Look, as a leader, you already know you have to continue to grow; you’ve got to expand your knowledge. You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t know that, and you certainly wouldn’t be wasting your time listening to me. But I bet you’re going about it the wrong way. And don’t be concerned, we see this all the time. The most well-intentioned leaders say, “I know I have to continue to grow, so I’m going to implement the proven strategies to do so.”

That’s a great first step. But what often happens is that the strategy is right, but the implementation, the execution is so off the mark that it sometimes has a negative impact on the leader. At the very least, it becomes ineffective. So my hope today is I just want to talk through one of the most common examples, and actually one of the most effective strategies that you can do as a leader to continue to grow and expand, but how you may already be approaching it in the wrong way, and how we can make it actually work for you – so that you can continue on your upward trajectory, and take your team and your organization with you.

The most common recommendation, the best-proven strategy is to continue to read, research, to consume content. Basically intake information to increase your skills. That strategy is on point. I read every day. I’m reading articles and books, I’m listening to podcasts, I’m going to trainings, attending conferences, I am intaking information. You may be doing the same as well, but what we often see is that we’re intaking the wrong information. I have a feeling that if I were to take a look at your collection of books, articles, and videos for professional growth, they would be all things that you really enjoy. And when we enjoy it, it often means we’re already good at it, or potentially great at it.

So should you be spending your time taking in information, researching things that you’re already highly skilled at?

Sure, a small portion of your time and investment energy could be put into that, because we know that when we turn the dial, it can have an exponential impact. But what about the skills that you actually really need for your next step? What is it that you are missing? What is the feedback you’ve received? What do you know you need to work on to get to the next level, or get your team to the next level? Are you reading and researching and working on that?

You may not even know what it is. So we’ve got to take a look and say, truly, what skills do you as a leader need to work on? And then find the right information that is going to support those specific needs. It’s not enough just to say, oh, the strategy is to read and research and uplevel my skills. If it’s the wrong skills, the ones that are not going to help you or your team, then that strategy is completely ineffective, and it’s what we see happening so often. So today, if you truly want to grow and expand as a leader, take a look at your strategies and think, is it truly meeting where I am at as an individual leader and where I want to go?