Are you too busy to grow?

If you’re not growing, you’re dying.  That’s the message that Ken Blanchard and Mark Miller have for leaders in their new book, Great Leaders Grow: Becoming a Leader for Life.  In a classic parable format, they tell the story of Blake Brown, a young 20-something, as he takes on his first leadership role.

Funny thing about the story, even though it is geared for people new to leadership and full of wisdom on how to get off to a fast start, the book may have a bigger impact on people already in leadership roles suffering from burnout.

I’m not sure if this is what Blanchard and Miller intended, but that was certainly my experience as I watched Blake encounter older executives in the company.  As Blake learned the lessons in the book: Gain knowledge, Reach out to others, Open your world, and Walk toward wisdom, I couldn’t help but be struck by how many of these leadership nutrients were missing in my own career.

Instead I felt more like the executive in the book who had fourteen years of experience–but very little learning and growth–because he had just repeated his first year of service fourteen times.  That’s a deathly mistake, explain Blanchard and Miller because, “If you get too busy with your job to grow, your influence and your leadership will stagnate and eventually evaporate.”

Are you too busy to grow?

If you’ve been working hard the past few years just trying to keep your head above water during these tough economic times, the answer is probably yes.  How has it impacted your influence as a leader?  You’ve probably done well in the short term, but not so good in the long term.  Don’t wait another day.  Start growing again.  Here are three ways to get started:

– Lift your nose from the grindstone and take a look around.  How long has it been since you pursued a growth opportunity?

– Identify some resources.  Here are two possibilities.  Read the first chapter of Great Leaders Grow online.  Sign up for the free webinar that Ken Blanchard and Mark Miller are conducting on February 23.

– Talk to others about their experience. Open up a conversation with peers.  How are they addressing growth issues?  If you use Twitter, let me know.  (Use the hashtag #GreatLeadersGrow and you’ll automatically be entered into a drawing for one of 12 first editions I have on my desk.  I’ll announce the winners here on Thursday.)

Don’t let your busyness get in the way of your growth.  If you’re not growing, you’re dying.  The best leaders combine a focus on both the long-term and the short-term.  Start growing today!

Great Leaders Grow Drawing Winners

Congratulations to @StuMcMullin, @auricresults, @pubgal, @thebrandcoach, @ogmarti, @christinewhyte, @chisobem, @nathancherry, @pivasys, @anitawongso, @jrbryson19, @staceyhartmann.  They are the winners of a free copy of Ken Blanchard and Mark Miller’s new book Great Leaders Grow.  Winners, to receive your book, please send me an email at so I can find out where to ship your book!

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