Stagnant, tired, outdated, irrelevant. These indictments are a death toll to today’s leader.
So how can we avoid the trap of losing touch, the worst nightmare of a leader?
Tackle something big.
The only way we grow is when we get pushed out of our comfort zones and force ourselves (or get forced) to do something that seems larger than we can handle. And that’s the point. It is bigger than us. We will need help, we will need to stretch and grow in order to accomplish the goal.
I have been in a bit of a rut with my training lately. I am still going to the gym 3-5 times a week, but I haven’t been pushing myself to grow. I am just maintaining.
Or more likely losing ground.
Then I did a few workouts with some younger guys. I wanted to show them what I was made of. I dug deep, kept adding weight with full reps, and left my heart out on the gym floor. Now I sit writing this article and every muscle in my body is sore. But it isn’t the sore that is a sign of a strained or torn muscle, it is of a trained, stretched muscle in repair mode. In other words, this kind of sore ensures me there will be muscular growth. Every ache reminds me that I challenged my muscles. And it makes me smile.
You may be in a job where the work is similar each day or there are consistent patterns throughout the year that you have grown accustomed to, and may even feel like you have “perfected” that particular process or event.
Don’t give in to the lie that you have reached some sort of ceiling in your workplace because you haven’t. There is always something that can be tweaked, improved or even axed in favour of something that is new and will serve your customer or client base more effectively. You can always reach higher.
If you are doing this consistently at work and still need more growth in your life, tackle something daunting at home. Like an improvement project that is both mentally challenging and physically rewarding, such as painting that room or building that addition on the deck. You have no idea where to start? Go to YouTube, ask the guy at the Home Depot in the lumber section. These guys know what they are doing and will take time with you. Whatever you decide to do, consult an expert and learn the right way the first time.
For me, I have embraced writing. It is a pain in the butt sometimes, but it is also extremely rewarding and I have grown in leaps and bounds in my clarity and confidence as a Christian leader because of it. Sure it’s hard, but anything worth putting out there (like that new deck) is going to require a bit of sweat equity.
So if you have been flat lining for a few months or years, it’s time to break out of the rut.
I challenge you to grow.
You can do it, and others will thank you that you did.
Now I’m off to paint the inside of our house. I guess writing isn’t so hard after all!