The main reason I’ve been able to rise into different positions of leadership has been my ongoing desire to learn and grow myself. In The Leadership Mandate I write this about the “beginning” season (stage) of personal growth:
This is the first season because a person has to discover or have a revelation about the importance and value personal growth and development provides. This can’t happen through force but requires making a conscious decision to take ownership of your growth and development. The required work training only goes so far if you are not willing to learn new skills. The beginning seasons starts when you choose to participate in the growth process by being intentional and disciplined in continued growth and learning.
During my High School years my only motivation in earning good grades was so I could continue to participate in cross country racing and track & field. It was forced learning and while I still retained a lot of information I had no desire to learn. Fast forward to College, I was doing the work and learning just enough so I could earn a degree. I did nothing to grow or learn outside of the required course work. Then one day I listened to a John Maxwell CD, that sparked a desire and passion to learn everything I could about the topic of leadership. This was when I moved from the learning only what was required in school to the beginning stage of personal growth. My mindset shifted to wanting to learn and grow myself.
Only when you start to freely and willingly grow yourself and capabilities do you step into beginning stage; then progressively go through the stages of enthusiastic learner, deliberately implementing, and return on investment stages. Entering the beginning stage of personal growth is essential for your leadership. When you do the possibilities are limitless. You remain competent in your skills, see a steady increase of your influence, and excel toward your purpose and potential. The truth is if you’re not growing your leadership abilities, you’re not going to be effectively leading for long. This is why every leader needs to go through the beginning stage of personal growth, as described above.
You can enter the process or continue to move through it by implementing a personal growth or learning time into your schedule. Take time on a regular basis to read a book, listen to an audio program, attend conferences, receive mentorship, or enroll in a College level class. Make sure whatever method you chose causes you to increase your competence level and leadership abilities.
Question: Have you entered the beginning stage of personal growth? If not, how do you intend to begin and if so what was the process like in your life?
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