Developing As A Leader

Gerwig 2015-06-10

When was the last time you worked out? Some of you worked out earlier today, some a few days ago and others, well, you can’t remember. Working out requires discipline, focus, and perseverance. You can’t be lazy, apathetic, or too busy. For those of you who are successful working out regularly, it’s likely that you have a strong motive for doing so. You want to have a healthy heart. You want to lose weight. You want to look good. You could have one primary driver or you could have a number of motives.

A couple days ago, I was on one of the machines pictured above really going at it. My heart rate was up, my legs were burning, the sweat was pouring off me and I was breathing heavily. All in all, a good cardio workout. But as always, my mind was thinking about a million different things.

I was thinking about my family, the teaching I’d heard that week at church, work, what I was going to have for dinner and so on. And I was also thinking about leadership development. I was thinking about the numerous conversations I’d had over the years with people who wanted to improve, people who wanted the corner office, people who aspired to something greater. Some of these people were lazy. I knew they wouldn’t make the investment. Some of these people were too busy doing other things. I knew they wouldn’t make the investment. Some of these people weren’t motivated to work out. I knew they wouldn’t make the investment.

Now I’m not casting judgment on them. It’s a personal choice for them. It’s a decision only they can make. But what bothers me at some level is that they say they want to look good. They say they want the corner office. They say they want to improve. But aren’t willing to make the investment.

Personal growth and/or professional development are certainly personal choices, but if you truly chose to grow and develop, you have to make the investment. The return comes only after the investment is made.

You don’t lose weight, get in shape, look good, or develop a healthy heart by thinking about working out. Or reading about it at the magazine rack at Barnes & Noble. Or researching new workout programs online. You already know how you lose weight, get in shape, look good, and develop a healthy heart. You invest. You pay the cost. You demonstrate discipline and focus and perseverance. You sweat.

Developing as a leader requires that you identify an area you want to improve and then taking action. The investment. You take action. Then you monitor progress. Then you take more action. Then you monitor progress again. Along the way, you make necessary corrections. Just like a physical workout, you may need to adjust the level or the minutes or the frequency. It’s really the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle applied to an area you want to improve.

How about you? Do you want to develop as a person, as a leader, as a dad, as a mom, as a professional, as an athlete? Are you willing to pay the price? Are you willing to make the investment? Are you willing to sweat?

As always, the floor is open to your comments, suggestions, thoughts, and feedback.

Dr. is an agent of change and is able to balance the needs of the business and the needs of people. Dr. Gerwig believes and practices the values of performance and delivery of business metrics while simultaneously developing and growing people into leaders. You can contact him at RobertGerwig[at]


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