Leadership Ahead

Personal Growth Toolbox.

Recently my Pastor has begun a leadership training initiative in our church. About 20 business owners entrepreneurs and people in leadership were invited to join a monthly training for leadership. Several things came out of the first meeting for me; the first of which is that good leaders are readers. Whether reading a paper or e-book or listening to a book on audio the lessons learned in the most popular leadership books are paramount in our personal growth. At least they are for me. One of the finest and most interesting aspects of engaging in this discussion of leadership with Pastor Dan Boyd (twitter- @PastorPD) is finding out all of the books we have both read, our favorite authors, podcasts and leadership thought leaders. As it turns out, we have several in common and I’m eager to learn about new sources I’ve never heard of. Another big takeaway for me is the simple idea that we keep what we give away. Meaning that when we have a new skill or talent that we have learned in a way that we can teach it to others, we really have achieved the step of actually learning the new talent or skill. As we practice this new skill by teaching others how to execute, we are in turn burning these lessons into our consciousness so that we don’t forget them. In many ways it’s easy to burn through a stack of books especially audibly and then not implement any of the items that we’ve learned. By teaching instead of just reading we really force ourselves to achieve the new skill. One of the ways to teach is through writing. For me, blogging is a great way for me to express the things I’m learning. It’s helpful to write this stuff down in order to help me remember it all.

For this reason, I have committed to my first leadership post. I want to share my personal growth plan. John Maxwell insists that in order to grow, we must have a growth plan. When I was first asked if I had a plan in our leadership lunch, I assumed the answer was no. That’s why I came to the event right? But after some thought, I really do have a plan, I just need to define it a bit more. My Growth plan includes a new leadership book at lease every month. This month is John Maxwell’s, 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth. Along with reading a good book is daily podcasts, Bible reading, an accountability meeting every week, my newest commitment of blogging weekly and annual goal setting. Here is a short list of the weekly growth exercises I do.

Monday through Saturday
-Up at 5:30 for 30 min workout

-During workout, listen to “entrepreneur on fire” podcast
(I listen at 1.5 speed so I can get through faster.)

-After a shower and breakfast (and coffee) I read the verse of the day from you version and send it as a text to my family with an encouragement. After that I try to read a chapter of the bible. We are going through Acts now.

-I will also “read” leadership and business books. I actually listen to audio books 95% of the time. This fits in with my driving time (especially when I had an hour commute) and while I do remedial tasks during the day.

-Every Wednesday morning (for about the last 18 years) I meet with my friend Eddie. We discus our struggles, challenges, work through tough decisions, pray for each other and our families etc… Pretty much solve all of earth’s problems. It’s probably the most powerful thing I do for my own personal growth. It’s a powerful touchstone weekly that keeps Eddie and I focused and moving forward.

-My newest tool as I have mentioned already is to blog once a week in reference to what I’m leading through books I’m listening to or podcasts. This is my new commitment so we’ll see how it goes…
-That brings us to Sunday when we go to church as a family and celebrate with our friends and family. I am always challenged there and use it for a great reset for the week.

-I also have year-end goal setting, now a monthly leadership learning lunch and several retreats throughout the year that keep me sharp. This is really when and where the Growth Plan is outlined, planed and reviewed.

I can go into more detail with those monthly and annual events later. My main focus I this post is to outline my weekly personal growth plan. This may or may not be helpful to you, but it’s been hugely helpful to me by writing this out. Now that it’s written, it’s real… Right?

What’s your growth plan?

Here is a list of the books on my “shelf” (audible app)

The Compound Effect, Darren Hardy
The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, John Maxwell
The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey
One Simple Idea, Stephen Key
Art of the Start, Guy Kawasaki
Thou Shall Prosper, Rabi Daniel Lapin
Tribes, Seth Godin
The power of Habit, Charles Duhig
George Washington Carver Biography, Geoff Benge
Do the Work, Steven Pressfield
QBQ, John Miller
Street Smarts, Bo Burlingham
Necessary Endings, Henry Cloud
The 4 hour work week, Tim Ferris
Boundaries, Henry Cloud
The Barbarian Way, Erwin McManus
Endurance, Alfred Lansing
Start with Why, Simon Sinek
David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell
The War of Art, Steven Pressfield
The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
Entreleadership, Dave Ramsey
Platform, Michael Hyatt
The Icarus Deception, Seth Godin
The E myth Revisited, Michael Gerber

Here is a list of my favorite podcasts;
Entrepreneur on Fire, John Dumas
This is your life, Michael Hyatt
EntreLeadership, Ramsey Team
Chris LoCurto
Dave Ramsey Show
48 Days, Dan Miller
Start up School, Seth Godin (must listen- short 15 episodes)
Beyond the to do list
And just for fun, (guilty pleasure) Armstrong and Getty Radio Show