America’s Leadership Expert : Relearn Business

Clay Staires: This is America’s Leadership Expert Clay Staires with Tulsa Business Leadership in podcast #49, “Harvesting the Fruit of Personal Growth”. We’ve been doing a series here on personal growth, walking through “Grow, the Field Guide to Personal Development”, a book I wrote in 2013 and it is the steps that I use with executives as we talk about their personal growth, expanding their capacity as they have hired the leadership initiative, as they have hired the Tulsa Business Leadership to work with them to expand their capacity.  This is our fourth step in the process and here we are with “Harvest the Fruit of Personal Growth”.

I want to talk about the five steps that are involved in harvesting the fruit of personal growth. As  America’s Leadership Expert Clay Staires with Tulsa Business Leadership, I’ve had multiple opportunities to speak with leaders and entrepreneurs across the country about expanding their capacity to process greater complexity. This process, I’ve probably talked to well over 100 leaders across the country on this process. Our first step in harvesting the fruit, this is after we have gone through the process that we’ve already talked about with preparing for growth, with preparing the soil for growth, sowing the seeds of growth and nurturing and caring those seeds and then finally, the pruning and shaping your personal growth. Now that we have pruned and shaped, now we are harvesting.

With America’s Leadership Expert Clay Staires at Tulsa Business Leadership, we’re in a place now where we want to begin to walk through these four steps of how we are going to harvest. Our first step is inspecting the seeds, inspecting the seeds of personal growth. What does this look like? We have to begin asking ourselves some questions and once again, this is an area where I find so many leaders have just not had the perspective, have not had the understanding to actually harvest what they have learned. As a result, we tend to have to go through the same lesson again and again and again. With America’s Leadership Expert Clay Staires at Tulsa Business Leadership, you may have found yourself in the same spot. You may have found yourself as a business leader or entrepreneur or parent, where you continue to find yourself having to relearn over and over and over, go through the same process again and again. It can be maddening and very frustrating.

What we want to do is help you actually harvest these lessons, harvest this fruit so you don’t have to continue to go through and learn the same lessons over and over. Again, first step is to inspect. We need to answer a few questions. What have you learned through this last season of going through struggle and difficulty? What did you learn?  Other than, I don’t ever want to do that again. See, that is usually where people fall short. They get through a difficult season, they get on the other side of it and really all they hold on to is, “I don’t ever want to do that again.”

I promise you, you are destined, some people would say doomed, I would say destined to go through that again if you don’t harvest. To go through the same struggles again and if you don’t harvest the lessons, then you will have to relearn the lessons. We want to make sure that we keep track of what we have learned. What are the struggles that you have had to overcome? What are the emotions? What are the mental blocks that you have had to overcome and how did you overcome them? What were the key steps that you took to help yourself overcome these roadblocks and these struggles and difficulties? What difficulties did you overcome and go through that are common to other people? This is a very important thing that we keep track of. What are the struggles and difficulties that I’m going through that I’m overcoming that are actually common to other people in their journey. And then finally, how would you advise other people to navigate what you have navigated?

Now that you have taken the time to write down, to keep track of what you have learned, what you’ve had to overcome and what were those key steps and how you overcame them, now what would you advise other people to do in their place of struggle and difficulty? See, this is the classic phrase of, “If I can do it, you can do it too.” That is not true. I promise you, that is not true. What is true is, if I can do it then if you do what I did, then you can do it. But if they don’t walk through the same process, if they’re not willing to embrace the same struggles, embrace the same process that you went through, then they are not going to be able to end up where you ended up.

Again, at America’s Leadership Expert Clay Staires with Tulsa Business Leadership, these are the steps that we go through with harvesting the fruit. Number one is inspection. Number two is collection. Here we go. Now we’re in a spot where we have done the inspection. Now, are we actually able to organize our story? Whether it be a season of our life or a long season of our life, are we able to organize our story into an actual road map? Are there patterns in your story? Are there cycles in your story?

I have found now that I am 52 years old, I can look back now and see cycles in my life, see patterns in my life. I know that there are five year patterns that go on and 13 year patterns that go on. Very interesting. It’s amazing, as these patterns begin to evolve but what you can do now is anticipate the pattern to continue in your life.

Now you may not be able to do this if you’re 20, because you haven’t been around long enough but at America’s Leadership Expert Clay Staires Tulsa Business Leadership, I train people to begin in their twenties to keep track of these patterns. Also, another question you can ask on the collection part is; the thing as you collect and find these patterns, you’re going to find that it’s going to be a great help to others but also for you because in the future … Again, I promise you, just because you have overcome one struggle doesn’t mean that there are not going to be more struggles in your future.

The idea, if you’re like me, I spent so many years of my life just trying to avoid difficulty and avoid struggle and as a result, when I would get on the other side of a struggle, I would just go, “Oh wow, don’t ever want to do that again.” I would never inspect, I would never collect the information so that when I did have a struggle again, I could walk through the same path. So I found myself having to learn over and over and over.

This is the third step is we are collecting those seeds of learning. We’re collecting the fruit of growth. Now we come to our third step and with Clay Staires Tulsa Business Leadership, I spend a lot of time with leaders and entrepreneurs helping them with a tool that very few people ever stick with. So many people have actually started it several times but they never really stick with it. This is a wonderful toy that I call journaling. A lovely, lovely tool to help you with your learning and with your capturing and with your harvesting the fruits of growth. The journaling piece here, and I have a complete podcast that I’m going to do on journaling coming up. I think it’s podcast number 51, but here in podcast number 49, this is how we store all of our seeds. Everything that we have learned, all that we have gained, the wisdom and the knowledge, we put it here in this thing called a journal so we can refer back to it.

Then our fourth step is sharing. It’s beginning to share the seeds that we have harvested. The importance here is that if we don’t share, then it doesn’t multiply. That’s so important and at America’s Leadership Expert Clay Staires Tulsa Business Leadership, this is the foundation of all of the systems, the processes, the operating systems that I trained other leaders in. They have all come out of my journals. They have all come out of my journey. It is my story. It’s how I have done this.

We just said, “If I can do it, then if you do what I did, then you can do it as well.” What I’ve done is I’ve kept track of the steps, what I have done … so now as the leader of Clay Staires Tulsa Business Leadership, I am able to share. You have to share it or else it won’t grow for you. You’ve got to spread it around. There’s a movie in Hello Dolly about spreading it around like manure. You have to spread the seeds out. Find good soil to begin to sow these seeds because as you begin to teach others, this is where true learning, where deeper learning will take place as you actually begin to teach others. Because they will ask questions and you will be forced to communicate your learning. You will be forced to communicate your learning. You will be forced to communicate your harvest in a way that other people will be able to receive.

Then, again, the idea … A proverb here of what you share will come back to you. There is so much need in the world today. So many people that are trapped in bondage and trapped in a place where they would say they are stuck. If you go into bookstore and go in the self-help area, you will see books upon books upon books of self-help. There is so much need for people to get through struggles and difficulties. So important for you and I as we grow to harvest where we have grown, the seeds of growth.

Then finally, I do want to say about this last up here. This fifth step of saving for replanting. You will eventually find that there is a balance between what you have learned and what you actually share with people. Not all of your seeds will be for other people. Not all of your seeds will be for every person. Not all of your seeds will be for today but you will begin to find that you will be more frugal with your advice as you begin to find that balance.

This is podcast number 49 with America’s Leadership Expert Clay Staires at Tulsa Business Leadership, talking about how to harvest the fruits of personal growth.