Why Growth Is Non-Negotiable for Leaders

Why Growth Is Non-Negotiable for Leaders

Great leaders keep growing.

The very best leaders I know are hungry to grow. They are internally motivated to keep reading, learning and practicing toward improvement. They are dedicated to personal development.

Great leaders understand that yesterday’s wins do not guarantee future successes.

The best leaders want to become even better leaders to increase their impact for God’s Kingdom.

We learn by experience, observation, mistakes, good coaching, study, prayer and practice, lots of practice.

In essence, we have to practice what we can’t do until we can. That’s my simple definition and pathway to growth as a leader.

Let me state it again: Growth as a leader comes from practicing what you can’t do until you can.

It’s more than just study, stimulating roundtable discussions and even great coaching. At some point, you have to practice something new.

Growth, by very definition, involves new things, greater ability and new territory. If you are doing the same things with the same people repeatedly, that requires no practice. It may require stamina and faithfulness, and both are great attributes, but by themselves do not produce progress.

The primary characteristic that separates those who are faithful from those who are faithful and fruitful is the willingness to pay the price.

Personal development requires deliberate effort, discipline and focus. For example, I heard a recent quote that approximately 50 percent of those who have joined a gym in 2018 have already quit.

Growth as a leader is like that. It may or may not include a physical gym for you, but it will always require sustained extra effort.

3 Reasons for Growth:

1) Culture changes

Our current culture is changing so rapidly that the only way to genuinely keep up is continued growth/personal development.

As culture shifts, it impacts how we do ministry. We cannot continue to do ministry precisely as we have in the past and remain relevant. That requires change, which demands awareness, the ability to adapt and lead at a more advanced level.

2) Life advances

Culture doesn’t shift in a vacuum; it advances in multiple realms such as technology, medicine, communication, politics, business and education. None of us can keep up with all of that, but without growth we not only can’t keep up, but we’ll also fall quickly behind.

The result is a leader who is out of touch, behind the times and potentially no longer relevant.

With growth, we can select a few priorities to focus on and “keep up” with life’s advancements. I remember when my mom was 66 years old and taking her first computer course! She understood the importance of continued growth!

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Dan Reiland
Dr. Dan Reiland serves as Executive Pastor at 12Stone Church in Lawrenceville, Georgia. He previously partnered with John Maxwell for 20 years, first as Executive Pastor at Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego, then as Vice President of Leadership and Church Development at INJOY. He and Dr. Maxwell still enjoy partnering on a number of church related projects together.