For this issue, I want to point out a key aspect of Growth and Development of any leader in any arena. It involves 4 Stages of Growth and in this blog, I will present the 4 stages and then will conclude with an example I have mentioned previously in my interaction on one occasion with my grand-daughter. These 4 stages were presented in a Faith Based context by Robert Morris but I will take it to a Leadership context because it is equally true in any leadership arena. Let me simply begin by presenting the 4 levels.
1. GIVE ME:
First and foremost at the lowest level is the growth stage referred to as “Give Me”. We find our children at this stage often as they are focused on us giving them something. Robert Morris interestingly pointed out that rarely do his grandkids approach him and say “Granddad, what would you like to do?”. In their mind is "Give Me”.
2. USE ME:
The next level up is the level of “Use Me.” On the surface this sounds very positive and in some aspects it could be positive. However, a key problem of this is that people want you to "use them" because they want all the attention and approval to be on them. I have pointed out that one area of sales where our society’s narcissism creeps in is in the mentality that says “It is not important who I really am....it is only important who I can convince you I am”.
In general, this level is not a good level and many people in business today are trapped and “imprisoned” in this level. Never forget that:
TRUE LEADERS PRESS ON BEYOND THIS LEVEL AND LEAD THEIR TEAMS TO DO THE SAME.
3. SEARCH ME:
Search me is where we look at ourselves without “selling ourselves to ourselves” but rather explore within ourselves what we need to be more clear about, what we need to change or what are the areas in which we need to grow. In Sherpa coaching one of the ways we have clients do this is what is referred to as the Personal Quarterly Meeting (PQM) which is a time we get alone with ourselves and get serious about where we are in the journey. I typically have a PQM about every quarter and more often if needed to keep myself focused. We can also set personal goals in these times.
4. MAKE ME:
This level is where we begin changing our self to be ready for the next stage of our journey. We apply what we saw in Search Me. This is where we have clarity and we make the changes we need to make.
True Leaders never stay at the “Use Me” level but rather true leaders move past that and move to “Search Me” & “Make Me”.
One Real World Illustration
As we develop our Rising Stars, we need to be aware of this and allow me to illustrate one example which I have included in a Vision Quest issue a few years ago. It is critical to understand. Previously, I told of a time that my grandson was in the dentist office getting some work done and my Great-Granddaughter was sitting next to me and playing a game on the phone. At one point she stated “Aww, Pawpaw, I am not good at this game!” It was a key defining moment and it was a time where I could move her to a higher level. I simply told her “That is not true sweetie!” She said it again and I responded with the same “That is not true”.
She had a confused look on her face as she said one more time. I responded differently and in doing so, I took her to “Search Me” and “Make Me” levels very quickly and easily. This time when she said “But I am not good at this game”. This time I looked at her and said “Sweetie that is not true.......You know what is True?” She said “What?” I said “Sweetie it is true you are not good at it YET......but you can be......You Can BE!”
She just lit up with a smile that was priceless. In one moment I took her past “Use ME” and helped her go to “Search Me” and on to “Make Me”. She began to believe that if she practiced, she could do anything she put her mind to.
As you seek to develop your Rising Stars to be tomorrow’s leaders, don’t let them Park out at “Use Me” but help them move past that prison and move to the highest levels and become more than they ever thought possible.
Lastly, the higher your Rising Star moves and progresses, the more keen and competitive the competition will become. To be competitive at that level and win will take someone who moves to the top 2 levels and understands how to use those 2 levels to continue their success in a more and more competitive environment.
– Randy Swaim, Coaching for Relevance, LLC