The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, a Leadership Perspective 6 of 15

The Law of Environment – Growth Thrives in Conducive Surroundings

Below are the 6 steps suggested by John Maxwell to evaluate the environment with my perspetive on the leaders role.

  1. Assess Current Environment
    1. We have the tendency to place the entire responsibility for personal development on the individuals of the team.  While this is true, leaders play the role of mentors.  Leaders are accountable for helping their staff find their niche.  Some times, the niche may be a different department or position to the current one.
    2. Many times, we don’t know what we are good at.  This is were our leaders can help us identify our strengths, weaknesses, and blind spots.  This requires willingness of leaders to connect with us.
  2. Change Yourself and Your Environment
    1. While leaders can’t force the individuals of a team to change their ways, they can encourage personal development and performance improvement by finding ways to connect and explaining the benefits of continuing to improve.
    2. Leaders are also in charge of creating a productive growth environment removing barriers, finding resources, building training materials, setting ground rules and priorities.
  3. Change Who You Spend Your Time With
    1. As leaders, the best we can do for our team is to share our time.  Guidance, feedback, tips, 1x1s, training, etc.  Our time will always be valuable and limited; as such, we must ensure we invest it in the activities that matter most.  Building a high performance team, is one of them.
  4. Challenge Yourself in Your New Environment
    1. There’s no growth without a proper challenge.  As leaders we must look for opportunities to push our staff out of their comfort zone and try new things.
    2. That said, we have to remember “outside of the comfort zone” does not mean out of the strengths zone.  For example, if someone is great at technical projects and programming but not good in public speaking, sending this person to give a presentation to Sr. management is not a good way to stretch him/her.
  5. Focus on The Moment
    1. Growth happens in small steps.  We have to allow our team to develop and grow at their own pace and let them to enjoy the process.  While we like to believe results can be achieved immediately, all good things come in time.  Just like a good wine needs to sit for years before it develops its great taste, developing a high performance team will take time.
  6. Move Forward Despite Criticism
    1. Setting vision and creating a value-centered culture is not common practice in this capitalistic results-oriented world.  We are bound to encounter energy vampires that will do whatever it takes to reject our ideas and stick to the status quo.
    2. In similar fashion, team members may be hesitant to trust our motives and leadership style.
    3. If our bearings are straight and move forward with a willingness to serve, people will turn around and join us on the adventure.

The decision to grow falls on the individual; and sometimes, the same individual needs a small push to get it started.  It falls on the leader to become that push.

What other ways can leaders be a part of creating a growth environment?

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