Anyone that knows me or spends time in my presence gets to learn very quickly that I am big on “growth” – my own growth and surely the growth of others! I don’t think I ever really noticed it before but I have been in growthmode my entire life. Always stretching and aspiring to do more, to learn more and to be more. On reflection, growthmode is a constant state both personally and professionally. We must always strive to improve our life and what we have to offer.
I often ask myself the question “can’t I ever have a normal year?” Everyone around me quickly points out that “I love a good challenge and seem to get a kick out of stretching myself to do more.” I think the only real difference now is that my growth is now rooted in fulfilling a much greater purpose.
In my book “LIFE LESSONS A Purpose Driven Leadership Journey” I speak about the importance of the “Growth Factor” and the mindset shift required to jumpstart your growth. People with a growth mindset feel empowered. Even with some hesitation people that are focused on their growth are eager to demonstrate a willingness to step forward and take action. They don’t wait for it! They move to create it while adapting and evolving along the way and showing genuine gratitude for every opportunity afforded. They are prepared to take the leap of faith and step beyond their comfort zone.
Ask Yourself Are You In It To Win?
John C. Maxwell reminds us that “growth is not natural and that it requires us to be intentional in pursuit of our goals.” I can truly testify to this! The more intentional I have been about stepping forward over the years, the faster this seemed to propel my career journey. The Bible also tells us that “faith without works is dead” so clearly the most significant correlation to having a growth mindset is the willingness to take action. There can be no real progress if you fail to take sometimes bold and meaningful action in the direction of whatever it is you aspire to achieve. The real growth challenge is knowing and practicing the key skills and attributes needed to support your growth journey. Then, and only then does your capacity to grow truly expand.
The ABCs of Growth
As a professional mentor and leader, I have found that many times people overcomplicate things which oftentimes lead to confusion of the original objectives. Simplification is powerful and when achieved can be transformational on so many levels.
I always emphasize the importance of conducting a good and honest Personal SWOT Assessment of your approach to growth, which has the power to make us truly unstoppable. In a recent Harvard Business School Leadership publication entitled “How To Be A Rebel Leader”, the author argued that” rebel leaders focus on their strengths, are honest about their weaknesses and make an effort to reflect on both. They don’t hide who they are, or pretend to know or be something that they are not.” As unnerving as it maybe, knowing our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats is empowering and can be a recipe for success.
We must all determine what success looks like to us and remember that our efforts at growth needs to be aligned to that vision. I have attempted to simplify what growth looks like through use of these simple ABCs of Growth. You need to make your personal brand one of excellence as this is what will keep you evolving to become the best version of yourself:
Transformation Begins With You
Now the real growth challenge is to ask yourself, am I exhibiting these ABC qualities of Growth? And furthermore, am I exhibiting these qualities consistently? Being authentic in your way of life means that you are constantly developing to increase your level of self-awareness and growth.
There is no value in hiding behind your flaws; instead, identify and find ways to improve them. This lifelong developmental process of self-reflection is never easy; yet, an absolute must if we are to maximize our chances at success along life’s journey.
Your approach to growth now lies in your attitude towards growth and the desire to bring about positive change and personal transformation.