Defining Growth

In a seemingly innocuous conversation last week, I was asked how to define and measure personal growth. How do you know you have grown from say a year ago, several years ago, or even from last week? The obvious answer was that you are doing something that you routinely do, but you are doing it better. Perhaps you are happier or you are meeting your goals or you have been promoted or are getting actual formal feedback from your boss, peers, or customers. But these are “outcomes” of a process where “you are doing things better.”

I trust arguing the merits of personal growth is moot to my audience. So the real question that you should be asking is “how am I growing?” I recommend taking a snapshot of yourself to serve as a pre-glamour shot. What are the key processes of your day/week? There should not be more than five. Make this list today. Give yourself a grade on each one of them.

Next week, look at this same “scorecard” and give yourself a grade again. If your grades are the same, then you are not growing.  This exercise requires tremendous discipline and candor. We are talking about only 5 key processes core to your business success, and a weekly time commitment of less than 5 minutes (to score yourself). Trust me, if you are giving yourself the same grade week after week, it becomes clear that you are not growing. This is a luxury no leader should have.

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