Grow Yourself To Grow Your Influence

Make a commitment to grow yourself. Do not break that commitment until you leave this planet.

Growing yourself and focussing on personal growth is without doubt the most important thing a person can do for themselves. If you want to live in this life, and not just exist, then you need to constantly grow…every day.

The more you grow, the more freedom you will have and the more options you will create. With more options and freedom, your life can only improve each day.

1. Help Others To Grow

When you are at work, you are part of a team, and an organisation. So, everyone will grow and benefit when your team creates more options for the organisation. You and your team will grow and benefit when your leader creates more options for the team. It is a win-win situation for all.

The only time it will not be a win-win situation for all is when you, the team, or the organisation do not have any options. If that is the case then it will be a lose-lose situation for all.

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If you think and would like your team to improve, then you have to take the lead on this. You cannot just wait for something to happen, and hope that things get better. You need to stand up and lead the team. So, the only way you can do this is by starting with YOU!

You must grow yourself before you start growing your team. As you start to grow, the team will automatically grow with you. But, it must start with you.

The key to growing yourself and the team is to be “growth oriented” and not “goal oriented”. When you are growth oriented you are striving towards growth and it is not final. When you are goal oriented, most people set a goal, achieve it and then stop growing.

2. Being Growth Oriented

So it is final, and for most people there is no need to keep growing because the goal is achieved. This is unfortunate because these people have a lot more growth potential and can improve so much more.

However, when you are growth oriented, you are constantly setting new goals to strive towards your overall life mission of growing yourself and others.

To be growth oriented and stay on that path, you must be disciplined. To be disciplined you must be willing to make sacrifices. Making a sacrifice is when you give up something that is valuable to you. For example, time on activities you enjoy, or money spent on material things.

But it doesn’t stop with sacrifice. Making a sacrifice gives you the opportunity to grow, it is not the cause of your growth. So when you make the sacrifice, you must take the opportunity for growth that you have just created for yourself.

If you take the opportunity you have just created, this is when you must be disciplined to see the opportunity through so you can grow. You are investing your time/money in your personal growth, and this really does take discipline. Discipline will transform sacrifice into growth.

A highly effective leader is focussed on their own and their team’s personal growth. They want to climb the ladder and reach a higher growth level. A low performing leader is not interested in climbing the ladder or reaching a higher level, they would like to coast.

3. Personal And Team Growth

They would just like to get by in life as personal growth doesn’t really have any meaning for them. I have worked with and met lots of people who are like this, and I find it a bit sad that they don’t want to explore the potential that they have.

Highly effective leaders consider every one of their team to be leaders. No matter what stage of growth they are in, and they need to be developed. So, in order for a highly effective team player to grow in leadership they require leadership development.

It is their leadership development that is a focus of theirs along with their personal growth. They understand that to lead you must have influence. They understand that leadership is influence and to lead you do not need to be in a leadership position, have a leadership title, or have the authority.

They understand that to grow as a leader, then you must develop your character before you develop your competency.

When I was part of a team before I got my first leadership position and title, I studied leadership. I read leadership books, I watched leadership videos and attended leadership courses.

I did this because I was focussed on my personal growth, I was focussed on helping my team grow, and I was focussed on being a highly effective team player. While I was doing this I was also growing and strengthening my character.

When a person starts a new job, they are given all the training required to be able to do the job. Hence, they are developing their competency.

It is very rare that an organisation to put their people through training that will help them develop their character. So, we have to do it ourselves like I was just describing.

Throughout this article and my other materials, I am going to use my own personal stories throughout my 20 year career in the engineering team being part of teams and also leading teams. In September 1999, I left school at 16 years old and became an apprentice mechanical engineer.

I have been in engineering for 20 years and I have worked in the automotive, gas/heating, and rail industries. I have also worked in Liverpool (my home town), Edinburgh, Glasgow, and London in the UK, and I have spent a short time working in India.

This article and my website is not about engineering, it is about people. So, you will be able to relate to my stories, and you may have had similar experiences in your area of work and industry. Or, you may know other people who had similar experiences and you can still relate.

4. Leadership Principles

The principles to becoming a highly effective team player can also be applied to any role, in any industry in the world. However, I will be using my engineering background as case studies on how I applied the principles in this article.

Either way, you will be able to learn from me. Your role through reading this article is to look for the lessons, and together we can make little discoveries that everyone is capable of sharing and teaching another person something.

When we went to school, college or university, it was and still is classed at being “educated.” However, I beg to differ. In The United States, they use the term “educated” too, but they also use a term “schooled.” When we were at school that is exactly what we were being….schooled.

Education is a lifelong journey, it is does not stop when we finish school, college, or university. So, we need to get very serious about our education because in order for us to grow, then we need to constantly be educating ourselves.

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Luckily for me, I realised this when I was in my early 20’s and I was working in Liverpool for their train operating company. That is when I started to read books on leadership and watch leadership videos, and have been doing so ever since.

This was in 2006 and at that time I was doing a part time engineering degree, but I didn’t want to just rely on that. I wanted take my education further. I knew if I took my education further and constantly learned, then I would be growing and I would be in a much better position to grow my team.

It wasn’t easy to get started on this because I had not read a book from beginning to end since I was in school about 10 years earlier. I didn’t think I needed to anymore…I was wrong.

So, I made a lifelong commitment to educating myself, to grow, lead myself, and to lead others. Over 10 years later I am still honouring that commitment.

What commitment have you or will you make to yourself?

To improve does not mean we must be bad at something. We can always improve on our current best.

I welcome hearing how this post has influenced the way you think, the way you lead, or the results you have achieved because of what you’ve learned in it. Please feel free to share your thoughts with me by commenting below.

Check out my other articles by Clicking HERE

All the best,

Tom (LeadGrowInfluence)

10 thoughts on “Grow Yourself To Grow Your Influence

  1. Thanks for this informative article. I believe that we need to grow in life to become the best version we can be. And you’re right when you say that we have more options if we grow. Our minds are simply more open, and with an open mind and a growing mentality we create possibilities rather than complaining about what’s not working …

    1. Hi Kat,

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts on my post, means a lot.

      To become the best version we can be is so important. Having an open mind and a limitless mindset is what will help us to keep growing, I couldn’t agree with you more.

      Keep growing and keep leading your people to become the best versions of themselves.

      All the best,

      Tom

  2. Hello Tom,

    I agree about concept of education. They narrow the concept of education to schools and collages for business purposes!

    I’m one who believe in self-education and go behind the normal concepts.
    By the way, I’m engineer too and got my PhD degree and then I decided to know more out of my box, guess what?

    The main understanding of leadership is to lead myself to high awareness of knowledge and connect to the source directly. This always sets me free.

    I feel good that there are more people aware that they have the power to create their reality the way they want, wit the respect of others freedoms and choices.

    I like Indian culture and how they practice the gratitude every day.

    When we get out of our box, we can read the label on it! I was programmed to collect certificates & degrees.

    I read “think and grow rich” and attend a lot of training about personal developments….My paradigm is shifting slowly and got big jumps.

    We live in society that forced you be part of big matrix, and if you did not realize that you will repeat what you are doing over and over again. Even if, you get out of matrix and rejoin it in your terms, you have to be aware to keep yourself free with high awareness.

    I hope to read your views about development leadership of women, I think that this topic will be different than that related to men. We as women restricted.

    Have Great Life.

    1. Hi Safia,

      I appreciate your very detailed and passionate comment on my post, means the world that this article has resonated with you so much.

      I hope people read your comment and learn from you just as much as they can learn from me.

      Leadership development with women is not something I am niching down into because leadership development is not gender specific. Every single person in the world has the ability to influence another person. So, every single person in the world has the abiity to lead.

      Have a great life too and all the best,

      Tom

  3. Hi Tom

    I really admire great leaders who are still willing to learn. It is that ability to want to continue to learn that makes them good leaders I guess. I believe everyone should have principles to live by that helps with growth if you are open. I like how you say even if you are good at something you still need to keep learning and growing. Thank you for writing this important post.

    Cheers
    Angee

    1. Hi Angee,

      Thank you for your comment, I really appreciate it.

      I’m pleased that this article resonated with you and I hope you continue to work on yourself so that you can increase your influence with your people.

      All the best,

      Tom

  4. Hi Tom.
    The key to succeeding in the career path is definitely to grow ourselves and then help our team. It’s something that never changes, but it’s a pity that people don’t always follow this rule & fail in the end.

    When I choose a team, I usually look at the team lead. If they could teach me a lot, I would join their team without a doubt. This helps me learn faster and more to improve myself and gain more experience, bringing more chances to get higher paid eventually. I know money is not the point, but growing yourself does have this benefit. 🙂

    Cheers,
    Matt

    1. Hi Matt,

      It’s great that you can see that working on ourselves to help our people is what leadership is all about. Leadership is about others, but it starts with you.

      Keep working on yourself and keep helping your people to work on themselves too.

      All the best,

      Tom

  5. You’re absolutely right that we need to grow ourselves in order to grow our influence. It’s easy to become complacent and just coast along, but if we want to achieve more and have greater influence, we need to push ourselves to new levels.

    One of the best ways to do this is by setting personal growth goals. Make a list of things you want to accomplish, both short-term and long-term, and then start taking action steps towards achieving them. As you check off items on your list, you’ll not only feel a sense of accomplishment, but you’ll also be growing as a person.

    That’s the type of personal commitment that I want to hold myself up to.
    Thanks for sharing your experiences and thought.

    Cheers,
    Femi.

    1. Hi Femi,

      I appreciate you sharing your thoughts on my article, means the world.

      Keep holding your personal commitments to yourself, but keep holding your commitments to your people too.

      All the best,

      Tom

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