Your Personal Growth Plan

growth plan scott wilson Feb 24, 2022

Most leaders have good intentions about growing and learning. They tell you they're committed to their development in all areas, but very few can point to an actual, written plan. The hard truth is that no one grows because they have good intentions. It takes more than that, and the first step is to craft a workable plan. Let me offer you a few suggestions.

1) Find an ally, someone who will help you think through your roles and goals. This person may be a mentor, a life coach, a friend who's growing, or your spouse. This ally needs to be as objective as possible, which means being willing to speak the truth even when you don't want to hear it.

2) List all of your roles: husband or wife, parent, caretaker of your parents, pastor, teacher or preacher, board leader or member, baseball coach, friend, and so on.

3) Evaluate how you're doing in each of these roles. Here's a pro tip: You're probably not doing great in at least one or two of them! Be objective. Face the facts. It's crucial if you're going to make any progress. But also, assess where you're already doing well because you can probably improve in those areas. Ask:
-What do I need to do to grow?
-What obstacles need to be overcome so I can grow?

4) Evaluate your current condition in several key areas: spiritually, mentally, physically, financially, and emotionally. For reach one, ask, "What's giving me life, energy, and joy? And where am I falling behind?" And again, ask:
-What do I need to do to grow?
-What obstacles need to be overcome so I can grow?

5) Write out specific, measurable goals for each role and each key area. Your ally will help you set higher goals (if they're too low) or rein some of them back (if they're unreasonable).

6) Put your plan into your schedule. If this doesn't happen, all you have is some words on a piece of paper or your laptop. A schedule focuses your attention, limits distractions and excuses, and charts a path for real change.

If a leader is growing, then gifted, passionate leaders are eager to join and contribute, and the organization almost certainly grows. But if the leader is stagnant, the opposite is true: The very best people steer clear, the organization plateaus, and eventually, it declines. When leaders don't devote enough attention to their personal growth, one of two things often happens: Passionate, visionary board members force the leader out and find someone else, or frustrated employees leave to connect with a growing leader, leaving the team with a less-than-stellar cast.

All of us need a personal growth plan, a personal growth team, and clear benchmarks to show our progress toward the goals.


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