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Executive Leadership Podcast #195: Why Leaders Make the Shift From Goals to Growth

July 7, 2022
Executive Leadership Podcast #195: Why Leaders Make the Shift From Goals to Growth

The business environment is always changing, and to excel, every leader needs to make ongoing “leadershifts” — changes that positively enhance personal and organizational growth.

Shifting from Goals to Growth is the Personal Development Shift. Goals help you do better, but growth lets you become better. Leaders are growth oriented.

Want to enhance your organization’s leadership culture? Learn more about our 5 Levels of Leadership private workshops HERE – Offered virtually and on-site to meet your organization’s health guidelines.

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Perry Holley:    Welcome to the Maxwell Leadership Executive Podcast, where our goal is to help you increase your reputation as a leader, increase your ability to influence others and increase your ability to fully engage your team to deliver remarkable results. Hi, I’m Perry Holley, a Maxwell Leadership facilitator and coach.

Chris Goede:     And I’m Chris Goede, Executive Vice President with Maxwell Leadership. Welcome, and thank you for joining. Just as a reminder, if you want to learn a little bit more about this episode by downloading a learner’s guy to be able to take notes off of, or if you have a question or a comment, maybe even a topic where you want Perry and I to talk about it in a future session on our podcast, please visit, and there you can fill out a form, leave us a question, learn more about what we’re doing.

Well, today’s topic, we’re going to talk about… I think this is… I love where we’re going and we’re going to do a little mini series here. I think there’s three books that…, for what we do in organizational development and culture and working with teams that really stand out when it comes to that. One, obviously being the ‘Five Levels of Leadership’.

Perry Holley:    Right.

Chris Goede:     That’s our methodology. The second one is ‘Leaders, Greatest Returns’. It’s really talking about developing people and the power of that. And the third one is ‘Leader Shifts’. These are shifts that leaders have to make often and so today’s topic is why leaders have to make the shift from goals to growth. So I love where we’re going on this around leadership.

Perry Holley:    Yeah, and The whole idea about shifts that a leader needs to make comes up quite a bit –

Chris Goede:     Yeah.

Perry Holley:    … in coaching conversations. One that we… I think we’ve done a podcast on it before was on… And it’s number one, the first shift in when you read the book about making the shift from being a soloist to being a conductor. And so that if you’re used to… You’re an individual contributor and you’re really good at what you do, and one day they tap you and say, hey, we’d like you to lead the department or lead a team. Now, you’re the conductor of that…, of that orchestra. You’re not just playing in that orchestra. It’s a… It’s a completely shift in how you think and how you act to get not just your own performance, but to get performance from others. So I do… I thought leadership as well as these… Some of these shifts that we’re going to cover in the next couple of episodes will be…, will be things that I see quite a bit.

Chris Goede:     And as leaders, we have to be open to change and we have to be changing, and that’s why I love this. We should always be thinking about the shifts that we’re making. So today we’re going to talk about where the shift from goals to growth, that John…, that John’s going to lead us through with this content pieces that we’re just going to kind of take back and forth here.

When you start out as a leader… We talk about this in the five levels of leadership, where we get a position and then what do we do? We immediately want to just start producing. We want to start hitting our KPIs and we make a mistake to where we kind of maybe don’t grow, but we also just kind of jump right over connecting with our people. And so we think that kind of hitting our numbers and the KPIs, whatever your KPIs might be, will make you a better leader. It’ll increase your value, and while it does from an external standpoint, really from an internal standpoint, you got to be growing on the inside to be able to keep producing and growing outside and hitting those KPIs. And so we are big here at Maxwell Leadership about it being a growth focus versus a goal focus.

Perry Holley:    Yeah, I love that, that shift from growth outward to growth inward.

Chris Goede:     That’s good.

Perry Holley:    To me, that’s saying if you shoot for goals that you’ll achieve the goals, but you may not grow. And it’s funny that meeting I had this morning with the client, they’re talking about, we get so focused on the scoreboard, on the revenue or the expenses or whatever that they…, what your measurement is, we forget to look at the daily growth that we’re making as individuals to work toward that.

So how do you make this leader shift? And so we’re going to… I don’t think it’s five. I think it’s maybe seven…

Chris Goede:     Dog on it.

Perry Holley:    I know… I know you’re being disappointed in me, but number one, embracing change. That growth means change and if you want to become a better leader and a better person, then you have to shift from this fixed mindset to a growth mindset and mindset really is important in this shift. I think that I’ve got to be… We talk a little bit on the previous podcast about fixed versus growth, Carol Dweck and the research she does. But I can’t say enough for having that mindset that I’m here to grow.

Chris Goede:     Yeah.

Perry Holley:    Everything I do.

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Chris Goede:     Yeah, and I remember what I just said a minute ago. Having influence and being a leader, it doesn’t require change. Change is going to happen. Right? So get ready for it. And we have this phrase that we say, where if you don’t like change, you’ll like irrelevance a whole lot less. And so you just need to be… You just need to be aware of that and know that’s going to happen. It’s you got to embrace it as Perry talked about, as we begin to think about this from a growth standpoint.

And the fixed mindset leaders, they don’t like it. They don’t like necessarily the change and so, they think it leads to, well, it’s about failure and I am failing and I need to change. All those things that kind of go with that when we hear the word change and how does it affect me versus if we have a growth mindset…, back on this mindset thing about change…, then we’ll embrace the change. We’ll embrace the learning and the growth that we will go through.

You think about this. Anything that we change or do a little bit differently at the end of the day, we’ve learned something versus having that repetitive-

Perry Holley:    It doesn’t mean that-

Chris Goede:     … mindset.

Perry Holley:    … we like change anymore than anybody else.

Chris Goede:     No, not at all.

Perry Holley:    Yeah, but I’m… But I see it as… I see that different light is that I’m… I’m going to go… And if you think about it, your whole life is about change.

Chris Goede:     Whole life.

Perry Holley:    You wouldn’t… You wouldn’t be where you are if you didn’t change.

Chris Goede:     Yeah.

Perry Holley:    So, but we look at it with a different view. You say, I’m going to go through this because I’ll be better on the other side.

Chris Goede:     The only reason that we now have over 3 million downloads is because you heard my very first one and you said, Chris, I think we need to embrace change.

Perry Holley:    I love you bringing it up.

Chris Goede:     So I’ve grown. I’ve grown through this process and I give all that credit to you and what we’ve created today, though, right? Just continually changing. So, right.

Perry Holley:    Well, and the word that you made me think of is the word teachable that you-

Chris Goede:     There we go. Yeah, there we go. And so our next point here… Great segue.

Perry Holley:    You were so teachable.

Chris Goede:     Yeah.

Perry Holley:    But it’s a fantastic characteristic for a leader. And so the question, I always ask people on a coaching call, how teachable are you? And so how do you become more teachable if you decide I need… And I think it builds trust with people when you say…, when they view you as a teachable leader. That you don’t have all the answers, you’re always seeking to learn more. You’re asking them to help you grow. You’re observing. You’re curious, lots of things like that, but you’re looking for growth opportunities in every situation. You ask questions. You are curious. You seek out information from others, you file. John’s big about it, filing what you’ve learned so that you can… You can recall it. And then, my favorite is passing on what I’m learning to others. I notice that the more I teach people, the more I…

Chris Goede:     The more you learn, yeah.

Perry Holley:    [inaudible 00:07:12] sticks with me to do that.

Chris Goede:     So real quick, before you go to the next point. One of the things I was thinking about under this, and having a teachable spirit and being okay with the failure side of things, which that’s a strong word, but just the whole teachable spirit. We talk about this success cycle to where John talks about, hey, listen. Try something, right? You’re going to fail. Then you’re going to learn, then you’re going to improve, then re-enter again.

And so whether it’s this podcast, whether it’s leading a meeting, whether it’s a new process or a system, be teachable through understanding that that’s going to be a success cycle and a process that you’re going to go through. Try it, know you’re going to fail. What are you going to learn? Be teachable through that. Then improve it, and then re-enter do it again.

Perry Holley:    I’m smiling because I was in a meeting yesterday and one of our teammates asked me, didn’t you write about this on a podcast or a blog. I went, yeah, yeah, let’s pull that up. And I pulled it up and as she was looking at it, I was looking. I go, did I write this? This was… It was episode 12 or something. It was… It was a long time ago. I go, oh my gosh-

Chris Goede:     At least it wasn’t one when you said, hey, can we do this together?

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Perry Holley:    All right. Okay, number three. Make your love for learning greater than your fear of failure. I thought that was an interesting teaching to say, how big is this fear that I may have that I might not get it right? That, can I make that…, that idea that I want to grow… I’m willing to grow greater than that. Don’t count losses. He says, count… Don’t count losses, count lessons. And I thought that was pretty good.

Chris Goede:     I love that. Don’t count losses, count the lessons, because what do we do? Naturally, as human beings in the flesh, we go, man, I don’t have this anymore. I lost that or I didn’t do this right, versus man, I learned this and I learned that. So I absolutely love that, which goes into a book that John wrote, ‘Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn’.

Perry Holley:    Yep.

Chris Goede:     And I just think that’s a… It’s a powerful lesson. Well, number four is develop relationships with other growing people. This may be… This may be one of the strongest points that we’re going to talk about today because a rising tide raise all boats, and I know I’ve had the privilege of working in and around this organization for a long time, over 23, 24 years. I started when I was five and just being around this environment.

We’re in a bubble is what we call it. It’s a leadership bubble. We’re challenging personal growth all the time, but I think the easier, the… I think the… When you’re around these type of people, the easier it is for you to grow and to get… Because it becomes contagious. And so be the difference maker. Take that step and be that person for your team or your organization and bring people around you.

I was talking the other day with somebody and we started talking about the fact that if you look at the people that you’re hanging out with, what are the conversations about? Are they all about man, you remember when, you remember, remember when we did that, remember when it was this or man, this is what I’m learning and this is where I’m going, and this is what I’m trying? That right there…

Just the next conversation you’re in when you go out for a social event, you’re hanging out with couples or peoples or people where… Just be aware of that and listen to that and the tone of the conversation because you want to be around those that are saying, man, this is what I’m learning. This is what I’m thinking. This is what I’m reading. This is…

You do that all the time to me, right? This is what… I was reading this book the other day. I was listening to this and I learned that and I’m just like, holy cow. So it just encourages me to be growing.

Perry Holley:    But it’s… That’s two way because I was just thinking the same thing is that you do that to me and our team. We are… What are you looking at? What’s… What are you learning this week? What are you reading?

Chris Goede:     Yeah.

Perry Holley:    And I think there’s… A week doesn’t go by and somebody doesn’t ask me, what are you reading now? Even my coaching clients are now saying, hey, what should I be reading?

Chris Goede:     Yeah.

Perry Holley:    So because we’re in these conversations that are…, that we all realize we’ve got some growth to do.

Chris Goede:     Yeah.

Perry Holley:    Number five, develop greater humility. If you… So this is… I remember we’re going from…, from goals to growth. How do I develop more humility? In this… Humility is really about the essence of being unafraid to admit when we’re wrong or what we don’t know, and being able to… It’s self-awareness and humility kind of tied in together here about recognizing the gap that I could be filling by spending some time each, each day investing in me.

Chris Goede:     Yeah.

Perry Holley:    And when I admit that I’m wrong, then I’m… I’m on a path to discover what’s right, and it just opens me up to being…, to learning more.

Chris Goede:     Which this is about self-awareness and being…, having that humility to be open to that and that feedback from other people, maybe also some tools. We often will talk to leaders and say, hey, the longer that you have led, you’ve been with the team, maybe you’re in that fixed mindset, right? You’re in that goal mindset, probably the more unaware you are of really what’s going on.

Perry Holley:    Right.

Chris Goede:     You’re the pace of your growth, the pace of your leadership. What does it look like to be on the other side of your leadership? And so I think that humility side and the self-awareness is something that you should really look at when it comes to moving from goals to growth.

Number six, believe in yourself. This just… This is just really about, do you believe that you’re worth it? You listen to a podcast. You maybe listen to an audible book, maybe you attend a workshop, maybe you began some coaching. Believe in yourself to invest in yourself and what you’re learning, and when you believe in yourself and you invest in yourself, you’ll see…, begin to move from goals to growth.

Perry Holley:    Yeah. And the last one, I really would love your opinion on this before I let you wrap it up. But John used the phrase and I thought it was interesting about him, embrace layered learning.

Chris Goede:     Yeah.

Perry Holley:    And to me, you just gave a one part of that, which is, could I… How do I do learning? Am I doing podcasts? Am I looking at books? Am I… But I’m also… For me, it was, I… So much of what we do. I’m studying and I’m learning and I’m investing in me, and then I go out and apply it. I do experience and I try something and I do it on a coaching call or I do it in from an audience in my world so much. So I do a lesson and I get feedback and now I’m adding to that. So I feel like I’m layering, layering, layering, but I wonder, how do you see layered learning when John speaks of that?

Chris Goede:     Yeah. So this is just a continuous growth mindset. Period. This-

Perry Holley: Piling on?

Chris Goede:     This… Piling on. This encompasses everything that we just talked about, whereas if the previous six, if you’re doing them well, and you’re moving from goals to growth, what’s going to end up happening is you’re just going to continue to see growth principles and movement, right, on laying on top of each other.

And so you’re going to continue to see that layered learning, which I… Hey, take a chance, take a risk, learn something, and then you’re going to learn something more and then you’re going to… But if you never take that step and begin learning, you’ll never have the opportunity to experience layered learning.

Perry Holley:    Yeah. I think Coach Bill Walsh years ago, San Francisco 49ers, but he… He had a phrase that kind of upset people because he said, the score will take care of itself and I thought, no, no, you’re the head coach. That’s all we’re about is the score. And he said, no, if you do these. If you invest in yourself, if you do the right things, if you are brilliant on the basics, if you’re learning and growing and improving and growing and improving and growing and improving, score will take care of itself.

I thought isn’t that true in this? We get so focused on the goal, the scoreboard that we don’t do the daily things we should be doing.

Chris Goede:     Yeah.

Perry Holley:    And the goals will take care of themselves.

Chris Goede:     Yeah. I love that. Well, let me wrap up for us and a few things will have greater positive impact on your leadership than shifting from goals to growth. Couple things come to mind here. You’ll unlock and achieve potential that you just never thought that you’d have. That’s, again, layered learning on top of each other. You’ll become… You’ll become more so you can do more and when I say do more, what we mean by that is add more value to people.

Like Perry just mentioned, he’s got… He’s got coaching clients and partners that he’s on a journey with right now, and they’re saying, what are you reading? What should I be reading? He’s adding value to them because he is continually growing.

And then you will example… Oh, and you will be an example for others. Again, going back to the Perry’s example. I think it’s a… It’s a great example of how he is an example to others. That’s a lot of examples in there as you’re listening along.

Here’s my last closing thought for you. When you began thinking about this shift, when you are in a goal focused… And again, we know we’ve got to have KPIs and metrics and all that stuff, but when I’m thinking about from an organizational standpoint and a goal…, we’re focused on goals, you begin looking at your competitors, right? You begin looking at and analyzing those competitors and you begin looking at saying, well, what are they doing, and what goals are they hitting, and what metrics should we hit?

And I think one of the things that you need to be looking at is if you shift to a growth focus is what is the comparative analysis. Not the competitor analysis, but the comparative analysis. What I mean by that is what we do here at Maxwell Leadership. Marco, our CEO is like, hey, love all that. We need to understand what’s going on out there, but tell me compared to what you did last month, where you at? Tell me what you did compared to last quarter, last year. And then that gets a… It’s all plus one. It’s a growth mindset versus a goal mindset.

So just even think about that principle a little bit, unpack that during some of your thinking time of being more of a comparative versus a competitor analysis mind-

Perry Holley:    That’s good.

Chris Goede:     … and what you’re doing and where you’re at and what you’re growing with.

Perry Holley:    Really good. I hadn’t thought about that. Really nice ad. Thank you, Chris and thank you all. Just a reminder, if you would like the learner guide for this episode or learn more about the Five Levels or 360 Leader, if you’d like to leave a question or a comment, we always love hearing from you. You can do all that at

Again, so grateful you would spend this time with us. That’s all today from the Maxwell Leadership Executive Podcast.

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