Misaligned personal development can be a Sea Anchor
Personal growth and performance go hand in hand. It’s logical to think that in order to operate at a high performance level, then also achieving high personal growth must play a role in success.
But does there come a point where personal development can hinder leadership performance? I believe there is.
This is evident with people who have been in the same company or role for some time and also on the flip side, business or practice owners who spend the majority of time working on their own personal growth and development, investing in programme after programme (the course junkies) who don’t want to miss out on the latest and greatest tools.
I believe there are four categories:
These are the people who do all the personal growth that’s possible. They are obsessed with self-development but in doing so actually have limited ability or business experience to help them merge the two together.
They are focussed on being better people but miss the point because leadership performance is not just about being an authentic leader, they actually need to have some technical and hands on experience. These people can be seen as highly action oriented but all they are doing is spinning wheels.
The Sea Anchors (deteriorates)
These people have good technical experience and understand the business but have little confidence or self-awareness which is in fact, like the sea anchor to good leadership. These people can easily be bullied by those in higher management or owner roles and when this happens they start to shrink and wither, eventually losing any respect and are worn down.
These people have good sound leadership skills, business performance experience and can be extremely successful however they have been doing the same thing for years and rely mainly on the team to pull them through. They have the experience to field a good support team but they are no longer passionate about what they do and this is evident.
These people really need to sit down and look at what is next for them in terms of career or business and redefine their own identity and in turn, passion.
This is where the magic happens. There is infectious leadership. There is a continued process for personal development for the right reasons, it is about continually shedding old skins and regenerating, not only in developing oneself but empowering the team and business to continually regenerate. The energy in the business is electric, the team is focussed, clients love you and things just happen.
In my experience, this is the best place to be. I have taken leadership teams and individuals from the other three categories to total regeneration and it’s pure magic to watch the transformation.
The hard question really comes down to this: Which quadrant are you really showing up in?
And if you are really honest with yourself – the next question to ask is, why are you there?
If you can feel the sea anchor closing around you, or you are looking to invest in yet another course, or perhaps you have been sitting in the same role for many years now, maybe it’s time to shift – shift your behaviour, shift your actions and shift your mindset.