An Exercise Guaranteed to Ignite Growth in Anyone

You need affirmation, but if you want to grow, seek discomfort.

Comfort affirms. Discomfort transforms.

Today’s challenge is as difficult as it is simple. Seek advice from an imperfect boss or colleague. If you’re feeling brave, seek advice from your spouse or children. But there’s more.

Commit to do whatever they advise.

Examples:

“I’d like to fuel energy on the team. What advice do you have? Before you answer, I want you to know that I’ll do whatever you say for a week.”

“I’d like to live a more meaningful life. I wonder what advice you have for me. Before you answer, I want you to know that I’ll do whatever you say for a week.”

“I’d like to get better at holding people accountable. What do you suggest I do? Before you answer, I want you to know that I’ll do whatever you say for a week.”

Rational:

  1. Shake things up once in a while or you’ll sink into ruts.
  2. The phrase, “I’ll do whatever you say,” changes the dynamic for the advice giver.
  3. “I’ll do whatever you say,” humbles you. Everything good in leadership begins with humility.

This exercise shows who you trust. I found that I don’t trust as many people as I thought. Maybe I need to deepen some of my relationships?

Guidelines:

#1. Declare an intention before seeking advice.

What could I do this week to:

  1. Develop new relationships?
  2. Deepen current relationships?
  3. Become a better leader? (Spouse, friend, boss.)
  4. Move my career forward?
  5. Encourage my team?
  6. Fulfill my vision for life?
  7. Serve you/my team?

#2. Set a short time limit, perhaps a day or a week.

#3. Regardless of the question you craft, commit to do whatever they tell you, before they respond.

How might leaders implement this growth exercise?