Tag Archives: Growth

Leading Change: Knowledge

Todd Henry_ Own your growthIn Leading Change: A Formula for Change, I stated that I hate change! That’s still true in this post, only I’m dragging you in here with me! You hate change just as much as I do, just as much as any one does for that matter. NO ONE LIKES CHANGE! Do you know why no one likes change, other than because it’s hard? We hate admitting we have to change because it means admitting that we know, think, feel, or do is WRONG! Let’s be honest, nobody likes to be wrong!

When we enter the change process the first thing that we have to do is to change the way we think. We must be willing to let go of what we know to grab hold of new information, or even a deeper level of information to what we already have. The first stage of the change formula is knowledge!

I love to learn, I love to read and research, I love to drown my self in knowledge, information, and facts; but for some this doesn’t come easy or naturally. For some, you hate this stage because you think you already know the answers, and if that’s you answer me this: why haven’t you changed already? Gaining knowledge is the easiest stage of the change formula, even if you hate learning new things. The reason it is the easiest is because we have more access to information than ever before. We can find the answers, guidance, and tactics needed to fuel our change all a the tap of a finger!

Some things to consider for the knowledge stage:

  1. Don’t make it quick – what I mean is, don’t spend an hour researching and think you’ve got it all down. Saturate yourself with information about the area you want to change. Look up multiple sources, read multiple articles, watch multiple videos. If you want to change your financial situation than saturate yourself in fiance content. If you want get healthy, saturate yourself in heath content. The more facts, perspectives, insights, and tactics you can glean, the better!
  2. Don’t take too long – I realize this seems like a contradiction from what I just wrote but it’s not, hear me out: The longer you take the less likely you are to follow through. Change favors those who implement with speed. Now before you argue with me and try to point out that gaining knowledge takes a long time let me just go ahead and call “baloney”! Don’t browse Facebook or Instagram, read an article, read a book, read a blog. Forget the Netflix binge, watch a Ted Talk, Documentary, or YouTube video that doesn’t involve cats! Instead of listening to morning and afternoon radio shows in your car, listen to a book, speech, or pod cast. Make your time count, maximize it.

If we don’t gain the right information our change process can be skewed, if we take too long gaining said information our change process can be halted before it ever starts!\

Questions to ask ourselves for gaining knowledge:

1. Do I know someone who is an expert in the area I want to change? – If you know someone pick their brain, ask them how they started, ask them what isn’t commonly known, but insanely impactful. My suggestion is that before you go and meet with your expert friend, have a list of your questions written down ahead of time.

2. How much do I need to know in order to get started effectively? – A lot of times we know enough to make ourselves dangerous or get us into trouble. Write down what you do know, and then make a list of what you need to know to fill in the gaps. This will refine your search process.

3. When I will I research? – Access to information is not our problem. If we have a smart phone and internet access we have all the information available to us we could ever want. The problem we tell ourselves is that we don’t have enough time, which is a blatant lie! We have time, we just haven’t allocated it properly. When you identify and set aside a time to do a task, we are more likely to accomplish it!

A recommended resource is the book The Accidental Creative: How to be brilliant at a moments notice!

If you want to know how to best saturate yourself with information and then utilize that information, this is the book to read!

So tell me, do you: A) Dive into something with limited knowledge to find yourself in over your head – or – B) Get paralysis by analysis and get caught in the “gathering information” stage forever?!

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Marine Corps. Leadership: Be Technically and Tactically Proficient

Successful leaders find ways to be effective and efficient.

Leaders find multiple streams of resources for growth

Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Leadership is a full time position, not a full time job. Which leads us to the second principle, if we are going to have time to accomplish our tasks and lead well, we must be technically and tactically proficient.

This principle is dependent on knowing ourselves and seeking self-improvement.  If we do not know ourselves, and if we are not seeking self improvement, it is impossible for us to be technically and tactically proficient in the areas of our strengths. However, if we are willing and able to take an honest look at ourselves, put in the effort of self-improvement, we can manage our weaknesses, and become technically and tactically proficient. 

**Note: As John Maxwell, and many others have said, do not spend time trying to make a weakness a strength, it won’t happen. We must manage our weaknesses so they are not a hindrance, then focus on our strengths to make them stronger.

There are two ways of becoming technically and tactically proficient:

1. Immerse yourself in the right resources: Living in the information age has made getting resources easier than ever. There are books, magazines, e-books, online magazines, blogs, vlogs, podcasts, video conferences, you can even borrow an e-book from your library! Making reading, listing, and/or watching a daily habit. Think of it this way, if you know only what you need to know, you don’t know enough.

These are just a few of the many resources available on the web. 

Fliboard (app)
Zite (app)
Pocket (app)
Google Books
TED talks
Audible (audio books)

2. Surround yourself with the right people: It has been said, “act like where you want to be.” This isn’t a fake it until you make it scenario, rather the idea is to surround yourself with others who are where you want to be. Keep in mind, this isn’t growth through osmosis, this growth must be intentional.

When you’re around other leaders:

– Study their success by asking open ended questions.
– Identify what daily tasks and habits make them successful.
– Ask about the resources that are/were most beneficial to them.
– Shadow them, observe their interactions and execution of responsibilities.

What resources (books, podcasts, blogs, apps) have been most beneficial to you?

What are some ways you learn from others around you?

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Marine Corps. Leadership: Know Yourself and Seek Self Improvement

We all need improvement, just not in the same areas.

We all need improvement, just not in the same areas.

“People are anxious to improve their circumstances but are unwilling to improve themselves; they therefore remain bound.” – James Allen

Growth, effective growth, does not happen on accident. It is intentional, purposeful, and it is constant.

The first part of the principle is to know yourself…

Our post-imagination determines our growth, or lack there of. When we look at the past with tinted glasses we miss what really was, and thus we miss out on the true picture, the true lessons of what we could have learned about ourselves. In order to know ourselves we must be willing to look back with an unbiased perspective so that we can see where we need improvement.

Compare your past actions with the 14 traits. Which ones have you done well to emulate, which ones are lacking from your core values?  Where would your superiors, peers, and directs say you need more effort? 

The second part of the principle is to seek self improvement. 

As stated earlier growth, self-improvement, must be:

  • Intentional: Growth happens, just like our bodies grow without much effort; however, significant growth, growth we would call strength, must happen intentionally. We must have a plan for growth, and we must have the discipline to follow through with that plan.
  • Purposeful: If I want to get faster, I don’t work out my chest. If I want to be better at chess, I don’t study checkers. When we have an area or a trait that we want to grow, we must make sure our plan for growth effects that area.
  • Constant: Physically speaking, our bodies are either growing or they are dying. There is no stage of maintaining. And while the rate of decay may not be as fast as the rate of growth, attrition does happen. If we are going to stay on top and be the leaders we need to be, we must be constantly investing in our growth.

What would you add to the list?

At what trait do you excel? Which trait needs more work?

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Leadership is: Opportunity

If only recognizing opportunities were that easy!

“I was seldom able to see an opportunity until it had ceased to be one.” – Mark Twain

As I was graduating college Marla and I were faced with choosing between two great opportunities. We had been through two interviews, for two different churches, and had been offered both jobs. Choosing the opportunity that was right for the both of us was one of the most difficult decisions we have ever had to make. Through much praying, weighing of the options, and getting Marla’s take on the the opportunities (Dave Ramsey talks about the benefit of seeking your spouse’s input in his book EntreLeadership), we made a decision.

We are no longer serving at that church, but we do believe we made the right choice. We learned so much in the two years we were there, and it help set us on the path we’re on today!

When it comes to opportunity we must be able to do 3 things:

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