• Kendra Clark Leadership Strategies

To Lead, You Must Invest In Your Growth

You have the job position that you worked hard to get, you have the house that you want, you are right where you want to be. You think you have it easy and you start coasting. But is that the correct way to proceed? The answer is no. Even if you are right where you think you should be, you should never stop learning or growing.

It’s an interesting concept. For myself personally, I experienced the same realm. I was in a position that I liked, I was challenged and busy. The key emphasis being on busy. I thought I was learning and growing because I was exhausted and never seemed to have any free time. The reality of the situation was that I was doing neither. I was busy, but not with items that were helping me to grow and develop. Does this sound familiar?

What I have learned as I have made this pivot in my career is that growth is intentional. To continue to grow you need to change your mindset from “ When will I get there to How far can I go.” In other words, you are changing your thinking from a destination mindset to a growth mindset. When you do this, you become intentional and realize that you cannot coast through life. I once read a statistic that 80% of college graduates will never pick up a book after graduation. How scary is that? The reality of the nature is that if you want to be a leader and lead yourself and others, you have to continue to learn and to grow. If you coast, then you are hurting yourself and your team members.

To do this, become a continual learner. As President Harry Truman once said, “ You cannot lead others until you first lead yourself.” To do this, you have to invest in yourself. Investment is easy. Make it a daily practice to read, commit to trying one new thing a day and listen to those around you. One easy item is to engage your curiousity. Be curious and ask Why. Remember yourself as a child and how you questioned everything wanting to know why. Become that child again! If you read a news article about a topic you are unfamilar with.....research the topic to gain a better of understanding. You may have a college or trade school degree, but that does not mean you are done with education. Continue to invest in yourself and Team with workshops, mentoring and coaching. Just because you have a degree or have been in a postion for awhile, does not mean that you know everything. Times change and information changes, keep growing with it. As you go through this process, you will start to feel your growth. You will feel empowerment and a new found ignited excitment about life.

Lastly, review your long term goals. Are they destination driven or growth driven? If they are destination driven, tweak them to ensure they are growth driven. This will help push you out of the comfort zone a bit and help knudge you into a growth pattern.

When you choose to grow, you lead with conviction and empowerment, which will leave a long standing impression on your Team. Coincidently, by focusing on growth, you will be able to go places that you could never have imagained. When you take the focus off of a destination, you are no longer handicapping yourself to a certain level. By focusing on growth, the sky is the limit for you and your leadership. Give it a try and soar!

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