21 Oct Six Foundations of Personal Growth
I spent some time in August with one of my mentors, Christian Simpson. He is an entrepreneurial coach to millionaires. As we discussed the mindset of the millionaire, he pointed out the fact that these highly successful people don’t focus as much on developing their business as they do actually developing themselves. Christian reminded me that no business can outperform the level of thinking of those at its helm.
It reminded me of the philosopher, Solomon. In the Book of Wise Sayings (Proverbs), he penned, “As a man thinks, so he becomes.” The aged wisdom of King Solomon is a treasure trove of nuggets in our quest for personal growth. Leaders who aren’t consistently growing themselves to become better won’t be leading for long.
Solomon’s message is a reminder of the importance of our BECOMING. It’s striving daily to become a better version of who we were the day before, so we are constantly growing, improving, and maturing as a leader. It’s that pursuit of Black Belt Excellence in our personal development that leads to becoming a Black Belt Leader in Life.
There are six foundational tenants of personal growth that every leader should embrace. These BECOMINGS are daily habits we should live out if we truly want to develop the leader within. For it is only when we develop the leader within are we granted the privilege of developing the leaders around us.
1 – Be Intentional: My mentor, John Maxwell, says in his book “Intentional Living” that being intentional is living life on purpose. We choose daily whether to accept our lives or lead our lives by the intentionality with which we live.
2 – Be Growth-Minded: Personal growth is a process, not a destination. Ray Kroc said, “As long as you’re green, you’re growing. When you’re ripe you start to rot.” Leaders make it a daily commitment to learn and to grow. They are never satisfied with the status quo. Leaders are always stretching to expand their capacity to be more and to do more. That only happens when we grow.
3 – Be Positive: Another of my mentors, Wayne Nance, says that we all have an attitude. Our attitude shapes our beliefs and our choices. Having a positive attitude helps us see the world as it could be, allowing us to see the limitless possibilities before us as a leader.
4- Be Exceptional: I’ve never met anyone who gets excited about “average”. Yet a mere 15% of Americans meet expectations, and only 5% of Americans exceed expectations. Being exceptional means having a commitment to excellence, delivering only your best, and exceeding the expectations of others.
5- Be Consistent: One of my favorite sayings of John Maxwell is that the secret to your success is found in your daily routine. Legendary basketball coach John Wooden said, “When opportunity knocks, it’s too late to prepare.” Developing the daily habits that lead to success requires consistency. Consistency compounds your success.
6- Be Others-Minded: Zig Ziglar once said, “You can have everything in life you want if you will just help other people get what they want.” Leaders understand this, and they live their lives accordingly. Successful leaders develop the leaders around them, empowering them to see individual success. When everyone on the Team sees success, the Team as a whole achieves significance. Good leaders serve those they are leading and put teach them to do likewise.
Personal growth is essential to living a life of significance. Building your personal growth plan upon these six essential pillars establishes a firm foundation upon which your leadership abilities can grow and prosper. You’ll not only develop yourself, but you will also be empowered to develop the leaders around you.
If you are daily BECOMING a better version of yourself, you end up BECOMING a Black Belt Leader in Life. That is a worthy endeavor.
By Professor John Terry
The Black Belt Leader…Empowering Others to Become “Black Belt Leaders In Life”