Now that I have your attention! Understand that this article is for leaders who want to grow themselves, not for leaders who want to grow their company, organization, or church. The harsh reality is that most leaders don't think about personal growth, they only think about organizational growth, because they believe, "If the company grows I will grow." That is 1,000% backwards. The only way for the company to grow is for the leader, or leaders, to grow. That's why this article ain't for every leader.
This article is for the leader who desires to enter into the next level of their growth. It's going to cause you to question some of your current habits, relationships, and decisions, but I promise if you push through you will get a fresh vision for where you can actually go.
I offer coaching. Yes, that's right. I provide life and professional coaching to leaders, business owners, pastors, and entrepreneurs. I have been doing that for a few years now. Here's the challenge: Most people don't think they need a coach. I know it sounds crazy, but there isn't a professional sports team without a coach. A coach is required for success. And when a team is not excelling they fire who? The coach. A coach helps all of the pieces come together to create a successful team.
I can only coach a few people per year, but most people don't even pursue a coaching relationship with me or anyone. It's kind of sad, but over the years of me doing this I have found the most resistant group is pastors. They are more skeptical than executives, salespeople, or managers. Most professionals seek out personal or professional coaches. In fact, they pay a lot of money for it. Why? Because they do what other leaders choose not to do!
So, keep reading for the next few moments, because I would like to challenge you to grow to the next level. Remember, this ain't for every leader, but it's for the ones who truly want to hit the next level in their leadership.
First, let's talk about engagement. What do I mean by that? I simply means who do you engage with on a regular basis? This may be hard to swallow, but if you are only talking with your followers every single day it may make you feel important, however it may not help you become important. Hang with me! Yes, we need to spend time with those we are leading, but we need to spend more time than we do engaging leaders who are beyond us.
One of the main reasons that leaders only engage those they lead is due to the harsh reality of insecurity. "I can feel important in my small pond." What if, a leader, chose to surround themselves with 5 other leaders on a weekly basis? Whether via phone calls, text messages, or video conferencing just for some level of personal growth. I believe you would see them grow exponentially. The sad truth is insecurity keeps them where they are needed, instead of where they can grow.
I am a pastor. I spend more time speaking to pastors during the week than my church. Why? I want to be a better pastor when I see my people. So, I am choosing to develop me so I can develop them.
QUESTIONS TO ASK: Who are you engaging? What leaders are you engaging? What keeps you from engaging higher level leaders?
Your environment matters. If you only hang out with everyone that looks like you there is a limited growth potential. I love hanging out with successful people. Yes, it makes me really uncomfortable, because many times their success is a hundred times greater than mine, but I understand that if I put myself in the right environments they can become an incubator for my growth. For example, if you want to be a 5 million dollar business, but you only associate with 500 thousand dollar business you may not learn the tools needed to take that company to the next level. You have to immerse yourself in the right environment to grow.
Over the last 5 years I have shifted my environments. I have had to align myself and my professional life with people going somewhere. If I hang out with dinosaurs I will become extinct too. I have made the decision to walk out of some environments that were limited my growth to embrace places and spaces that push me to grow. Since making that decision I have watched my personal and professional life soar to a new level. Yours can too.
QUESTIONS TO ASK: What environments do you need to limit or walk away from? What environments do you need to step into? Who do you want to rub shoulders with in the next 6 months?
And now we are off to the nitty gritty. You can begin realigning your engagement and putting yourself in the right environment, but at some point you have to execute. You cannot blame anyone else for your own lack of drive. That's on you! "I don't have time." No, you have the same time at Jeff Bezos, Joel Osteen, and Elon Musk. They just choose to manage their life at a different level. Now, I am not saying that is for everyone. But, at some point, ideas are only as good as their implementation - and that comes down to execution.
Friends ask me all the time, "How do you do all that you do?" My response is pretty simple, "God has given me a pretty wide bandwidth." Now, I am honestly, at my max bandwidth currently, but I can still run circles around many people because I have learned how to manage moments. I do not have to have a project, sermon, or presentation at 100%. I get something to where its 75-80% and then I move on to something else. Too many leaders get stuck in absolute perfection. After 27 years of leadership I have learned perfection does not exist. So, I simply get something to a level higher than average and move on. If I don't do that I would never move on, because nothing is perfect. Execution is not about perfection, but completion (unless of course its surgery, then is perfection).
QUESTIONS TO ASK: Why do I stall out on projects? What keeps me from getting more things done? Who or what becomes my time drainers?
Yep, if you read this far, you are probably scratching your head thinking: "Where do I begin?" You begin within. You look within your own heart and ask a better question: "How can I be everything God designed me to be?" You see, this ain't for every leader, because sadly most leaders just want to safely arrive at death one day, but for the leaders who desire to grow to the next level you must check your engagement, environments, and execution. If you can master those three things you will be the leader everyone wants to be.
Now, just start asking yourself the right questions and you will begin to move in the right direction. Don't just be any leader, be a better leader.