One of my favorite subjects to read and write about is personal development. However, if you really think about it, a lot of the things that you hear and read about in this subject actually contain hints about the fact that personal development must including improving others as well. You wouldn’t attempt to climb Mount Everest by yourself would you? No one would. Everyone needs help to be successful.
Let me explain it this way: if in your personal growth journey you are only concerned about improving yourself wouldn’t that make you arrogant and a narcissist? Ironically, arrogance and narcissism are two qualities that most people don’t want to be associated with their name or their character. This is especially true for someone who is truly learning how to become the best version of themselves. This is why personal growth must include improving those around you as well.
Share the Wealth
Imagine that you have discovered something amazing that changes your life forever. Imagine that through the knowledge found in this discovery you are able to be more successful and accomplish more of your goals then you could before you made this discovery. If you found something like this, wouldn’t you want to share this with your family, friends, and colleagues?
This is indeed the crux of personal development. Whether we discover new techniques or profound new ways to solve an old problem, these things are meant to be shared with others. This is one of the many reasons why a large percentage of successful people write books; they want to share their story with the world.
In addition to this, there isn’t a successful person alive that made to where they are today completely without the help of others. Most top performing people had help from mentors, team members, as well as the knowledge attained from books and seminars. In other words, no one can be successful without the help of others. This is why as you find yourself growing and becoming more successful, you must share the knowledge and “pay it forward” to those people around you.
Servant Leadership and Mentorship
The pinnacle of personal growth and development is success and leadership that ultimately benefits others. If there are no “others” you probably can’t even be considered a leader. Growth in leadership means learning to put others first. We believe in this concept so much that we’ve written several articles on the topic. Here are three of them if you’d like to read more on the subject:
- A Leader’s Greatest Asset
- Servant Leadership: The Mark of a True Leader
- Lead from the Front: A Leadership Principle That Gets Results
By growing into a leader that serves others, you have learned to transcend your personal desires setting them aside for the sake of others. Any successful person (as well as people in leadership roles) must understand that they are being watched and looked up to. People who are looking to grow themselves need role models and mentors to help them get to where you may already be. Make it a point to take every opportunity to helps others as they have helped you. Imagine what people would think, say, or do if you only cared about yourself.
“Real leadership is leaders recognizing that they serve the people that they lead.” – Pete Hoekstra
One of the marks of leadership is planting seeds in people to help them eventually become a great leader as well. While growing yourself through the pursuit of personal development, including others in this journey is absolutely vital. It had been said that “great leaders grow more leaders.” This is true on so many levels. When you are successful, it’s imperative that you become a mentor to others so that they are edified with your knowledge and experience.
One of my favorite mentors, Brian Tracy, has a wealth of knowledge that he wants to share with the world. In my opinion, he does a great job in giving out his best advice for free or for a small price (like buying his book). His books are well written and pack full of practical knowledge and tips to help you improve yourself. There isn’t a whole lot of “fluff” in his books. Check out this book review for Eat That Frog, which is one of his best books.
Clearly, Brian Tracy has made it a priority to help others succeed. Of course, he does charge a lot of money for his top-level programs and seminars (which often include personal coaching), however, you can still learn a significant amount from him without breaking the bank.
You’re Only as Good as Your Weakest Link
My last point on this topic is that any successful person is only as good as their weakest link. In other words, if you are on a team or running a business that depends on other people, you are only as good as the weakest person on that team. For example, an employee performing poorly will be a drag on the team as well as the company. Or to use the family as an example, if a sibling is struggling in school then the family must come together to help that person.
The primary point here is that you are only as successful as your least successful team member, family member, or employee. Every leader knows that they must work hard to help develop not only themselves but those people around them that also need the help. For every organization, business, and even society as a whole are comprised of people. Without people to make the world function, success in any area of life would not be possible.