If we have learned anything since the start of the pandemic, it’s this: we live in a world that refuses to sit still. Change is the only constant. What worked yesterday must change to work today, and it will have to change again for tomorrow.
In a world like that, those who adapt, survive; and those who adapt well, thrive. So as leaders, we must learn to master growth if we want to keep leading.
And what’s more, we must prioritize growth if we want our people to grow – at all.
Sounds like a lot of pressure, I know, but that is the leader’s lot! Leaders represent the organization to their team. They establish the tone. They set the standard for what is important and what is not.
Your team is taking their cues from your behavior; they are using the framework that you put in place. Leaders do not have the luxury of saying, Do as I say, not as I do.
Your people will, for better or worse, “follow your lead.” (It’s in the title: leadership!)
So, do you value growth? Sure – if someone were to ask you, it would be difficult to keep a straight face and say, “No, I do not think growth is important.” But it is one thing to say that growth is a priority and another thing to show that it is. Do you value growth in practice, and not just in theory?
These four hallmarks of the growth mindset will help you find out…
1. Asking questions. Some leaders like to talk more than they listen. The word itself calls to mind the image of a strong resolution, and questions can reveal that there is something we don’t know. But when we rush to offer input, we have learned nothing. We have gained nothing.
A good question can offer you the insight that ignites your growth. Do you spend more time seeking advice than offering it?
2. Keeping yourself to a high standard. You will never turn on the television and find any successful musician, athlete, or business mogul talking about all the compromises they had to make to get where they are today.
Are you reaching past “satisfactory” for “excellent”?
3. Focusing on others. Everyone you know, knows something you don’t. They have lived through something you haven’t and accomplished something you haven’t (yet). Their life has led them to a unique and valuable perspective.
Are you learning from the people whose journeys can inform yours?
4. Focusing on today. Surely you’ve heard that quote, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift; that’s why they call it the present.” It is a bit of a cliché, but it rings true.
If you are still talking about last year’s successes, you may be stagnant. But growth happens daily, not in a day; plans matter little if they are not followed through on. So the present, not the past or the future, is where we make all of our growth happen.
Are you making the most of your most limited resource – your time?
This week, take a moment with these questions. Think on them; let them prompt some genuine insights. Then, take what you learn and let it fuel your next steps into personal growth.
Until next time,
P.S. Looking for more discussion on personal growth and leadership? Join my colleague Madalina and I on the next Leading on Mondays as we discuss how they impact each other. Tune in 15 August at 12 PM CET!
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