Personal development is challenging. You get so busy that it takes all your energy, time, and strength just to keep up. While working hard will work for a while, it will sustain neither you nor your organization.
If you want a thriving business, you must push yourself to develop personally. Discover how you can continue growing as a leader with these 5 key concepts!
Many leaders view personal growth as a luxury. It is really a necessity. No matter how much you know or how strong your abilities are, you will eventually exhaust where you are. Think of it like using all the fuel in your gas tank. Unless you replenish the supply, you will eventually run out.
Gifted leaders utilize their gifting, experiences, and training to fulfill their roles. Yet, even gifted leaders have limitations. Times change. Industries change. Society changes. Limiting yourself to what you have learned is not enough. You need to continue growing if you want to improve your business and provide the level of leadership your employees need and deserve.
Growth is something you must value. If you do not value it, you will not make time for it. Have you stopped growing as a leader? Are you relying on past accomplishments, knowledge, or experiences? If so, perhaps you view personal growth as a luxury. It is not. It is a necessity.
Growth occurs best when you narrow your efforts. No one can grow in every area simultaneously. Start by determining the top 3 areas in which you need to grow. Choose the area which is most pertinent to you at this moment. Then, dive deeply in that area.
Immerse yourself in growing in a specific area. Learn all you can about that area. You will discover that it takes a lot less effort to become knowledgeable in a specific area than to become knowledgeable in many areas.
You have likely heard of the 10,000-hour rule. It suggests that it takes approximately 10,000 hours to become proficient in most areas. While you may not have that much time, the rule illustrates that becoming proficient requires immense focus and a sizable amount of time to become good at most skills. Narrowing your efforts to a specific area will expedite your growth. Once you “master” one area, move on to the next one.
In every area, there are individuals who have distinguished themselves as experts. Before you begin to work on growing personally, take time to research who are the experts in that field or subject. Do some research to uncover the experts. You will see their names appearing multiple times in books, articles, blog posts, podcasts, etc.
Rather than researching everything from scratch, use their work to help increase your knowledge and abilities in specific areas. Utilizing the work of others doesn’t mean you cannot develop original thoughts or concepts. Their efforts will provide a foundation to build on for your personal growth.
Growing doesn’t happen by accident. Most leaders are busy. Unless you purposely schedule time for personal growth, it will not happen. It requires you to designate specific time in your schedule in which you purposely devote to personal development.
Do you set aside regular time in your schedule to learn and grow? If not, why not? Have you discovered everything there is to know in your industry? Everyone has room for growth. Growth requires a plan. Unless you plan to grow, you will not grow.
Growing is more than increasing knowledge. We live in a knowledge-based age. You can google any subject and uncover more data than you can possibly read. Reading the material is only the beginning of genuine growth.
To grow you must give deep thought and effort to implementing the knowledge you uncover. True growth occurs when you apply knowledge.
Applied knowledge creates transformation. Transformation impacts lives and businesses. One good way to implement knowledge is to discuss what you have learned with others and seek their insights into how that knowledge might be applied in your company.
Learn to think outside the box. Don’t be satisfied with simply acquiring knowledge. Work hard to implement that knowledge. Doing so will make your efforts worthwhile.
Remember, if the leader is not growing, the organization is not growing. Be careful that you do not allow yourself to get so engaged in operating the organization that you fail to develop your business. Developing your business begins with personal growth.
Dave Pennington PhD