Personal growth is not always a popular topic among leaders. I’ve asked many leaders over the years this question: How are you growing and improving your leadership skills? I often receive blank looks in return. Many of these leaders redirect the question back to reaching goals or making deadlines. Or, they mention how they once read a leadership book or attended a conference but nothing about how they are currently growing themselves.
Far too many leaders (and people) fail to intentionally grow themselves. If you want to reach your leadership potential and continually move to new levels of success, then you need to always be growing and learning. When we know the common reasons why we fail to grow or improve ourselves then we can prevent or avoid the reason in advance. Through self-awareness, accountability, and being intentional about being a lifetime learner we safeguard against these 9 reasons. The 9 common reasons why a leader fails to grow themselves are:
Pride is the greatest hindrance to growing yourself. John Maxwell wisely stated, “When you are full of pride on the inside, it makes you stiff, stubborn, and creates strife with others.” Pride prevents a person from growing or learning. Prideful leaders have a false sense of reality that causes them to think they are better than they really are, so they see no need to improve, because they believe they are perfect or are too noble to grow. Rid yourself of pride and allow growth to happen.
2. Title minded
Power and authority can prevent a leader from growing themselves. Title minded leaders rely more on their position or official title than on the need to improve themselves. A title is not bad however an unhealthy concentration on the title or position can become damaging and often prevents growth from happening. Focus on growth more than your title or position.
Discipline is a learned behavior. The leaders who have not learned to discipline themselves in the most important areas of life will have a very difficult time discipling themselves in the hard work of growing themselves. These are the people who might grow for a season or until they have reached a goal but are not focusing on being a lifelong learner. Take small steps today to begin to discipline yourself on a regular basis.
4. Resistant to change
Change is seldom easy or fun. Growth requires a person to move from their current location in life and leadership into the unknown. The refusal to change prevents a person from moving outside their comfort zone and into new realms of growth. Sadly, many leaders would rather stay the same than to change into a better and more improved person. We must always remember, “Change is the end result of all true learning.” Leo Buscaglia
5. Unnecessary Distractions
The technology driven world is full of distractions to lure us away from growing. Spending several hours a day watching TV, surfing the internet, or checking out the latest phone app, are all time stealers; causing you to waste time on unnecessary distractions when you could be growing and improving yourself. Those who participate will never have enough time to grow. Balance the amount of time you spend on growing yourself with the time spent on leisure activities.
6. Highly talented
The leaders who are naturally talented often have a hard time seeing the importance of sharpening their skills. These people rely on their skills or natural talent since it has allowed them to be successful in their role while not seeing the need to grow themselves. Highly talented leaders might remain good but they will never become great or reach their maximum potential. See your talent and skills as a starting point to your growth.
7. Low value
When a person does not see the value in doing something, it will not be done. A person who has a low value of personal growth can often only see the short-term requirements of the task while not being able to see the long term benefits it produces. In today’s culture most people place a low value on personal growth, so they fail to grow themselves. Place a high value on growth and learning and you will always be moving toward your potential.
8. Price tag
Warren Buffet said, “Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.” Personal growth comes with a price tag. The price of growth is time, energy, focus, and sometimes money (though you can still grow on a budget). Those reasons are why a lot of leaders don’t invest in personal growth. They see the price but fail to see the outcome or rewards of growth. Chose to pay the price tag of growing.
When a leader does not understand the benefits of growth it can be very difficult from them to participate in the process of growing. Often it’s because they can’t see the long term power of growing so they chose not to grow themselves. They have a here and now mindset instead of thinking about the potential future. Know grow will launch you into a better future and your potential so always be growing yourself.
Question: How do you avoid these 9 reasons and remain growth driven? Which of these 9 reasons do you struggle with the most?
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