How to Create a Growth Environment

Last week at the Chick-fil-A Leadercast, John Maxwell talked about personal growth for leaders. No surprise there. John has been challenging and equipping leaders for decades. On this occasion he shared a few of the big ideas from his upcoming book, The 17 Laws of Leadership Growth. This post is about the Law of Environment which says, Growth thrives in conducive surroundings.

Here's what John looks for in a growth environment...

Others are ahead of me.

I’m continually challenged.

The focus is forward.

Atmosphere is affirming.

I’m often out of my comfort zone.

I wake up excited.

Failure is not my enemy.

Other people are growing.

People desire change.

Growth is modeled and expected.

This sounds like a great place to grow! What do you and I do with this list? How do we create a place like this? Here are a few thoughts.
Cast a clear vision – if you want to create a place like John described, be sure your intentions are clear. Leadership always begins with a picture of the future. Help people see the future you see. Help them understand why the destination is worthy of the journey.
Set the example – People always watch the leader. Don’t cast vision for a journey you’re not on. You not only need to be on the journey, you need to be about 10 steps ahead of your people. Many of them need to SEE the vision in action. They are going to look to you first. You get to set the pace.
Start where you are – You may decide to use John’s list above as a checklist of sorts – that may be helpful. The caution: you can’t start where you aren’t! Even if you are miles from the description above, you need to start in today’s reality. Maybe you can take one of the items above that is NOT true and begin to make it so. Start where you are.
Don’t stop – Creating the culture John describes is a life-long pursuit. If you ever think you’ve arrived and stop cultivating it, you can lose ground quickly. Also, if you get frustrated by your rate of progress or lack thereof, you may be tempted to stop – don’t.
The advantages of a Growth Environment are far reaching. It may generate the greatest Return on Investment you’ll ever experience as a leader. Don’t miss the opportunity.[GLS_Shield]


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