6 Ways Leaders Continue To Grow

Our pursuit of growth shouldn’t end when we graduate high school or college. Nor should it end when we are bestowed with the title of leadership.

No, leaders must be intentional about their growth.

Young leaders may wonder what can they do to continue their growth. They’ve already taken the courses that were required. They’ve pursued higher education. They’ve gone to training.

Truth be told, there’s a lot we can do to continue to grow. In this post you’ll discover 6 ways leaders can continue growing.

How To Continue Growing

1. Discover Mentors: One of the quickest ways to grow is to find a mentor for your life. Leaders know there are many different areas of their lives that could use improvement. You can find mentors for almost any area of life you want to grow in.

Search out mentors for your marriage, parenting, communication, presenting, and leadership skills. These mentors can help you grow and will challenge you to take these skills to the next level.

2. Face Your Pain: Pain can be a teacher as you continue to grow. I recently learned this with the toughest decision I have ever had to make.

The most recent pain is there but it’s also a teaching me a lesson. For me, it’s been that life is precious, time is limited, and we must love those around us more than we are.

Your lesson from pain will differ each time but there’s a lesson to be learned. Look to the pain and see what you need to learn.

3. Help Others Become Leaders: Begin searching out others that you can influence to become leaders. Encourage them and build them up as they journey along the leadership path.

This will help you continue your growth in many ways.

You’ll have to increase your knowledge as the upcoming leader asks you the tough questions. You may or may not know the answer and this will cause you to dig deep.

4. Explore Other Hobbies: Leadership will eat up much of your time. But don’t neglect your off time. Find hobbies that you’re interested in and learn what it takes to excel in these endeavors.

As you do, you’ll learn new skills. Some of these will be transferable to your position of leadership. Don’t hesitate to use the transferable skills as you gain them.

For example, I learned a leadership lesson during an ice climbing trip to the upper peninsula of Michigan. You can learn things on your travels!

5. Travel: Create a list of dream locations you’d love to visit. Make it a point to visit these locations.

Each travel destination can teach you something new. Different cultures will open your eyes. Varying landscapes will offer new insights into creation. Your strength may be tested as you enter changing climates.

When  you travel, be sure to soak up all you can about the region. You’ll be amazed at what you discover.

6. Never Stop Challenging Yourself: Be willing to take big risks. Create those Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals. Know your boundaries and test them.

Challenging yourself allows you to push yourself outside of your comfort zone. You’ll learn what you’re really made of. Don’t be surprised if you’re more capable than you thought.

Question: How do you continue to grow as a leader? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • I like to call it STRETCHING…

    I look for ways to STRETCH every day. Sometimes I experience BIG stretches – like going to Guatemala earlier this month. And sometimes I experience SMALLER stretches – like meeting someone new.

    • This continual growth is very much a stretching process Jon. It sounds like you’ve done a lot of growing lately. Never stop growing!

    • Great mindset Jon! Daily stretching is so important.

  • great topic Joe – for me reading & applying is a huge source of growth. The experiences of others combined with putting it into action has made all the difference for me!

    • Awesome Jon. What’s one way you apply what you’ve read? I know this can be a struggle for a lot of people, especially those who consume a large amount of material. What’s your tip?

      • Journaling.
        I try to capture an idea or lesson, then I speak about it to others, share it as a blog post, or present the topic to my wife (God bless her for humoring me!)

        • Great ways to make the information stick. It’s great that you have a wife that will listen to you spread the information.

          • you are right Joe – she’s a blessing in many ways!

    • Applying our reading is so essential Jon. That’s where true growth comes from.

  • Reading and getting out of my comfort zone are two ways I grow. As you and I both know, readers are leaders, and leaders are readers. One thing I’d add to your part on finding a mentor, is that your mentor can be an author whose book(s) you’re reading or they can be a blog you’re following.

    Don’t let the absence of physical proximity to someone prevent you from being mentored by them!

    • Ellory, thanks for pointing out the fact our mentors don’t have to be someone we meet with face to face. It can be someone we learn from through their books or seminars. Who’s one such mentor that you’ve latched onto?

      • I’ve really gotten a lot of good ideas from the Smart Passive Income Podcast from Pat Flynn. Of course there’s Michael Hyatt and Seth Godin. I’ve also benefited from “the Blog Program” podcast too.

        • Some of my favorites, as well.

        • I love Pat Flynn and the others mentioned. I haven’t heard of the Blog Program. What is that about?

          • Honestly, I have only listened to it 2-3 times, but one of the episodes helped me triple my traffic. It’s about tips for blogging, tools, advertising, etc.

            Here’s the tip: People can’t read your blog if they don’t know it’s there – you have to market it.

            • If it helped do that, I may have to add it to the listening rotation.

  • I love seeing advice come down the chain; it’s like a real-life game of “Telephone”. A tough question is asked and it might go to your mentor’s mentor’s mentor. From there, it trickles back down through all the experiences of these men or women who are influencing our lives.

    In a new digital age, it’s easier than ever to find a mentor or get advice. I’m working on developing these relationships to build myself into a better leader.

    • Justin, keep building relationships. It’s one of the fastest ways you’ll grow yourself.

  • Bill | LeadershipHeartCoaching

    I am a voracious reader, and although I own an extensive library of leadership and management books, I don’t discount online blogs (such as this one).

    Online blogs are a great way to give us helicopter viewpoints, to remind us of what is important, and to expose us to new ideas and new avenues of thinking. Reading other blogs, as well as maintaining my own site, has become an educational opportunity for me.

    • Blogs are a great source of information Bill. And a wonderful way to see some of the leadership books come together before they’re actually put into print. It’s amazing to me how many books have come from blogs now.

    • I’ve encountered some great book by reading blog posts that they have inspired. Do you have a favorite recent read?

      • Bill | LeadershipHeartCoaching

        Hi Jon,
        I’ve been somewhat reversed. i’ve discovered some great blogs by either reading books or articles. One I particularly liked is Michael Hyatt’s “Life Plan” – a free ebook on his website. Several blogs I have discovered were through articles on Forbes and Harvard Business Review. If you were so inclined, I have an ebook (free) on my website that I wrote concerning my experiences in leadership for the past 30 years or so. Just add a .com to the LHC next to my name 🙂

        • I’ll be sure to check your ebook out!
          I agree with you about Michael Hyatt’s Life Plan – I’m looking forward to his upcoming book about it in detail

  • A lot of the folks I consider mentors I’ve only interacted with through books. It looks like a common thread here in the comments, but reading is my vote! High school and college only scratch the surface of learning – at the best they may teach you how to learn. The process takes a lifetime, and requires the humility to know we don’t already know it all.

    • great point Tom – this year I took reading quite seriously, and I feel as if I have gotten a great return on my time investment since January than most of my undergrad (content v.s. framework)

      • That’s awesome Jon. Amazing what reading and applying can do for us, huh?

    • Thanks for your input Tom. I’m in agreement with everyone who says get a mentor through reading. It’s one of the easiest ways to grow and have someone teach you.

  • Challenging yourself in different situation and remain motivated are the key factors that contribute in growth of a leader. Sharing your knowledge and skills also pays off eventually in you become an efficient leader and help you grow further.

  • I try and use those usually waited minutes during the day for personal growth and learning. Those times when I’m driving, waiting, or in between tasks to read or listen to audio. Great suggestions Joe!

    • Dan, those down times are perfect for continuing our growth. I’ve used my lunch hours to do my reading. It’s perfect for adding a bit of growth!

  • I think a huge way leaders grow is by learning to say “No”. It’s hard to have focused intensity when our chore list is ever growing.

    Do only what you can do, then delegate (or quit) the rest.

    • That’s true Larry. It’s hard to stay on task when you’ve got a laundry list growing all the time. NO can be a leaders best friend.

  • Good reminders, Joe. Thanks!

    • Thanks Arlen! Do you have any other suggestions on how a leader can continue to grow?

      • I thought of several different things… but then they intersect with your list. Very good list. Thanks, Joe.

  • Barbara Boser

    Thanks for this. My mentors keep me going. 🙂 Some of them don’t even know they are mentors.

    • Barbara, that’s a common theme now adays. We’re able to gain mentors through books, blogs, and many other forms of media.

      Care to share who a couple of your mentors are? I would love to hear!

      • Barbara Boser

        Yes! Denise Walsh, Kami Dempsey, Pam Sowder, Mark Pentecost, Mike Potillo. These are the leaders in the company I am with. Thanks for asking. 🙂

        • That’s awesome. Thanks for sharing the names.

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