By:  Nicole LaBeach, PH.D., MC

I once heard someone say “If you’re not growing, you’re dying”. Wow, that’s a slap into reality! I mean, it’s true isn’t it? Whether we accept or reject it, life’s true goal is growth – the ultimate invitation in a living package. So, maybe the statement of “growing or dying” isn’t a morbid gut check after all. Maybe it’s just that, the ultimate invitation. And, it matters not if you’re a member of the C-suite or a Director moving up the corporate ladder: success in any lane will invite the growth and leveraging of your best asset – YOU!

When you take an inventory of the critical areas of your life, business, and relationships, what’s the view? How and where are you? Where do you desire to grow and go next? If you haven’t asked those questions in a while and growth and development are your aim, welcome to…

The 7 Step Challenge for Getting You Moving Where It Counts Most:

Step 1: Stop and Be Still… Yes, everything is moving quickly and the leadership demands don’t stop. That said, too much noise, unattended mental fatigue, and a nonstop approach will often lead to faulty readings, less than optimal decisions, and a myriad of compounded challenges. Hence, the first step in this growth challenge is stillness. Yes, I know the next deal is already on the table, the competition is brutal, and you’re on a mission to change the world, but take a moment to breathe. The greatest growth spurts begin with still moments that lend to listening and hearing your next best move.

Step 2: Acknowledge where you are… Take the time to accept where you are in each area and write it down. The same way you can’t track a vision or goal or that’s not written down, you can’t change what you’re not willing to confront – Written words symbolize your acknowledgment. Thoughts in your head are useful, thoughts on a page are one step closer to doing something about changing what’s not working. For example, it can be quite compelling to see the following on a page: “My team feels leaderless in the field. I must extend my reach by cultivating leaders and the leadership among them.” or “I’m not in the most desired financial health because my debt to income ratio is too high.”

Step 3: Decide what’s important… Only you can decide what you value, what you want and where you need to be. In some areas, where you are may feel like a custom fit shoe, but others may beg for something different. Leading with your values will help you focus on what matters to you vs. what others may think should matter. Now your energy is set on forward movement in the most meaningful direction. People follow the leader, and it’s much easier to do so when you know the leader values where they’re going. As you activate step 1 and 2, something interesting will start to happen, inspiration – And, inspiration activates action and momentum in invaluable ways.

Step 4: State the vision and pair it with relevant SMART goals… Yes, you’ve heard it a million times, but how many times have you done it? No matter how you slice it, your vision is the forecast of what evidenced growth will look like. Your vision is not only critical but will help to identify actions to facilitate your effort toward it. And, vision works best with its ambitious companion – Goals. But not just any goals – As has been useful to many, SMART goals are a difference maker: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. For example: Regular Goal: I want my team to be successful. SMART GOAL: I want to increase my team’s productivity by 18% and secure 2% more market share in next 18 months.

Step 5: Let milestones map your strategy… Starting with the end in mind, work backwards. What milestones should be accomplished along the way to your realized vision? Using milestones as markers, create a road map of the achievements that can best set the pace to your ultimate result. For example, “each quarter needs to represent percentage growth, the actions and team strategy that will manifest these milestones are as follows…”

Step 6: Take the full proof growth serum of action plus advocacy... Action plus advocacy yields results. What will you do to shift beyond your present state? And, who will you allow to keep you honest in the journey? If you want to ensure growth, you must be willing to act and be held accountable.  It’s up to you to do the work and your accountability partners will take the role of asking the tough questions and challenging your approach if it jeopardizes your desired vision. Not only will this approach promise progress, but the lack thereof questions whether you really want to grow or just talk about growing.

Step 7: Acknowledge every step… Growth and development are a journey, not a destination. The overall objective is to keep moving and celebrate every step or discovered misstep along the way. Together, each step affords an opportunity to highlight where you were, and no longer are.

It’s your life, your career, and your leadership. It’s your move. Without movement, there is no movement! So, make each step count!

 

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For help with figuring out your next move, contact Nicole for a consultation today!