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  • Renato Zane

Self-Directed Growth

One of my best mentors at work, a senior executive, didn't tell me what to do. He asked me what I WANTED to do. There's a big difference in management approaches right there.

Good mentors are invested in YOU. They are first and foremost good listeners because they care about your journey. They know their job is to grow leaders. They make the time so you can talk about what you wish to discuss. They listen with all their mind and all their heart. Then they reflect back for understanding and ask probing questions that make you think some more. Thinking for ourselves is the most important way we learn, not blindly following others. When we decide to take some kind of action or next step, we own that decision and move forward.

Performance at work is like a personal science experiment. We take a step and then evaluate outcomes. We think about what we learned, what worked and what didn't, and then we take another step.

If you want to grow, you must do the thinking and evaluating. If you are fortunate, you will be working with a good leader who supports you with this type of self-awareness, autonomy and growth.

If you don't have this environment, consider working with a performance coach like me who will support you. Don't wait until your annual job evaluation. In some companies, those processes are not executed well.

I believe there is always room for personal growth and a leadership mindset in every chair.

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