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Why It's Important for Leaders to Recognize Their Need for Continued Growth

By Michael K. Redman

When I was twenty-seven years old, Kathryn and I had been married about a year and a half. One afternoon, I was walking across the parking lot from our car to our apartment, and I was feeling great. I had a skip in my step. Life was good. I thought to myself, "What can I be doing differently? What area do I need to grow in?" Almost immediately, I came to the happy conclusion: "Nothing. I'm good. There is nothing I need to improve!"

About 10 seconds later, I had a new thought - a troubling one. It occurred to me that not being able to recognize a single area for growth was...probably...an area in need of growth. 

Avoid Syndrome Twenty-Seven

Among our friends, we've come to refer to my twenty-seven-year-old mentality as "Syndrome Twenty-Seven," which describes the perception that you've got everything together, you have nowhere to grow, you are all that and a bag of chips, and everyone around you should consider themselves fortunate just to have you in their lives.

Strong leaders are often confident, optimistic people -- which can make them particularly susceptible to Syndrome Twenty-Seven. Hopefully, you grow out of it. It is to your peril if you don't. 

Syndrome Twenty-Seven is a liability to your leadership and your success. The mentality that you don't need to grow creates a false humility that produces enormous blindspots in your leadership and organization. A lack of self-awareness makes you vulnerable. You don't know what you don't know, and that blindness can ultimately be fatal to your organization.

The Inner & Outer Game of Leadership

Some people think that inspirational leaders just happen -- they're a product of personality and circumstances and talent, and there's no way that anyone who doesn't have that magical combination could conjure up that inspirational quality. But we don't think that's true.

Inspirational leadership can be developed through intentional, thoughtful work on both your inner game and your outer game.

Your inner game -- your psychology, your thinking, your emotional reactions -- needs deep and healthy roots, those roots give you the stability and the strength needed to lead others in an inspirational way. 

Your outer game refers to your observable competencies -- how you interact with others, communicate, and perform the tasks of leadership over the company as a whole. 

By strengthening your games, you'll increase your maturity and capabilities, which define your impact.

If you stay stuck in Syndrome Twenty-Seven and don't pursue growth, you won't be able to recognize or capitalize on opportunities. 

Growing as a Leader of a Passion & Provision Company

As you take a good look at your style of leadership, expect to recognize areas where you need to grow -- and congratulate yourself for being able to recognize needed growth! If you can spot those areas of growth, you do not have Syndrome Twenty-Seven. 

Grow your inner game by building up your maturity, emotional intelligence, and inner health. Grow your outer game by building up your competencies. Seek out training. Seek out help, education, and mentorship. 

If you want to be a leader of a Passion & Provision Company, you not only have to learn the strategic, tactical points of leadership, you also have to deal with people in a caring, vision-oriented way. We give you the roadmap for how in our bestselling business book:

Fulfilled: The Passion & Provision Strategy for Building a Business
With Profit, Purpose & Legacy

A room of people learning from an instructor with a Fulfilled CTA

Tags: Leadership

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