Here are 3 premises that I believe are true about organizations and their leaders:
1. The organization that the develops the fastest, wins.
2. No one develops faster or further than the leader.
3. People, including leaders, will do anything to avoid significant development.
Learning is easy. Development sucks. Learning changes what I know, but development changes who I am, what I believe, how I see myself, how I know myself, and what I do.
As a result of premise #2, my growth as a leader is not a personal choice – it is actually a business issue. For the business to grow, I must grow.
When was the last time I experienced something that placed me into discomfort? Perhaps more importantly, when was the last time I allowed my employee / friend / children to experience the kind of discomfort that leads to development? Dependency relationships are ones in which one person shields another from development opportunities. It’s easy to convince myself I’m saving the other person some pain (or saving myself some pain having a difficult talk with them), but in doing so I deprive them. If I allow another person to depend on me (could be my direct reports, my children, anyone) when they could handle it themselves, then we both lose. I am shielding them from experiences that would force development and allow both of us to grow.