Leadership is all about growth. Great leaders look for corporate growth, but they understand it always starts with personal growth. The only way to grow an organization is to grow the people in it. Every CEO, entrepreneur, and manager understands this simple course. But what happens when growth stalls? You have to challenge the process.
I have worked for several churches over the 27 years of ministry and in all the churches I served at there was a larger a focus on your spiritual growth and little effort put into your personal growth. We would have times of prayer, worship, and Bible study. I was growing spiritually. That is vital to my faith. But I had to develop the art of the personal kick-start. I would have to self-motivate. I read books, listened to cassettes (google it if you are under 30), and attended leadership conferences. I kept growing from the early years of leaders (1995) until today.
When my wife, Mary, and I started our church we wanted to raise up leaders. We did not want to develop people who attended the church. We desired to see people affect the church. That was hard to do in the early years of our new church because it was just Mary and me. We exhausted our life savings into the church, paid church bills with personal money, and personally signed for the rental agreement for the church (against the wishes of my attorney). It was just us. But in our hearts we knew that God had given us a vision to raise up leaders - to help them unleash their full redemptive potential.
So, when we hired our first staff, way back in the day, we started having staff meetings. They were not just to discuss how the church was doing. I designed them to grow the people around us. It's not just reading the Bible and prayer - which are vital. But I spend 60 minutes or more each week dropping leadership nuggets into our team. Why? Because Mary and I know that if we can grow them they will grow the church. Even today, I am finishing my leadership teaching for our team "The 'Tude Sets The Mood - How Your Attitude Affects Everything.'
Many leaders have this wrong - they expect people to grow their business, but that business leaders spends no time, effort, or money on growing the people in their organization. When an organization stalls or stops growing a wise leader will challenge the process. In other words, they won't challenge the people - that's the blame game - "It's your fault." No, they will challenge the process - they take responsibility - "Maybe I did not give you the right tools to excel." Now, I don't get this right all of the time, but I truly try to contribute more than I consume.
If you are not getting what you want from people, challenge the process. Maybe you have poured nothing into them and they have very little to give back. Look at how much time you are spending growing the people around you. I truly believe if you grow the people around you they will grow the business, church, or organization with you.
Now, let me say this, if you are a staff member, you cannot walk up to your supervisor and challenge the process with a "You ain't growing me attitude." No, just like I had to do, you must self-motivate. Guess what the result was? I helped grow the organizations I worked for. Do you know what else happened? I naturally grew out of the organizations I was working for. God opened up better, larger doors for me. Now, I am leading an incredible, growing churches in one of the most difficult places in America to have a church - the Northeast.
The best gift you can ever give your mentor is to grow. They feed off your growth. I believe that everyone has the seed of success inside, but too many people can't find it in themselves and as a result do not reach their potential. But there are those whose purpose in life is to fertilize the seed of potential in another, who are rewarded by seeing that person grow and blossom before their eyes. Raising up others to a higher level is a mentor's joy and sustenance. - John C. Maxwell
If you are the person responsible for the growth of your business, ministry, department, team, or church and your growth is stalled, you must challenge the process. Look at whether or not you are growing people or just focused on growing your brand.
A great leader's process is simplistic - if I grow people, they will grow this opportunity with me. Focus on growing the people around you. You will see almost immediately a kick-start to your goals, dreams, and leadership. Leadership's secret sauce is stewardship. If I manage the people, the product, and the purpose well I can lead this organization, church, or business to its promised land.
Questions to ask:
Is my goal the bottom line or the people to build with me?
Am I selfishly motivated or team driven?
Where do I need to challenge the process to see more growth?
What can I do today to help grow my team?
What process do you need to challenge?