“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” ~ Benjamin Franklin
We are born to grow…physically, mentally and spiritually. I often hear the question: “Are leaders born or is leadership a skill we have to learn?” You probably know people who seem to just have a natural bent toward being a good leader while others have to work at it. Either way, all leaders must be committed to growth. Leaders are learners and great leaders are great learners.
Natural ability can actually become a liability if someone depends on it to the extent that they stop learning and growing. I’ve seen this especially in young athletes and musicians, who because of their natural giftedness never develop a discipline for growth. It comes easy to them and they don’t have to work at it as hard as their peers. In the mean time their peers are developing habits of hard work and disciplined practice.
The benefits of natural ability can only take someone so far. If the person with natural ability doesn’t work at it, those with just average ability but a commitment to growth will eventually out perform them. It’s very interesting to me that Jesus set an example for us in this area. Even as God clothed in humanity, Jesus was committed to growth.
There the child grew up healthy and strong. He was filled with wisdom, and God’s favor was on him…Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people. (Luke 2:40,52 NLT)
There is something attractive about someone who is humble enough to take the place of a student. In order to fully identify with humanity, Jesus came as a baby who had to learn and grow. We too are born to grow. Do you have a growth plan? Are you growing in such a way as to gain the favor of God and men?
Remember that it’s not what you do in a day, but what you do daily that will make the difference. Growth is not an event, it’s a process. When you grow as a leader and increase your leadership capacity to lead well, you will become attractive to those who follow you. They will want to grow too. As you grow, they will grow and together you will accomplish more because you are always getting better. To be the best you can be, never stop growing.
Be intentional today about growing as a leader. If you don’t have a growth plan, start working on one. If you have a plan, review it and encourage others around you to join you in the growth process. I’ve discovered that one of the best ways for me to grow as a leader is by trying to help other leaders grow. Personal growth is always better when we invite others to grow with us. Your growth journey depends on your growth step today.