“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” — Albert Einstein.
Being a business leader is so much more than the company you steer, a lot of your success will come down to the persona and brand you build behind your organization. When people make an active and conscious decision to buy from your company, they will be buying from you, the leader behind the business. Your customers make a buying decision based on what they know of you, the culture and values, how you treat your team, and the trust instilled within your organization that shows up with customer service.
Reputation and personal growth are key to successful business leaders because of your growth as a leader and the attitude you display can attract the best talent and garner the most trust out of your customers. If you want to improve your organization, you must first improve yourself — and if leaders are not capable of change, then why would your business? Encouraging and cultivating a culture that pursues personal growth alongside business growth is a recipe for multiple levels of success. Below are five personal development strategies to help you grow as both a leader and a business.
1. Self-Awareness Is Critical.
Do you know how you need to be different to be a better version of yourself? Self-awareness is critical to organizational leadership, and it takes patience and practice. You must be sure to validate your assumptions with those you trust to give you radically candid and transparent feedback. Often, this means hearing things we do not want to hear. But at the end of the day, it is one of the only ways that your business will change and grow.
Think about implementing a 360 feedback model, executive coaching, or one of the many other tools at your disposal to develop self-awareness and keep up with the changes you need to make to be a more effective leader.
2. Have Passion And Purpose.
Businesses grow and follow leaders with passion and purpose. So leaders must identify what drives them, what their personal brand looks like, and what about it makes them memorable.
Leaders should choose to be go-givers and share that passion and purpose with their colleagues to inspire and drive more energy into their business. Stay authentic and always actively listen – humbly. Our passion and purpose may not be obvious to others.
3. Strive To Become A Lifetime Student.
You might never become an expert, and if you do, that means you have committed to a lifetime of learning. No matter the industry, there will always be something new to learn and something that will drive you to be better at what you do. Leaders need to commit to reading, taking courses, hiring coaches or using the internet to widen their breadth and find new ways to look at their businesses. Being an expert in your field takes work.
4. Care About Your Health And Wellness.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but to be successful in your work-life you must also be successful in your mind-body life. Health and wellness are no joke and must be taken seriously, especially to alleviate stress.
Promoting healthy habits should be a cardinal rule when building a business. We must all identify ways of reducing stress and promoting health, such as rest, mediation, therapy and exercise.
5. Remember, Personal Transformation Is Awesome.
Finally, share your story of personal transformation. You’re more relatable as a leader when you’re real and vulnerable with not only yourself but your team and loyal fan base. Ultimately, we take business risks with the leaders we trust. We don’t trust leaders we don’t know. I’ve had two personal transformations and have always been very candid about them.
The first transformation happened when I was 18 years old. I had my first child. He is now more successful than I could ever dream and a rockstar college student. The second transformation happened at 39. I beat cancer. Multiple Myeloma is for people who are 70 years old, not under 40. I focused on health and energy, while modern medicine did its job – radical transformation. This is how we share our stories. You don’t need to know my favorite color of socks, but it helps to know how a leader is shaped.
Personal and business growth have a long-term partnership for growth-minded leaders. Know when to ask for help personally and professionally. “We” is always greater than “I.” And remember what Einstein said; without change, we are doomed to repeat past failures and stall on our growth path.