Stages Of Growth - Proteus Leadership | Leadership Article
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Stages Of Growth

“What usually happens when we set our goals and new-year resolutions is that we focus on the same things every year.”

The excitement of another year is always something that gets our creative juices going. New goals are set in all areas of our lives and HOPE reigns eternal that this year we will see amazing things happen, both personally and professionally.

Maybe this year we will have a real breakthrough in our business; maybe this year we will achieve the goals that we have set and see things that we have wanted to happen for a long time, finally come to pass. These and other questions run riot in our ‘clear slate’ minds. At this moment in time, it is a
new year and anything is possible.

So why do we lose that feeling and that sense of belief so quickly? Why do we let one little set back block the pathway to our dreams and allow frustration and dismay to overpower us and then dictate our decisions?

Well, it doesn’t have to be that way!

That fresh excitement we experience in the early stages of any new event, can be the motivator for a belief system that stays with us every day of our lives. However, the only way that this can happen, is if we continually have something to look forward to.

Something that makes us think.

Something that gives us purpose!

For every individual it will be something different. It might be work-related, it might be about family, it might be financial, it might even be about personal development; whatever it is, make it happen. Embrace it and bring to life an idea that could change not only your situation, but the lives and situations of others around you.

So how do we make this happen and experience the joy of new growth in our lives?

The first thing we can do is focus on something new. What usually happens when we set goals and new-year resolutions is that we focus on the same things every year. The things that we have already failed to achieve many times over. In fact, we have often failed so many times that we have developed bad patterns of behaviour and it doesn’t matter how positive we might be for a week or two, deep down inside we actually know we will fail again and so we begin to prepare our internal justification speech.

Somehow we need to re-program and create new thought patterns for success. As I have already stated, this can be achieved far more easily by focusing on something new; something that will make us think outside of our normal thought processes and stretch us to learn new habits, make new
decisions, make new mistakes and in turn grow.

Does this mean that we ignore all of the things that we have been trying to resolve for years? Not at all. But we do have to stop the rot and create new patterns of behaviour that we can then apply to those things that we have not been able to conquer in the past.

So how does this work in the workplace?

Having moved from Melbourne to Sydney some time ago, I thought that the Christmas break would be a good time to make those changes to the electoral roll, my drivers licence, my car registration and other things that I should have changed ages ago.

As many of you know, I fight bureaucracy with everything I have, which often brings its critics, but so be it! Life is too short to build roadblocks to every new and exciting possibility. My purpose in life is to help people find a better way and to open their minds to potential new opportunities, not to
create excuses for non-achievement.

Not everyone’s cup of tea I know!

So with all of my documents in hand, I proceeded to the appropriate department where some of the changes I needed to make, could take place.

To say the least, I was not prepared for the world that I walked into this day. It was as if I had stepped back fifty years, into a time warp of procrastination, bureaucracy and a ‘couldn’t give a damn’ workplace culture.

After finally getting to the counter and being abused for not having the right information, even though I had called to check what was required, I was then told they could not proceed on a technicality etc, etc, and I was sent away to return another day.

On my return, next day, a similar situation arose, but not just with me, every second customer walked away abusing the staff, shaking their heads and in some cases very angry. And yes, I will say it again; they couldn’t give a damn!

As I sat waiting on the second day, I got the giggles. I couldn’t be angry anymore. It was so bad, it was funny. It reminded me of the skit on the television show Little Britain – Computer says NO!

They shuffled papers, they went on breaks after every customer, they just sat there staring until they were ready to press their button to call out your number, at which time you went to their window to be abused. It was like being at the meat counter in the supermarket, without the service.

They didn’t even communicate with each other!

But the thing that struck me the most was that it was only 5th January; they had the rest of the year ahead!

How can people live and work like this? Nothing new happening, they are stuck in an abusive rut, they hate their jobs and the people they serve (I use the word ‘serve’ loosely) and are just waiting for knock off time.

What is sad about this is that so many individuals and organisations have their own version of the above. Maybe not to this extreme, but still stuck in a rut of just surviving.

You see, when we lose that desire to create something new, or to find a better way, the rot sets in very quickly. The exciting thing though, is that it is within our power to ensure this does not happen, but we need to be prepared to challenge ourselves over and over again.

Growth does not happen as a result of doing the same thing repeatedly, it happens when we stretch ourselves, try new things and create new patterns of behaviour.

So, if you or your organisation have been struggling with breaking through in certain areas, then create new opportunities for people to get excited about and you may find that many of the struggles will resolve themselves, or may not be as important as first thought.

You may also discover that these brand new approaches will give you a better chance of success.

So what are your plans for the next twelve months? Not your repeat plans, but the NEW GROWTH plans, the things that will challenge you and move you forward.

Des Penny is the CEO and Founder of Proteus Enterprises Pty Ltd.


Proteus Leadership is one of Australia’s premier leadership training and development companies. Proteus Leadership provides leadership courses and management training to a range of industries and assists organisations to build positive workplace cultures, implement change and Create Great Leaders. Proteus also facilitates a range of world-class management courses, workshops, conferences and events across Australia and beyond with the sole purpose of bringing leaders together to connect and grow.

“Our core purpose is to Create Great Leaders that will in turn build Great companies and develop Great teams.”