I Expected Growth to Go Easier

I intensified my focus on personal growth and leadership development during the month of October. I expected things to go easier. 

7 surprising secrets of personal growth and development:

Personal growth and leadership development require focus, rigor, tenacity, and clarity. There’s no hope for those who have arrived.

#1. Leadership development looks like hoeing beans, not riding roller coasters.

You may experience dramatic growth points. But flashes of growth are followed by long periods of undramatic, sweaty practice.

Growth and development are no accident.

#2. Successful leadership development goes beyond casual interest.

You’re doomed to mediocrity, unless you make leadership development a top priority. Development is fantasy for anyone who can’t explain their focus.

People who are growing know they’re growing.

#3. Leadership development happens in community.

Leadership development has more to do with locking arms with others than navel gazing in private.

Be transparent about the skills and behaviors you’re working to develop. Invite others to join you. Ask others to hold you accountable.

Growth often includes intervention from others.

#4. Trying new behaviors instigates growth. Practicing current behaviors stabilizes growth. 

You stop growing when you stop trying new things.

#5. If you’re afraid to fail, you won’t grow.

The practice of kindness was more challenging than expected. I learned that my personal agenda collides with the practice of kindness.

Kindness often requires an interruption in current plans and schedules. 

#6. Feedback is required for development.

Lack of feedback explains persistent blindspots and ineffective habits.

#7. Leadership development is all about behaviors.

Identify behaviors that build character because character is more important than charisma. Curiosity, openness, courage, and grit take you further than style and flare. 

Leadership development has little to do with style and flare.

Bonus: Growth requires simplicity.

Limit development to one focus area. Complexity short circuits development.

You might develop curiosity by allowing six seconds of silence or asking a second question, for example.

What factors have been essential for your own personal growth and leadership development?