Earlier this week, John Maxwell wrote a blog post on A Leader’s Silent Investment. I was captivated by this thought and wanted to spend some time unpacking this further with you.
I fully affirm John’s belief that personal growth is a leaders greatest silent investment. Let’s break this down…
What makes personal growth silent? Well, just as John said, “it doesn’t speak up, it shows up!” Personal growth always shows up in your actions.
Why is personal growth a great investment? Focusing on your growth will require you to pay a price, but as John says, “it’s not a price if it yields a return. That’s when it becomes an investment.”
Now, growth doesn’t happen accidentally. You have to be intentional in seeking out opportunities for personal growth. I’ve always enjoyed this quote from Bruce Springsteen, “A time comes when you need to stop waiting for the man you want to become and start being the man you want to be.”
I believe the most dangerous trap you can fall into right now is to make growth a priority tomorrow. Here are four things you can focus on to become more intentional with your growth, today!
1. Be reflective. Experience is not your greatest teacher; evaluated experience is. John spends two hours of reflection time for every hour of interaction time.
2. Be curious. George Bernard Shaw said, “Some people see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not.”
3. Make contributions. Pour into other people around you.John says, “The measure of success is not the number of people who serve you, but the number of people you serve.”
4. Keep it simple! Find a resource that will help you grow and learn from it. It could be a book, a person, an event or an ongoing program; whatever it is, start learning from it now.
Years ago I was listening to John Maxwell teach on growth and he said something that changed the trajectory of my leadership journey: “When I started my career, I was intentional about working, reaching my goals, and being successful. I had a strategy: hard work. I hoped that would get me where I wanted to go. But working hard doesn’t guarantee success. And hope is not a strategy.”
After hearing these words I began asking myself some questions that I believe will help you on your grow as well.
- Where do you want to go in life?
- What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
- How can you improve your relationships?
- What obstacles stand in the way of your growth?
- Whose advice can you get to help you along the way?
If you want to reach your potential and become a great leader, you have to do much more than just experience life. You will not be able to learn what you need to along the way by merely hoping to learn. Growth opportunities have to be seized! Get out there and go after it.
There will be a price for growth, just like anything worthwhile, but the question is: are you willing to pay it?
One thing I can promise you from experience—it’s worth it!