One of the greatest attributes that you need to be the leader that you can be is the design and passion for continual learning and improvement. This lies in developing a plan for growth and following through with it. Years ago, one of my mentors had asked me if this question, “Art do you have a personal plan for growth?”
The question caught me off guard. I stumbled around for a bit; I told him about my work schedule and how busy I was and how much I did and how I was learning on the job. I kept going on and on and on. The more I talked, the more it was evident that I had no personal growth plan at all. My mentor helped me put one together.
Growth does not happen by chance. For that matter, if you want to develop as a leader, it doesn’t happen in a day either, but daily. I love my current mentor’s quote, “The secret of your success, is determined by your daily agenda.” This applies to our desire to grow as well. If you want to be sure to grow, you need a plan—be strategic, specific, and most of all, scheduled. John Maxwell has said, “If a person will spend one hour a day on the same subject for five years, that person will be an expert on that subject.”Isn’t that incredible? It shows how far we can go when we have the discipline to make growth our daily practice.
If you are looking to develop and follow a growth plan, I would recommend that you start by identifying an area or two in which you desire to grow, such as leadership. Then begin gathering useful resources – in print, on the web, on YouTube, conferences to attend, etc.
Now your goal is to make this new learning time apart of your daily agenda each and every day. Here’s is the recommendation that my mentor gave me, and I still used today: “Read one book a month and digest one article/podcast per week.”
If you are going to take your growth seriously, then follow the following example for the next week. This is your weekly schedule – 5 days a week, schedule 1 hour a day for personal growth as a leader:
Monday: Spend one hour with a devotional to develop your spiritual life.
Tuesday: Spend one hour listening to a leadership recording. (podcast, video etc.)
Wednesday: Spend one-hour filing quotes and reflecting on the contents of Tuesday’s material.
Thursday: Spend one hour reading a book on leadership.
Friday: Spend half of the hour reading the book and the other half filing and reflecting.
What is amazing, so many people say they don’t have time, when in fact the average American adult watches close to 30 hours of television per week, with little or no return. What do you think would happen if you devoted just five of those hours to personal growth?
Why not start acting on a plan today and find out? Then let me know if it was worth it.