ARE YOU STILL GROWING?

Personal and professional growth are nonnegotiables to me.  I cannot think of a time in my life I honestly believed I had no opportunity for additional growth.

Personal growth involves areas such as maturity, emotional intelligence, relationships, spirituality, self-awareness, hobbies, and family.  Professional growth involves areas such as career pathing, industry standing, succession planning, certifications, technical knowledge, professional associations, execution, and job skills.

Last time I checked, when any organism stops growing and changing, it dies.  That is not on my agenda—at least as long as I can prevent it.

In my consulting work, I once sat on a panel for a company that was strategizing and hiring for business growth.  As a panel, we interviewed several job candidates.  I will never forget one candidate.  I will call her “Freda” (not his or her real name).

Freda was very confident about her professional prowess, so much so, I detected arrogance.  As the interview progressed, Freda implied she needed no additional professional growth because she was already perfect.  I picked up on this and asked, “Freda, what mechanisms do you have in place, either through other colleagues, mentors, or introspection, that help you to assess your performance and your abilities, so you can continuously improve yourself?”  She seemed baffled by my question and responded, “None.  I just never saw the need.”

Trying to give Freda the benefit of the doubt, I rephrased my question in different ways practically begging her for a different answer.  Sadly, her answer did not change.  That was the moment in the interview I knew I could not recommend hiring Freda.  And we did not.

It boggles my mind that a professional person would take this approach.  Sure, we all have our blind spots (Lord knows, I have mine!), but this one was massive and fatal.

If you were interviewing yourself, could you recommend hiring you?  What mechanisms do you have in place, either through other colleagues, mentors, or introspection, that help you to assess your performance and your abilities, so you can continuously improve yourself?  Do you believe in personal and professional growth?  Are you committed to making yourself the best you can be every single day?

Are you still growing?





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About James Meadows

Currently I serve as a training team manager for Tyco Integrated Security at a customer-care center in Kansas City. Additionally, I am a business consultant, a freelance corporate writer, an Assembly of God ordained minister, a Civil Air Patrol chaplain, a blogger, and a University of Phoenix Associate Faculty member. I believe we are living in the most fascinating times of human history. To maximize the opportunities these times present, I have a passionate interest in leadership development and organizational success, both of which I view as inextricably linked.

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