There is a misconception about leadership which suggests that when a leader reaches what they determine to be the pinnacle of success they no longer need to grow. You’ve seen it I’m sure; leaders who schedule employees to attend training course after training course but refuse to continue to develop themselves. These are often time the kinds of leaders who need everyone to know that they are in charge. They confuse dictating and heavy micromanaging for leadership. They are often out of touch with their employees and are not even aware that leadership is more about influence than it is about force. Leading by influence requires the leader to have quite a number of leadership characteristics. According to John C Maxwell, to lead by influence a person must have depth of character, be able to develop relationships, be knowledgeable, have experience, have a history of past success along with few other characteristics.
Being a person of influence requires that you continue to invest in personal development; growing cannot become optional. When you are not growing, you are stagnant. Stagnant people lack freshness, are dull, become stale and hinder progress. Growing requires work. Maxwell reminds us that “Growth demands a temporary surrender of security. It may mean giving up on familiar but limiting patterns, safe but unrewarding work, values no longer believed in and relationships that have lost their meaning.”
As a leader, growth cannot be optional nor does it need to be complex. It’s about being continually stimulated and includes more than the traditional forms of self-improvement. Here are some suggestions to help you find constant sources of stimulation:
- Find a new hobby
- Participate in group activities
- Learn a new skill
- Incorporate some adventure into your life
- Join an organization focused on community service
It’s about adding experiences to your life that help you to see things from a different perspective. Challenge yourself to face your limitations and shatter them. The only way to do that is to conquer the very thing you believe you are unable to. Be childlike in your quest to know and to understand. According to John C Maxwell, Leadership Guru of the world, “Growth is the great separator between those who succeed and those who do not. When I see a person beginning to separate themselves from the pack, it almost always due to personal growth.”
Don’t become stagnant in life. Successful leaders all have this in common; they focus on continuing to grow.
Tip of the week: The tip of the week is a reminder from John Maxwell: “Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.”