7 Absolutely Certain Ways to Grow as a Leader

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Growing as a leader requires intentionality on the part of the leader. It doesn’t automatically happen.

Do you want to grow as a leader? Do you want to keep growing?

One reason I write this blog is I want to help others grow. At the same time, I have to keep growing as a leader. The people who look to me for leadership need me to continually strive to improve.

So, how do we keep growing?

Here are seven ways I guarantee you will grow as a leader:

1. Desire growth

Sounds simple, but we tend to seek what we desire most. If you truly want to grow as a leader you will continually find ways to do so. You’ll read books, attend conferences, or get a mentor – simply because you want to grow. Check your heart. Do you really desire to grow as a leader – enough that you’re willing to do something about it?

2. Accept correction

No one enjoys hearing they did something wrong, but many leaders view all correction as criticism rather than an opportunity to grow. Growing leaders realize correction helps them improve, so they can do better the next time (Proverbs 12:1). Sometimes, people aren’t the best at sharing truth in love, but even in some of those occasions there is something worth hearing. We only know what we know – and sometimes people have to point out what we can’t see about ourselves. Ask yourself: Can you receive correction, even when it stings a little to hear, and turn it into something to help you improve as a leader?

3. Listen to wiser voices

Experience is the best teacher. All of us are surrounded by people who have grown wise through their experiences. Growing leaders glean all they can from other people. They surround themselves with smarter people. They ask great questions. Would others consider you a wisdom seeker? Can you specifically name the voices you are learning from these days?

4. Invest in others

Growing leaders learn or reinforce leadership principles, while helping others learn them. Sometimes, it is not until we talk through an issue with others we find clarity in the issue ourselves. When you invest in others, it fuels you as a leader. (“Give and it will be given back to you,” Jesus said. We reap what we sow.) Ask yourself: Am I helping to grow other leaders? Am I allowing others to learn from my experience? Could you name those people you are investing in currently?

5. Recognize weaknesses

And strengths. When you become more aware of what you do well and what you don’t, you are better prepared to grow as a leader. You can start investing more energy in your strengths and seek to minimize your weaknesses. You can find people who better compliment you as you build a team. Can you admit there are some things you simply aren’t good at doing? Are you confident enough to humbly recognize and maximize things you do really well?

6. Refuse mediocrity

Growing leaders push themselves beyond the limits of normalcy. Average is common – exceptional takes hard work. Are you seeking to go beyond what’s expected? Are you holding yourself to standards nothing short of your very best? (Isn’t this even Biblical? “Whatever you do – do as if unto the Lord.”)

7. Embrace failure

Falling down. Getting back up. Falling down. Getting back up again. Growing leaders have learned this is a part of maturing as a leader. In honest evaluation, would you say you have allowed failure to shape you as a leader, or hold you back from all you could be?

I am certainly not suggesting this is an exhaustive list. I am advocating that growing as a leader requires intentionality on the part of the leader. It doesn’t automatically happen.

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