The Speed of Growth as a Leader

Successful leaders know something about growth that most don’t. They do things differently. This is both obvious and illusive. Years ago John C. Maxwell, took an entire year studying successful people and what they had in common. There were four things that those who are successful do differently. 

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The 4 Things that Separate Success from the Pack

  1. Relationships – They develop strong relationships. 
  2. Equipping – They train and coach others. 
  3. Attitude – They have a positive attitude. 
  4. Leadership – Everything rises and falls on leadership.¹

Continual learning is at the heart of growth for leaders as well as the teams they lead. There are many times though, that we look so hard at our goals, that we miss the mark. We don’t even see the changes taking place whether good or bad. This is why we must become growth-oriented instead of goal-oriented. I get it. It seems to go against the grain to “not be goal-oriented”. But take a closer look at an excerpt from this past week’s Book of the Week, Leadershift by John C. Maxwell. Here he outlines the difference between the two. 

Growth-Oriented vs Goal-Oriented

Goal-Oriented Culture

  • Values Achievement     
  • Focuses on status           
  • Honors Privilege
  • Emphasizes the Teacher
  • Target is Arrival

Growth-Oriented Culture

  • Values Development
  • Focuses on Stretching
  • Honors Serving
  • Emphasizes the Student 
  • Target Is Growth²
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Two Fast Tracks to Growth

Continual growth takes practice. In Leadershift, John discusses five different ways to do that. They include making growth a number one priority, looking for growth in every situation, and asking questions.³ The next two methods for continual growth that John talks about are game changers for me. A lot of times we write things down or take notes. If we’re a little more organized we might actually put them in a journal. I do both these things. When it comes to learning John goes one step further. In addition to this step, he implements a second key element to growth. The final and one of the stickiest ways you can soak in continual learning and grow faster is a practice I live by. It’s why I started this blog and one of my favorite things to do when leading others. 

  1. File What You Have Learned – “People forget a lot of what they learn. If they want to recall it, they can’t. Or they can’t find it. When I find articles of value, I clip them and put them in folders by subject. When I find quotes I like, I add them and put them in folders by subject. When I find quotes I like, I add them to index cards filed by topic. I file what I learn so that I can always regain access to it quickly.”³
  2. Teach Others³ – When you teach others what you’ve learned you retain so much more. You also have a better understanding of what you are teaching. When you teach your team, you empower them to be better. People don’t always appreciate teaching, but they usually absorb more than you realize. 

Change Your Environment 

One of the quickest ways you can achieve growth in anything you do is by changing your environment. When I was 23 years old I moved to Nashville to pursue being a songwriter. I worked doubles on weekends and during the week I spent my time going to open mics and being around writers who were better than me. Eventually I got better. That year was one of the fastest learning curves I had as a songwriter. I also stopped listening to the radio and would only listen to music from those I considered to be great writers. Every time I was in the car, listening to their albums, I dissected them and discovered the elements of writing a great song. One of the quickest way you can grow is by surrounding yourself with people you want to be like and learn from. 

One of the reasons I decided to read a book a week, instead of a book a month is because I knew that I could change my environment by surrounding myself with some of the best minds in leadership skills, powerful habits, emotional intelligence, innovation & motivation, and continued growth.

Join us in an amazing journey of transformation SUBSCRIBE HERE, because we love leaders like you!  

Sarah Jackson

Vigilant Poster Girl

Every week I talk about a book that we’re reading on leadership and self-development. You can follow along by going to the Book of the Week page at the top. And order a book (either kindle, audible, or paperback) by clicking on the photo of that book. When you do that, it also helps fund this site. 


  1. Leadershift by John C. Maxwell pgs 45 – 46
  2. Leadershift by John C. Maxwell pg 47 
  3. Leadershift by John C. Maxwell pg 51-52

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