Willingness – THE Key To Growth
If there is any one ingredient I’ve witnessed as the essential key to a truly successful leader’s growth, it’s this:
The people that seem to thrive and have the most positive influence on others are those that are willing to see beyond themselves and do whatever it takes to grow. Those that are not willing often self-destruct and hurt others in the process.
Here’s an example – During my senior year of high school baseball we had a new assistant coach. He loved the sport, and spent much time in Florida watching the pros during spring training. He was brought on board to infuse some new ideas to help us, a perennial losing team (we usually won 3-5 games each year), play better. From exercising and condition to fundamental drills, Coach Mike helped us achieve a potential as the season went on that we never knew existed. He took a team that didn’t care, went through the motions and had no hope into a competitive force in our division.
Consider this – late in the season, we played the six-time state champs on their home field. It was a hard fought game right up until the last inning when we stranded runners in scoring position and lost the game by 1 run. Their coach, who was a prideful man, walked over to our coaches and said “If you could keep that team of yours together one more year, I would be scared to play you.” Quite an endorsement from this coach!
We ended up with a losing record that year (7-9) but had played our hearts out in competitive ball and thought is was truly the best baseball year our school had in a long time. Why? Because we, the players, were willing to put ourselves aside, learn, play hard, and buy in to the teachings of Coach Mike and learn the game in a new way.
People that have a willingness to put aside themselves make the most positive impact on others around them.
As a leader or aspiring leader, are your truly willing to grow and develop? If so, consider this checklist to test if you have a willingness to be a true leader. Are you:
- Willing to practice and master the fundamentals
- Willing to push and persevere
- Willing to lose
- Willing to work together
- Willing to support everyone with no self-credit
- Willing to do whatever it takes
- Willing to read, learn
- Willing to listen
- Willing to be self-aware
- Willing to accept feedback and criticism
- Willing to put that feedback into play
- Willing to be humble
- Willing to recognize you are not the only person in your world
- Willing to influence others positively, without any benefit to yourself
As the quote above says, willingness is a choice. When we choose to examine ourselves and receive input to grow, we make our influence in the world a truly remarkable process.
(image courtesy of meetville.com)