Why The Beginning Stage of Personal Growth is Essential for your Leadership

Starting-Line

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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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Dan, your story is similar to mine. I found myself just trying to get through both high school and college with all A’s and B’s. It was all about the grades and the degrees, not the learning. Today, I am constantly reading books, blogs, and magazines, along with listening to podcasts. I tend to focus on content that leads to personal and spiritual growth. I’ve grown much more in recent years through my own journey of self-study than I ever did in a classroom.

    • Great people have similar stories. I focus on spiritual and leadership growth. Thank you for sharing about your story.

  • As with Chris & you, my story is similar. I’m also realizing recently that I need to renew this process in my life. There’s another topic for You to write about ☺

    • It’s something we all tend to need to renew throughout the years. Great topic idea!

  • Well said, Dan. I am on a continual journey to renew and lead. We can always learn.

  • This is so so good. And so true.

    What do you think is the key component that helps people to grasp the need to adopt this kind of mindset? Although I believe, as you do, that learning is essential, I also notice that it’s not a belief shared by everyone, and I’ve been wondering of late about the best way to go about helping to instill this belief in others so they can embrace the benefits.

    • Hi Micah,

      I think it’s personal choice and seeing the value personal growth brings. Leaders need to be a role model/example of someone who is always growing and learning. This would be a cool topic to discuss over the phone, let me know if you want to chat about it:)