How the Top Leaders Stay Fresh

  1. Acquisition

Once you have set your clear direction, it’s time to acquire the skills necessary to reach your dreams. This is the growth part of personal growth.

I once interviewed a very affluent leader named Monte Holm. He was succeeding wildly in business, and I got an opportunity to spend a few minutes with him on the phone. He was in his limo on the way to the airport, and I was in my office at the church. I was (and still am) fascinated with his ability to build a thriving organization. I peppered him with questions about life, time management, leadership, learning, hiring and dismissing, priorities, travel—you name it. But the one question I asked him that stuck with me was this: “How do you find a dream that matches your unique talents and skills?” I’ll never forget Monte’s response. He said, “You have it exactly backward. You don’t go looking for a dream to match your skills. Instead, you develop the skills to match your strong dream.” That moment was a breakthrough for me. I realized that I needed to first reflect, then select, and then acquire the skills that God would use to move me forward in His plan. I still have that interview with Monte recorded, and it’s still a treasure to this day.

Action Step: Craft your personal growth plan.

Map out the top three, four or five skills you’ll need to develop over the next year in order to reach your dreams. I call these my Learning Themes for the year. My list currently includes: (1) Parenting teenagers, (2) Raising money, (3) Negotiating, (4) Experience Design and (5) Building teams. These are all things unique to the season of life that I’m in and the goals I believe God has given me right now. As a result, I’ve focused my learning for this year in those areas. Another way to think of this is to “Read What You Need.”

As you design your own personal growth plan, consider the following questions:

-What will I do every day to grow?
-What will I do every week to grow?
-What will I do every month to grow?
-What will I do every year to grow?

You’ve probably heard this popular strategy…(1) Divert Daily—how can I invest in my personal growth every day? (2) Withdraw Weekly—how can I organize my week to have a meaningful and life-giving day-off? (3) Mentor Monthly—who will I intentionally learn from each month? (4) Abandon Annually—how will I carve out significant time off each year with my loved ones to reboot and prepare for the next season of growth?

Your personal growth is the key to staying fresh and being ready to fulfill God’s calling for your life. And it won’t happen by accident, it must be an intentional priority.

This article originally appeared here.

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Gabe Kolstad
Gabe is the Lead Pastor at Westside Community Church in the Portland, Oregon area where he serves with his best friends. He has had the privilege of leading Westside through a number of exciting changes, from turnaround to relocation to multi-site. Gabe has a dream for seeing new churches planted, and a passion for connecting with leaders to make a difference in Portland and the Northwest. He is a trainer, a coach to pastors. Gabe is married to his Jr. High sweetheart, Melissa, and they have 3 children: Dawson, Caitlin, and Caleb. They love great food, traveling and finding new adventures together.

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