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I sanded on my industrial arts project for what felt like an eternity. I knew the teacher was right. I had seen my dad’s woodwork. In the end it was worth the time to hear, “Wow! I’ve never seen something this nice come out of a seventh grade class!”
My dad would be proud to know that I’ve worked hard to honor him. He taught me a lot about the law of process. Throughout my life he taught me the importance of hard work and dedication in all that I do. He showed me what it takes to do carpentry and woodworking with excellence. When I reached high school and beyond, I saw my dad grow in his landscaping and gardening skills. He’d been working at it since he was a teenager, but it was then that he moved to a new home and began to create what is now one of the most beautiful park-like settings I know. He applied himself daily. He immersed himself not only in the application of his knowledge but also took classes to become a master gardener and began to learn from others as well.
Leadership develops daily, not in a day.
My leadership development has grown much like my father’s gardening skills. I began young, accepting various roles as a leader in school. As an entrepreneur, I grew at a consistently slow rate for quite some time. Part of that, much like my dad and others, was due to raising a family. I hit a sudden growth spurt in leadership development when my daughters became adults.
What spurs leadership development? The following six items are what I found to be most helpful to me when I really got serious about growth and the ones that continue to be of utmost importance to me:
I defined my purpose.
I have a passion for helping others grow. I find great joy in coaching business professionals past their self-limiting beliefs toward the dreams and goals that are important to them. Knowing my passion and purpose was essential as I planned various steps along the way. Have you thought about clearly defining your purpose? What are you passionate about? Answering these questions is essential to growth.
We are told that we become like the five people we are exposed to most often.
As my focus shifted, so did the people I was interacting with. The new peer group fueled my desire to grow, they encouraged and supported my quest. Just being around these people gave me even more energy to move forward. Attending conferences with like-minded professionals also adds tremendous strength to the energy moving forward if you are able to harness it through your relationships.
I have a meeting with a mentor at least twice each month.
For example, I found my greatest mentor at essay writing help online when I was working there. My mentors are able to talk with me about specific areas of growth. They are people that I can go to with questions—people who have more knowledge about leadership and business development than I do and challenge me to greater success. My mentors share their experiences with me to help me learn. They are great teachers.
To capture even a snippet of my experience with a coach, imagine a sitting with a person who does more than hear your words.
Someone who is listening so closely to what you say that they hear the meaning behind what you are saying, understanding the pauses and body language. Imagine a relationship with an individual who is often more committed to what you want to achieve than you are. My coach did not tell me what to do. Sometimes I heard more often than I wanted to, “The answer is extent of growth that I achieved. My experience with coaches is completely different than a mentoring experience. If professional athletes realize that they need coaching, why don’t we, as business professionals, understand that concept? A coach is an amazing asset to our journey!
How many times in your day do you face something that can wait until later?
Sometimes items wait because they fall down on the priority list. Other times, they may fall because of a lack of interest or drive. Of course, there’s also the infamous answer, “I didn’t have time. I was so busy!” Right now, I have an amazing accountability partner. We meet twice each week, occasionally more. Why? Because we both have specific areas of growth that we are targeting. We understand that in this business, working in a private office, it is easy to get sidetracked.
Each day brings a new challenge.
Our best laid plans can be thrown off by interruptions unless we are extraordinarily intentional about growing. I spend time each day reflective thinking as well as forward thinking, I read specifically to learn and I write. Each day I strive to implement something that I have learned by sharing it with someone else.
When people in your sphere of influence know that personal growth and leadership development are valued by you, then growth will explode! Start immediately to mark your calendar to allow yourself time to read a book a month, listen to lessons each week, invest in conferences, and to give back to others. For an even greater experience, enlist mentors, a coach and an accountability partner. Your environment will begin to attract others who are high achievers and individuals with high potential. Most importantly, take time to invest in yourself and others daily.