Do you want to stop living with shattered dreams or take that fragmented life to the next level? Are there discrepancies between what you desire in your heart and what you are doing with your life? When was the last time you assessed your goals and values? Can’t remember? Then how do you know if you’re living up to your potential? Personal development is a lifelong pursuit to better yourself through new experiences, education, and more. I’m launching a monthly newsletter to help you find fulfillment and satisfaction in all aspects of your life—if you’re ready to grow, opt in today! https://carolyledestiny.leadingthebest.com/EEPD0001 Thank you
The basic principle of success is constant growth and achievement of your next goal. It is done through dedication, commitment, perseverance, and hard work. What it also requires from you is a conducive environment where it can flourish.
Such an environment can be produced when you surround yourself with like-minded, successful individuals. These are people who share your vision for success, and who believe in your goals as much as you do. The quality of the people you surround yourself with will continue to have a major influence on the trajectory of your life. This is one of the most important lessons I have learned, and one that has signified to me the importance of good company. I learned through Jim Rohn, that we become the combined average of the five people we hang around the most. He would continue this thought by saying, “you can tell the quality of health, attitude, and income of this person by looking at the people around them.”
The individuals in our lives serve as a catalyst: they can either help us reach ever-higher heights in our lives or become blocks that prevent success. I have been lucky in being surrounded by individuals who shared my values and goals, from family to teachers and mentors. The roles they have played at critical junctures of my life have helped me determine who I am, and the direction my life has taken.
The book of Matthew states “Do not give dogs what is sacred, do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” This is a simple lesson in surrounding yourself with people who understand and share your values and goals, rather than those who would trample them.
There are a great many examples to be found from all around us of the power of surrounding yourself with the right people. Henry Ford, from the moment of first acquiring his wealth, to exponentially expanding it, kept himself in the company of such individuals as Thomas Edison and John Burroughs, men who shared his ideals and compassion. He tried to associate himself with great men, who possessed the knowledge base, intelligence, and creative thoughts that ultimately helped him on his way to immense success.
This is an approach we all must adopt if we wish to be truly on the path of continuous success. You must become highly selective of the people you allow in your inner circle. Do not feel bad about the people that are excluded, so defined your inner circle of friends and mentors you can call on. At the same time, make sure you are around people who are successful, who themselves are already where you want to be.
Now go one step further. Examine your inner circle and ensure these are the people who give you confidence. Make sure they enhance your creative and decision-making abilities and give you the strength and ability to face any challenges that come your way in the pursuit of your goal.
At some point, a person feels the need to evolve, to enter a new dimension of life. Perhaps, to advance a skill, a new career, or develop their relationships with others. This requires growth to happen. But for growth to happen, the person’s environment must change.
We all know how growth happens in plants. It starts with a seed that must be implanted into fertile soil full of nutrients to form roots. It also needs sunlight, air, and water, which, through the process of photosynthesis, helps the growing seed produce its own food source. In the right conditions, the seed begins to grow into a plant, and that plant grows to its full potential. If one of these elements are absent, the seed may never take root or achieve full growth. If you plant a seed in an environment where one of these elements is absent, growth is inhibited, and the seed’s full potential is never realized. The seed remains dormant.
That principle works the same in your life and mine. For growth to happen, your environment must be conducive to growth. It must have the right nutrients to stimulate growth. If you want to change your current situation or circumstances, you must change your present environment. To quote, John Maxwell, “Growth is the only guarantee that tomorrow is going to get better.”
In my two decades in the military. The stage was already set for growth opportunities, even though, I did not know at the time. Every new assignment I went to, something was always wrong. Logistical processes were not in place, customers were unhappy for not getting their supplies on time. And the morale of the troops was down which, compounded the unhappy-customers problem. Sometimes I complained to my peers that I always got the most challenging assignments. It was then that I recognized another of John’s principles: you must get out of your comfort zone to grow. When I finished the assignment, the logistical processes were far better than the previous ones, the morale within my area of responsibility was extremely high, and my customers were giving my operation rave reviews.
At first, I didn’t understand why I got the hard and challenging jobs. Later, I realized that the military, gave me the growth environment needed to recognize and grow to my potential. As the saying goes, with each promotion comes more responsibility. I must have impressed my senior officers because they expected my performance to be top level. My performance in my military career led me to exponential growth, higher compensation, and bonuses.
What does a growth environment look like for you?
Remember, in order for a seed to grow, it needs the right soil, sunlight, air and water.
Is your present environment helping you, and not holding you back? Assess where you are right now!
Are you in a place where others are ahead of you, or are you the go-to person? Are you the smartest one in the room? Then what and who is pouring into you? You are not getting the necessary nutrients for growth. If you are pouring everything you have into others, who is pouring into you?
Are you challenged on a constant basis, if not find the right environment to grow in.
Lastly, leaders must create a growth environment within their organization or areas of influence. Used these tips to build an organization with growth potential.
Set the bar high on proficiency, efficiency, and innovation.
Give employees challenging work, nothing beneath them. And if they do not know how to do it, train them the right way first, then expect them to maintain the standard.
Cultivate an affirming atmosphere. Nurture and nourish your people for growth.
Model growth in front of them. Lead from the front, not the rear. I always say: “The most valuable gift I can give to others is a good example.” There is nothing more confusing than a person who gives good advice but sets a bad example. To quote (again) John Maxwell: “A pint of example is worth a gallon of advice.”
Remember, growth is the only guarantee that tomorrow will get better. If you don’t know whether your present environment is a growth environment, do an assessment and make changes.
The bottom line is that a growth environment aids in growth. It doesn’t hold you back.
Lastly, if you are a leader, you are responsible for helping others grow and creating an atmosphere of growth. Grow leaders, don’t just tell them what to do.
Do you add value to your people, employees, or team members? Or do you manipulate them?
Let’s look at both: adding value to employees, versus manipulating them for your advantage. Both start with attitude. Our attitude determines whether we will succeed or fail. The attitude of a leader, especially within the workplace or the organization, is contagious. It will send either a negative or positive message to employees. Your employees will react either way. Your actions speak louder than words.
Everything starts within the mind. Your thoughts, emotions, and beliefs, which form your attitude, are displayed in front of people. If you think people are lazy, always looking for a handout, and should be grateful for just having a job, your attitude may be clouding up a possibly good environment. In this case, your attempts to motivate your people and add value to them will be null and void.
To quote Les Giblin: “You cannot make the other fellow feel important in your presence if you secretly feel that he is a nobody.” This is a great lesson. Just think about that when you find it difficult to acknowledge people or find it difficult to trust and believe in them. You can’t motivate or trick them into believing you have their best interests at heart. People are not fooled by hypocritical behavior. Therefore, when the opportunity presents itself, they will leave the company, organization, or directorate. People leave people, not organizations.
A leader who shows that he genuinely wants to add value to his people is valuable to the company and its culture. So try to see your employees in a positive light. In the morning, when I first see my team, I smile. Then I say, “Good Morning! Glad to see you.” It is genuine and from the heart. Try to create a pleasant atmosphere before starting your day.
So, how do you add value?
When I was leading hundreds of soldiers or employees, doing small things that were memorable to the people I led went a long way. I remembered their birthdays, kids’ names, hobbies, or something personal and unique to them.
To quote John Maxwell, people don’t care how much you know, they care about how much you care about them.
When you value people, you look out for their interests, you empower them, and you help them to grow both personally and professionally. Sydney J. Harris says, “People want to be appreciated, not impressed.” First and foremost, adding value to people means valuing people. I wish my leaders had learned this lesson. I would be telling you about memorable experiences instead of anguishing ones.
Today diversity and inclusion efforts are a part of the core strategy amongst top organizations, no longer are most companies giving lip service that in order to be competitive in a global workforce, a diverse workforce is necessary.
Although the business case for diversity and inclusion (D&I) may be clear to you, everyone in your organization may not be on board. One reason is that while people usually understand the benefits of D&I in theory, they sometimes find them harder to relate to their everyday experiences at work. Even teams that are highly effective because they are diverse might not connect their performance to their composition.
Not having your employees on board can put your organization’s efforts to build a diverse and inclusive brand at risk. To create a culture of inclusion that everyone subscribes to is not a quick and easy task. If you want to prevent a disconnect between your D&I goals and the on-the-ground experiences of your employees and clients, here are five pointers to bear in mind.
1. LEADERSHIP PLAYS A CRITICAL ROLE An organization’s diversity and inclusion efforts will fail without leadership commitment. As important as bottom-up initiatives are, diversity and inclusion need to be embedded in the way the organization operates. It needs to be a strategic priority and not an optional add-on. It’s the leaders who show what is important for the organization. They are also the role models who shape the organizational culture.
2. EVERYONE NEEDS TO BE ON BOARD If any of your employees feel excluded from diversity initiatives, they will most likely not subscribe to the messaging. Make sure you consult regularly with staff representing all the different groups in your workplace to get their input and have them shape your diversity and inclusion activities.
3. GOOD COMMUNICATION IS KEY To ensure that everyone on your team sees the link between diversity, inclusion and business success, it is crucial for leadership to be thoughtful and consistent in communicating the reasons behind D&I efforts.
4. START AT THE BEGINNING The hiring and onboarding process is the first contact a new employee will have with your organization and can leave a lasting impression. Look at your recruitment and onboarding procedures. Where do you distribute your job postings? What questions do you ask in an interview? What does your onboarding process look like? Simple things like assigning a new employee a mentor or creating a list of frequently used acronyms can be quite helpful.
5. INCLUSION IS A JOURNEY, NOT A DESTINATION Being inclusive is something you need to keep doing, consciously, again and again. An organization should regularly examine its practices and policies through a D&I lens and provide training to employees so they all have the awareness, skills and knowledge required to build a more inclusive work culture.
It might seem overwhelming at times, but through collaboration and taking small actions, you will make progress. As the famous proverb goes, “the journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.”hey are diverse might not connect their performance to their composition.
by Anna Kostecka
Are Your Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives Working?