The first level of leadership is when you’re given a position, when you’re put in charge of something.
There are some expectations of any new leader. The one we’ll examine today is the call to grow.
When you’re a new leader, you’re more aware of what you don’t know. You innately sense the need to learn. It’s the same desire you had as a child in the early years of school. When you’re less than ten years old, adults seem to know a lot more when they do when you’re a teenager. So you dig in, roll up your sleeves and climb the heights of knowledge as eagerly as kids climb trees. You feel exhilarated when you have mastered something new and you can’t wait to do it again and again!
Then you get older.
Maybe you’ve noticed what happens when something that was young and pliable gets old. Time makes it tougher and takes away flexibility. Take a lump of clay, for example. If it’s left out in the elements, the lump gets too stiff to shape into anything new. Eventually, any effort to remold it results in a pile of powder, which is good for nothing but the trash.
Good leaders must have growth on their agenda or they’ll die. It starts with a commitment to get better themselves. When you start with the man in the mirror, it’s easier to plead others into the pain of growth.
Why do I say growth is painful? Because it is sometimes. But just as the pain of a blow to the face is temporary, so is the pain that accompanies stepping outside what’s familiar. Seeds have to die to release the bigger plant inside them. Facing what scares you might just be the path that leads to greatness.
You don’t have to die to grow; but if you don’t grow, you’ll die without knowing what you could have been. And what’s worse – those you could have led to higher ground may die the same way.
Commit to growth and you’ll commit to greatness.