Standard questions I ask leaders are "What have you learned about leadership in the past year?" and "What are the most significant books you have read recently?" Or, "What dumb tax have you paid recently that you wish you didn't have to pay?" 

The responses are interesting - I learn from them. How quickly the leaders can answer the question is also telling. Some have a hard time coming up with an answer while others can tell you immediately. The difference between the two usually has to do with whether one has a mindset of learning or not. 

Life gives us amazing opportunities to grow emotionally, spiritually, relationally and in our areas of strength - if we are intentional about it. What works against us is the pace of life and the tendency to be so busy that we don't have time to reflect on the very things that could make us better leaders or better people. But it is reflection that gives us the greatest opportunities for growth as we intentionally ask ourselves questions about our lives and leadership. One of the reasons I blog is that it allows me opportunity to reflect on issues that I have observed or experienced. It is about learning and growth.

All of us need a strategy for personal growth. Since we learn and process differently there is no one way but there should be a way - practices that are built into our lives or schedules that allows us to grow from what we experience and observe. A helpful question to ask is "How do I best learn and grow?" The follow up question is "Is my life, schedule and practice congruent with how I best learn?" so that the growth curve never slows down.

For leaders, that growth quotient is critical since they need to be on the front end of those they lead. Leaders who are not intentional about growth often have a rude awakening when those they lead become disillusioned by their leadership. Our leadership capital is our ability to help those we lead maximize their gifts and effectively meet the mission of the organization. When we lost that capital our leadership is over. 

Whether you are a leader or not, what is your strategy for growth and are you continuing to grow at the pace you once did? Sloth (a great word) in this area of life is both dangerous and unfortunate but it often sets in in our forties or fifties when we think we have learned what we need to learn and can simply rest on our past experience. If anything it is at this stage of life that intentionality in growth is the most important. No past experience can compensate for what we need to learn and where we need to grow today. 

Take a moment and reflect on your learning quotient and strategy. It is the way of the "wise" in the book of Proverbs.
  • Jul 31, 2011
  • Category: News
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