Make Your Personal Growth the Journey to Great Leadership – 10 Questions to Ask Yourself

If you want to grow as a leader and as a person, then your personal development journey needs to be a priority. After all, you can’t be an effective leader if you aren’t strong in all areas of your life.

Making your personal development a priority will make you a good leader and human being – they go hand-in-hand. It’s a journey to take; it reminds me of the business mentality in China, when I studied businesses while there, that it’s a marathon, not the race.

 Here is a list of ten questions that you should ask yourself to get your journey started:

  1. What are my values and priorities?

Before you can start your personal growth, you have to make sure that you’re growing in the right direction. Which direction is the right one? That all depends on your values and priorities. Think of how these relate to your leadership as you work through these questions.

So, sit down and answer the question. You might need some time to reflect, but think about your career and health, your relationships and family, creativity, and anything else you deem important in your life. By clarifying your values and priorities, you’re giving yourself profound insight into what you want out of life.

  • What are my strengths and weaknesses?

Self-awareness is an important part of personal growth, so reflecting on your strengths and weaknesses (I like the word ‘challenges’ better) is a must. Think about where you excel, what you do really well, and what you could do better.

There’s nothing wrong with celebrating your strengths and recognizing your weaknesses; in fact, you must know them to use them when leading.  It’s all part of who you are, and you can use this knowledge to your advantage as you look to grow.

A great exercise is to do a SWOT: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats. It’s a powerful way to identify those areas you excel or need work on, what opportunities you can take advantage of, and what obstacles you may face (both internal, i.e. mindset, or external (i.e. money, regulations, etc.).

  • What are my goals and aspirations?

How can you grow if you don’t have meaningful goals to aid your journey? Before you set those goals, you have to think about the aspirations you have for your life. Consider what you’d like to achieve in every area of your life and then be specific as you set goals that align with your values and priorities. Don’t be afraid to think big.

  • Am I ready to embrace change and adapt?

Since change is a constant, you can look at personal growth as a clear way of embracing it. Are you open to change? Do you resist changes and reasons why? Are you adaptable? Are you prepared to take risks and step outside your comfort zone to seek new opportunities?

Resistance to change can hold up the personal growth journey, so you need to build your adaptability skills.

  • What is my relationship with failure?

Failure is just as inevitable as change, so you should get comfortable with it. How do you perceive failure? Is it a valuable learning experience? Or is it unthinkable and terrifying? Do you hold yourself back due to any past failures? How have you overcome?

Failure did not keep Thomas Edison, Walt Disney, or Abraham Lincoln from trying. You should learn to view it as nothing more than a setback you can learn from. Embrace it because it builds resilience, and it spurs growth. It doesn’t define you. It doesn’t define your worth. And it certainly doesn’t define your potential.

  • Am I practicing self-compassion?

Do you treat yourself with kindness? Do you have understanding with yourself when things go wrong? Are you kind when you make a mistake? Do you treat yourself gently when you fail?

There are a variety of ways to practice self-compassion and there are plenty of opportunities for you to be compassionate with yourself. It’s an essential part of the personal growth journey because it’s what helps you bounce back after you hit a roadblock and it’s key to building a positive outlook.

  • Who are my mentors and role models?

It’s difficult to grow as a person without having a role model or mentor to look up to and guide you. This can be anyone, as long as they can provide you with insights and advice, and more importantly, support as you undertake your personal growth journey. It should also be a person who shares your values and goals in common.

Mentors can come internally or externally; look at leadership round-tables or masterminds where you can interact with your peers; you could hire a coach who can be your transformational and accountability partner.

  • Am I practicing self-reflection and mindfulness?

If you want to grow, then self-reflection and mindfulness are a must. So, are you taking time out to work on being present? Are you practicing self-reflection to consider your actions, thoughts, and feelings?

These are all ways to cultivate self-awareness, which can help you reduce stress and make intentional choices, such as journaling, taking time to deep-breath and meditate (2 minutes is a start), and visualization.

  • What patterns and habits am I cultivating?

Your habits create patterns, and these patterns shape your life. So, what have you been cultivating? What seeds have you planted that you are now sowing? Are you helping you grow? Or are they weeds that are killing any growth you’ve made thus far? Identify your negative patterns and bad habits and start planting positive ones.

  1. Am I nurturing my mental and physical well-being?

Your personal growth is closely linked to your well-being. Are you looking after your mind? Are you taking care of your body? Get sleep, exercise, nourish, and practice self-care – those are important keys to nurturing your mental and physical well-being. Establish firm boundaries between work and home – you’ll feel better with them in place.

With your answers in hand, it’s time to put it all into action by setting goals, making a plan, and embracing change. These ten questions are the perfect starting point to start your journey to personal growth. It might be a long road, but it’s full of self-discovery and fulfillment. It’s a lifelong process, but your potential for growth is limitless which only adds to strong leadership: mentally, physically, and resiliently.

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