If growth is a leaders fountain of youth, then we need to secure an inexpensive and consistent means of continual growth. Paying for a few cups of coffee a month for someone we can learn and grow from is by far one of the most accessible and cheap methods to keep growing today. Let me tell you what I mean.
When I was in college I read the book Great Leaders Grow by Kenneth H Blanchard for the first time. It was the first time in my life that I can remember feeling overwhelmingly inspired to become a great leader. I knew that in many of the circles that I found myself in, that I often
emerged as the leader, unintentionally.
This was exciting to me, but I had no idea how it happened or even how to navigate it well. There was no hope (or intention for that matter) of retaining my place as a leader in any place I earned the role.Then came Kenneth H Blanchard.
In a very simple way, he shared about leadership longevity and how to achieve it. I won’t quote you the whole book, but there was a quote that reshaped my approach to leadership and legacy building. In the book, Mr. Blanchard wrote that “Growth is a leaders fountain of youth”.
This wasn’t new information to me. It was just stated in a way that stuck!
“Growth is a leaders fountain of youth.” – Kenneth H Blanchard
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The Cost of Coffee
As leaders, of ourselves and others, we have a responsibility to stay relevant. It is our job to be informed about how times are changing and learn what needs to change with it and ahead of it. This means we need to find a consistent and hopefully cheap way to grow!
Now, we can look into costly classes, impersonal podcasts (though I have one of these now lol), or even building a library of leadership books we may find the time to eventually read. None of these are bad, but rarely do they work out to be consistent or cost effective long term.
I’ve found that cheapest and most consistent growing experiences available to us, is a cup of coffee with someone more experienced than us. Someone who doesn’t mind allowing us to learn from their experience.
5 Steps for Success
Okay, I need to confess that I’m not actually a “coffee” kind of guy, but I really enjoy a hot cup of tea. So this is my suggestion, take the initiative to find someone you know you can grow from and grab a cup of coffee (or tea) together. Get a better insight on different aspects of life, work, play, relationships.
Prepare specific questions that are tied to the areas you’re determined to grow in and don’t forget, pay for their coffee! It’s the least we can do for the time they're giving to us. Here's good way to go about it.
Create list of 3-5 areas of life or leadership you want to grow in. (Organization, delegation, marriage, parenting, etc.)
Identify 3-5 people you think are excelling in these areas.
Select one and reach out to them. First contact should sounds something like this: "Hey Joe, I really admire how well you lead your team, especially your communication with the. Would you be willing to meet with me over coffee so I can ask you a few questions? I think I can learn a lot from you in this area."
When you meet, bring a notebook and have your questions written and ready.
Finally, if you need more than one meeting with them, ask them during the first meeting for a specific number of meeting. No one likes the feeling of wondering when something is going to end. Just say, "Hey, I've really appreciated your help and your time. I just a few more question. Can we meet twice more?"
So if you can’t afford to attend the next John Maxwell Conference, or personally meet with Andy Stanley then let this be another option for you or in addition to those.
QUESTION: How do you make sure you grow consistently as a leader?
Share your savvy growth secret in the comment below. Let's help each other to grow together as leaders of ourselves and other!
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