They were talking about a leader they were working with, and honestly they were being extremely critical.  This was a veteran leader, and a good leader at that, but they were eating him for lunch.  I heard comments like “What he needs to do is…”  “if he would just lead better” etc.  So I just begin to ask them some questions, “what have you led?” “Have you tried the theories you’re espousing?”  “What goals have you established and achieved?”  It wasn’t long before they got the point.  My goal wasn’t to make them feel bad but to realize growth is personal and you’re not doing it unless your doing it.

So…WHAT IS YOUR DAILY PLAN FOR GROWTH?

Remember growth done right is habitual.  We should create a habit of growth in our lives that’s why it’s a daily thing.  Most truly excellent leaders have 4 or 5 things they do every day without fail.  I learned this from John Maxwell.

These should be things that produce growth and development in our lives.  Things that maximize our potential.  Here are mine.

1.  Think:  I think in the form of projecting and reflecting.  In the morning I like to think about where I’m going.  Overall vision, goals and daily action.  Then at the end of the day I reflect.  Reflect on the day and my goals and think about if I’m on target and evaluate what needs to change and take inspiration from what is working.  It is amazing to me how many people literally spend no time turning everything off and dismissing everyone to just think.  We can’t maximize our potential in passing, it has to be purposeful and that requires in depth thought.

2.  Read:  reading stimulates, disciplines, and develops us.  It is truly being mentored from a distance.  I focus my reading on, leadership, business, and biographies.  I’ve heard it said before and truly believe it’s true “leaders are readers.” I try to read a book a week.

3.  Devotion:  Pray and read the yearly chronological bible plan.  As a Christian and a Pastor it is imperative for me to spend time talking to God and to lay a yearly broad and solid spiritual foundation.  By reading through the Bible each year and praying it keeps me in tune, and growing spiritually.

4  listen & Learn:  I listen to podcasts and watch video talks.  This helps you keep growing and developing instead of becoming stagnant.  As a communicator it helps me grow in two areas.  1.  Whatever the content is, and 2.  Communication.  Listening and watching communicators helps develop that in me.

5.  Exercise:  For a leader this can not be underestimated.  It helps relieve stress.  Helps us stay healthy, keeps us in the game, and gives us energy.  I don’t know about you but when I’m busy this is the first thing to go, so I’ve had to change my mindset about it.  Everyone can take 30 minutes for a run or walk, and if we will at least do that a day it will help our growth tremendously.  So if you can’t make it to the gym just do some set ups, push ups, yoga or walk or run every day for a few minutes.  Remember if your pressed for time, you can exersize while listening to a podcast.

6.  Write:  I aspire to be a writer and as a leader, coach, pastor and speaker, writing is a huge part of all that.  It’s challenging to write every day, but so important to do it.  Don’t listen to the lie that you can only write when you are inspired.  What I am finding to be true, is the more consistent I am with writing, the more inspired and creative I am with my writing.  Just remember this statement, you’re not a writer unless you are writing.  Thinking about it, coming up with ideas for it, thinking about publishing, dreaming about it doesn’t make you a writer, writing makes you a writer.

Have you ever ever had this thought:  “If I had just kept _________, I would be so much better off today.”

What goes in the blank for you?  Saving, working out, on my nutrition plan, writing, etc.

It’s time to fill in the blank and give it some time, and as consistency compounds growth will happen and potential will be maximized.

Remember what Maxwell said you can’t go if you won’t grow.