Growing as a leader is both a challenge and an opportunity. It is a challenge because leaders struggle to carve out time for themselves. They are so busy helping others that they often forget to help themselves. Growing is also an opportunity. Without personal growth, your impact will be limited. You cannot take your business where you have not gone.
Have you stopped growing as a leader? If so, read below to discover 5 recommendations for continued growth. Don’t try to implement each of these recommendations all at once. Just choose 1 and implement it. Then, move on to the next one, etc.
Growth is not accidental. Growth occurs because you choose to grow. Many leaders don’t really feel like they have time to grow. They are busy. There is so much to do and so little time to do it. Growing leaders, however, carve out time for personal development.
Don’t wait until space opens up in your life to stretch and grow. Schedule into your weekly and/or daily calendar time and space for personal growth. Otherwise, it will not occur.
When is the last time you personally choose to spend time and/or money to grow as a leader? You may be experienced, seasoned, and capable as a leader, but there is always an area in which you can grow. Don’t assume you have arrived. Be purposeful about personal growth.
What would happen if you were deliberate about personal growth each quarter? Why not choose a topic or subject each quarter in which you deliberately set out to grow? Over the next 3 years, choose 12 specific areas of personal development. Do you think that such growth would impact your life and business?
Most people who think of growth focus upon growing in areas of weakness. While there is certainly nothing wrong with wanting to improve weaker areas, perhaps your greatest opportunity is to grow in your areas of strength.
If you are weak at something, you can improve somewhat. However, most likely because it is an area of weakness, you will never become really good at that area. Weak areas are where you do not have natural gifting or ability. That’s why they are weak. Perhaps the best solution in weak areas is to hire others with strengths in those areas to complement you.
Growing in areas of strength provides great possibilities. You are naturally gifted in those areas. It is easier to grow in them. You might say, “I’m already good in those areas. Why would I want to focus on growing in my strengths?”
Growing in your strengths allows you to move from good to great! If you have natural ability and gifting in certain areas, working hard and growing in areas of strength enables you to become an expert. There are not many experts in the world. Besides, you like those areas and are already good in them. You will improve quickly and easily.
No matter how good you are in an area, there is always someone who is better. Because they are better, have more experience, or may be gifted differently, you can learn from them. If you focus on growing in a specific area, you want to study under experts in that field. You will be amazed at how insightful they are and how quickly you grow.
People who are strong in specific areas will be familiar with experts in that field. For example, let’s say you like golf and want to improve your short game. If so, discover golf coaches who specialize in wedge play. They have developed specific drills to teach and improve your wedge play. Seek out those people. They have developed an entire business on one specific aspect of the golf game. They know what they are doing and can help you. If you already have a good short game, you can become even better. Doing so will reduce strokes and improve your game to a great height!
There are experts in leadership also. Ask around, read reviews, look for book recommendations, seminars to attend, etc. Learning under the guidance of an expert will raise your game to an entire new level of play.
Discovering information is one thing. Implementing information is something entirely different. Knowing about a subject is helpful, but actually putting that information into action is what unleashes the power of such knowledge.
Develop the ability to read books, attend seminars or conferences, etc. and actually implement the information you learn. This takes thought and effort. Discuss what you learn with your team and get their input on that information.
Don’t be satisfied with learning about a subject. Look for specific ways you can put what you learn into action. Doing so is what will unleash your heightened ability as a leader.
Growth for the sake of growth is not enough. Make sure you implement and MEASURE what you learn. While knowledge can impress others, results are even more impressive.
When you learn something new, work at implementing that knowledge in a way that will impact other’s lives. Measuring how your new knowledge impacts the lives of others may not be easy. It may require you to perform surveys, seek reviews or testimonials, etc.
Measuring how something produces growth is much easier. The bottom line is the bottom line. You might be amazed at your ability to learn one concept that can substantially affect your company’s growth. The only way to know for sure is to measure it.
In summary, personal growth is something that every leader should constantly seek. Sadly, many leaders get comfortable, stop growing, and experience declining businesses. Such decline can be prevented. Average leaders develop good abilities. Great leaders never stop growing and develop great abilities. What kind of leader are you?