“What got you here won’t get you there.” – Marshall Goldsmith
I had a conversation recently with a local business owner we occasionally contract work to and have since the company was founded. He shared with me how amazed and confused he was at how well our company had grown, even despite the “recession”. I responded simply, “Individual growth equals company growth”. He looked at me as if I had just shared with him the location of the lost city of Atlantis.
It is a simple concept, that you as the business owner or team leader, as well as the people around you can only grow the company if you are growing personally.
So what is personal growth? Personal growth occurs when an individual intentionally sets out to improve their knowledge and skills in order to move themselves closer to their true potential. As a leader you have to not only set yourself on an intentional path of personal growth, but you have to create an environment that supports the growth of your team.
Without personal growth, people lack inspiration, they become stagnant and their work suffers. Additionally, simply doing the same thing they did yesterday isn’t going to produce better results today than it did yesterday; we have to grow and develop daily to create improved results.
I have talked to a lot of business leaders who say they have a “growth plan” for their teams. Usually it involves the entire team reading the same sales or customer service book and meeting to discuss it, or attending a class or lecture together. While this is good, true growth occurs on an individual level; hence “personal” growth.
I try to work with each of my team members to find the area of growth that inspires them and will most benefit them individually. While I may focus on leadership growth, they may be inspired by learning about improving communication, science, business models, philosophy, public speaking, or video production. Finding what inspires each individual is what keeps a team motivated, as well as dynamic when brainstorming or approaching issues as a team.
Personal growth must be individualized, intentional, expanding of one’s capabilities and contributions, and start with curiosity. Create a personal growth environment and your business will grow with the people.