What got you started on your personal growth journey?
Some commit to growth because they have a goal they want to grow into. Others develop themselves to realize their full potential. Some see growth as its own goal and invest in themselves to fulfill it.
And some grow because they want to fulfill leadership’s highest calling: to grow and develop the people they influence.
One of John Maxwell’s 15 invaluable laws of growth is the Law of Contribution: Growing yourself enables you to grow others. Growth increases our capacity and our awareness; the more we experience personal growth, the more and better we can invest in people.
After all, when we are on a journey, those who follow us are, too!
Rivers, Not Reservoirs: Be a Personal Growth Catalyst for Others
You can help develop others no matter what inspired your commitment to personal growth. But perspective helps remind you of your role in others’ journeys to grow themselves.
Think of yourself as a river, not a reservoir.
Reservoirs receive; they take in water so that they can be full, storing their contents. Instead, rivers flow out as much as they are flowed into. Rivers receive and replenish. They are channels from one source to another.
As we grow, we can utilize our growth for our gain – but just as much as what we receive is for us, it is meant to flow through us for those we influence, as well. These five questions will help you keep your contribution in mind as you experience your own personal growth.
1. WHO IS MENTORING YOU, AND WHO ARE YOU MENTORING?
“One is too small a number to achieve greatness.” With these words, John Maxwell reminds us that no one grows alone. Only with the help of another – be they a world-famous motivational speaker, a caring manager, a pastor, a coworker, or just a well-meaning friend – can we expand our awareness. A mentor guides you and journeys with you as you seek personal growth.
Who has personally invested in your growth? And whose development are you investing in?
2. WHO IS ENCOURAGING YOU, AND WHO ARE YOU ENCOURAGING?
Growth is challenging. As you’re growing, you’ll have to get used to being uncomfortable. There will be moments – seasons, even – when you’re tired of stretching and ready to crawl back into the familiar.
In times like those, the support of a circle of growth-minded compatriots is invaluable. The borrowed belief or encouraging words of a fellow leader can be the difference between settling for second-best and forging ahead into fully realized potential.
Who encourages you to pursue your best in all circumstances? And who needs your encouragement as they reach for their own next level?
3. WHO IS HONEST WITH YOU, AND WHO ARE YOU COMFORTABLE BEING HONEST WITH?
As positive a space as the leadership growth and development community is, it must also be a space of uncompromising honesty. We all have blind spots, and we are all susceptible to self-sabotage in our blind spots; we can’t grow if we’re making decisions built on misconceptions. Words of correction from a trusted, well-meaning, and knowing leader can remind us who we are when we’ve gotten sidetracked.
Who contributes to your growth by being genuinely, non-judgmentally honest with you? And who have you built a relationship with that needs some honesty?
4. WHO SHOWS YOU MERCY, AND WHO ARE YOU SHOWING MERCY TO?
Growth demands that we step outside of our comfort zone. We are forced to confront the new and unfamiliar. In that uncertain environment, we cannot expect ourselves not to fail. We can’t expect others not to fail when they’re outside their comfort zone, either. But we can follow failure with mercy to encourage them to keep pushing onward.
Who has shown you mercy when you’ve fallen short? And who can you offer that mercy to in return?
5. WHO REMINDS YOU TO LAUGH, AND WHO ARE YOU BLESSING?
Growth is not, and should not be, a chore! Yes, it is challenging; yes, it requires discomfort, and effort, and flexibility. But one thing it is not, is boring. One key characteristic of a growth environment, in fact, is the excitement that it’s exciting – the challenge is not so much intimidating as it is energizing, and the discomfort is just the undiscovered realm of your new comfort zone.
Who has made you laugh as you pursue your next level of leadership? And who can you pass that joy onto?
Do you have a plan to grow so that you can help grow others?
Growth doesn’t just require stepping out of your comfort zone – it requires intention and direction. The Maxwell Leadership app is free to download and resources you with leadership insights so that you can plan and practice your personal growth journey.