America’s Leadership Expert : Personal Growth

Clay Stairs: This is Clay Stairs America’s Leadership Expert with Tulsa Business Leadership and podcast number 45, Prepare the Soil for Your Personal Growth. I want to talk today in this podcast about the five steps that are involved in preparing the soil as you begin to look at this idea of personal growth. Once again, with Clay Stairs and Tulsa Business Leadership. I get to spend so much time with entrepreneurs and leaders across the country and managers as they are frustrated and feel stuck in their life or in their business and they’re wondering why are things not changing, why are things not different than they are. And 9 times out of the 10 what we discover is that the limitation is in the leader more than it is in the followers. The limitation is in the capacity of the leader to make the decisions to do the things that need to be done.

So at Clay Stairs Tulsa Business Leadership America’s Leadership Expert what we end up doing is helping those leaders and entrepreneurs and business owners and mangers, we help them expand their capacity, their emotional quotient, their ability to process greater complexity, their ability to make decisions. So it all begins with preparing the soil. The idea that I have here is the first step when we prepare the soil is that we have to break up the ground. What this means is again using the metaphor of planting a garden. At Tulsa Business Leadership, we spend time talking about planting a garden. My business is a garden, my life is a garden. So the very first step when I’m considering planting a garden is I have to make sure that I go out and break up the ground. If I just take wonderful seeds and throw them out on ground that hasn’t been prepared, there won’t be any place, obviously, for the seed to take root. So the very first thing is that we have to make a deliberate choice to grow in character and discipline before we attempt to grow in position and wealth.

It will always be … Once again as we talked about in podcast number 44, the foundation for all personal growth is going to be discipline and character. So our very first choice here, the very first step as we think about preparing for growth or growing personally is we have to settle this issue of breaking up the ground. We have to be willing to say yes. We have to get away with this resistance that we very possibly have had for a long time. Well I don’t have time, well it’s hard, well it’s this, well it’s that, that keeps us from moving forward. We have to break the ground, we have to break up our old way of thinking so that we can begin to prepare for personal growth.

So with Clay Stairs  America’s Leadership Expert, Tulsa Business Leadership what I ask leaders across the country all the time, would you be willing to say yes to the preparation? Because without a yes in your heart and mind at this point, the rest of the whole thing that we do in coaching is not even gonna make sense. Because you have to have a yes in your heart, you have to have a big enough yes … Let’s say it this way, you have to have a big enough yes in your heart and in your mind than the struggles that you are going to be coming up against. If your yes isn’t big enough than when you encounter struggles and difficulty, your yes will turn to no and you’ll begin to build up excuses, you’ll begin to come up with all kinds of different reasons why you should just stay where you are. A very wise man once said, “No man starts to build a house without first considering the cost.” I think that this is a worthy saying as we think about our personal growth.

So with Clay Stairs Tulsa Business Leadership, America’s Leadership Expert what we have found is the value of breaking up the ground before you start planting new seeds in a garden is clear enough without going into some sophomore biology lesson. But let me do say this, when I meditate on the metaphor of hard fallow ground, it becomes quite alarming. Unyielding packed soil in my life is simply a result of me shifting into a routine mode where I get stuck in a never ending daily cycle of moving through A then B then C then I go to sleep, I wake up and do it again, A, B, C. It’s not just my daily schedule, it’s also the way that I relate to my spouse or my kids or my job or my friends. It creeps into the way that I spend my time and my resources, I just get stuck in a rut. Routine can produce a fallowed ground in my heart and in my mind. It becomes very familiar, it becomes very comfortable.

At Clay Stairs Tulsa Business Leadership I’ve found that this is probably one of the primary struggles that leaders have is deciding and being willing to accept uncomfortableness and I do think that is a word. But at Clay Stairs Tulsa Business Leadership, America’s Leadership Expert this continuously is the resistance that I get from leaders and entrepreneurs is excuses and fears of I don’t know what that’s like, it’s just more comfortable. Just this morning I was speaking with a young leader who was just starting out in his journey at 24 years old and he was saying it’s more comfortable for me to do it this way. It’s like okay, well you can continue to do it that way if you would like. But that way will keep you in a smaller circle, that way will keep you in a smaller salary, that way will keep you in a smaller world. So with Clay Stairs Tulsa Business Leadership we want to help leaders expand beyond those small circles and get out into those circles that are much bigger to begin to live the life that you were designed to live.

At the foundation of this thinking again of the fallow ground … At the foundation is the thinking, the sense of settling as opposed to moving forward. So once again we have to break up … Step number one is break up the ground.

At Clay Stairs Tulsa Business Leadership, America’s Leadership Expert we talk about this second step to prepare the soil is to take out the stones. Once again, sticking with this metaphor, we must become masters of focus. Because we have become … Instead of being masters of excuses. Because it’s so easy for us … I feel like so many people that I talk with and I know that it was true in my life, that I had become a master of inventing excuses. Whether it’s blaming other people or whether it’s procrastination, if we’re not careful we’ll always have a logical reason to not move forward. So when we remove the stones, the stones are the excuses. They act like rocks in our garden that keep new seeds of ideas and new seeds of vision and new seeds of expectation from finding a place to take root and actually grow. Somewhere along the path between desire and destiny we get distracted. Then when we have these excuses the things that we were once very passionate about don’t have the opportunity to grow, don’t have the opportunity to expand and become mature.

Excuses always leave us as a victim. Saying that’s not fair or I didn’t have time or if this person would be better than I would be able to do it or it’s not me it’s my spouse, it’s not me it’s my kids, it’s not me it’s my boss, it’s not me it’s the politics, it’s not me it’s the economy, it’s the political situation, it’s the weather. Always finding excuses, we have to remove those stones. We have to make the decision I’m not going to use excuses anymore.

The third step, after we have removed the stones, is … I travel around as America’s Leadership Expert Clay Stairs with Tulsa Business Leadership, the next step in preparing the soil is we have to clear out the weeds. So just as you know this blaming mentality will eventually turn against you and attack your self worth because you know that there are things in your life that you should be doing but you continue to blame external circumstances. So as Tulsa Business Leadership, I find that what happens is as we continue to blame and not achieving our goals, we begin to offend our very soul. We being to offend ourself and before long our mindset becomes very negative when we think about growth, when we think about ourselves. When I talk about clearing out the weeds what I’m talking about here is your mindset. We have to shift into a new mindset or else the mindset of weeds and thorns. Even though there are wonderful seeds and wonderful training and wonderful information coming into our life, our mindset will choke those seeds out. It will choke any growth out.

At Clay Stairs Tulsa Business Leadership I found this so often with leaders as I work with them, entrepreneurs and business owners and mangers across the country. I found that it’s these new seeds that try to grow but they come into contact with these old mindsets that choke out that new passion and that new vision. We say it’s hard and I don’t know how to do it and I’m not a good leader, I’ll never be able to be a successful leader. We being to think of ourselves in a very negative way. I’m not a good manager, that was a huge thing for me. Before I started Clay Stairs at Tulsa Business Leadership, I was the one that had the great vision but I didn’t know anything about management, I didn’t know how to run a business and I used that mindset to reconcile my lack of action. Then when people began to call me forward and begin to call me to grow and expand, that mindset that I had I was actually trying to become somebody that I had grown to hate, somebody that I had grown to really dislike, a wealthy successful businessman. So I had to get rid of those weeds, those mindsets in my life.

Step number four, as we move forward here … First we have breaking up the ground, take out the stones, clear out the weeds. Now here’s a fun one, at Clay Stairs Tulsa Business Leadership this is another thing that I found over and over with business leaders, entrepreneurs and mangers across the country is that they don’t know … and I was this way too … We don’t know how to add fertilizer, how to use fertilizer is our life. Yes, I’m talking about natural fertilizer. It’s all the crap that’s in our life. All the struggle, all the difficulty, all the pain that we have been through. How do I interpret that, how do I process those events that have been in my life that have caused pain and hurt and difficulty? Fertilizer is an important ingredient in natural growth. The rotten, stinking, decomposing material that we used to value for a different reason, now has become very valuable to growth for the seeds in the garden. So how are we processing events in our life?

Have you been able to get to a point … This is one of the things as Clay Stairs Tulsa Business Leadership, America’s Leadership Expert that I get to help leaders walk through. I have a proven system, a proven steps to help leaders process struggle, pain and difficulty that has been in their life. Also, learning how to reconcile pain in your past. So it’s using and adding that fertilizer into your life to help growth happen.

Then finally step number five is put up boundaries. As America’s Leadership Expert, Clay Stairs Tulsa Business Leadership this again is one of the key things that I find that people don’t do when they want to grow, they want personal growth and they want to learn things. So they go read books, they go to seminars, they do webinars, they do all kinds of things but for some reason they don’t grow, they don’t feel like they are moving forward. These are the very reasons, they don’t break up the ground, they don’t take out the stones, they don’t clear out the weeds, they don’t add the fertilizer and they don’t put up boundaries. They don’t guard their time. They just allow things to happen, you have to guard your time. You have to actually put up a boundary in your schedule that says this is my growth time. I’m gonna put a fence, I’m gonna put up a hedge around my growth time and I’m gonna take this hour each week or this hour each day or whatever that time might be. If we don’t do that, growth will not happen. If you are not intentional and deliberate about putting up boundaries of time in your week, in your day to focus on personal growth, it just won’t happen.

So these are the five steps for how to prepare the soil for personal growth. I’m Clay Stairs America’s Leadership Expert, with Tulsa Business Leadership and podcast number 45, “Preparing the Soil for Personal Growth.”