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Leadership Thought #340 – Are You Getting Better?

April 23, 2012

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In business (and life) you are either growing and getting better or going in the opposite direction.  Just like your muscles, your brain and natural abilities will atrophy if they don’t get exercise.  You can’t stand still and expect progress.  I see far too many people who “let up” at the very time they need to “push the envelope” and challenge themselves to do better.  It’s also sad when a leader stays on too long and becomes more interested in ego, power, and position than effectively navigating change and facilitating progress.

Just because you’ve had some success in the past doesn’t mean this is a guarantee that you will be successful in the future or that it will translate into other endeavors.  You must keep out-working, out-thinking, and out-maneuvering your competition.  You cannot become self-satisfied or rest on your laurels. You must continually work to get better.  The history of business is littered with people who failed to reach their true potential and/or only peaked for short periods of time.

The best leaders I know love to learn and grow both personally and professionally.  They are easily bored by the status quo and are constantly envisioning a more effective and productive future.  Instead of slowing down as they advance in their life they diversify and broaden their interests.  They see time as a gift to be used well not wasted.  It’s less about what has happened and more about what will be.  Getting better isn’t optional for them, it’s just hardwired into who they are.  You only grow when you make the effort to do so otherwise you will hit your plateau and begin to atrophy.