You can’t have business growth without personal growth. That’s because both come from finding unity between you, your life and your business.
This article is the final one in a series of seven. Here’s the model that this series of articles builds on:
Some forms of growth are not to be encouraged. Indeed some colleagues, in response to earlier articles, have expressed concern that I am promoting recklessness. I can see why they might think that. Growth is commonly conceptualised and constructed as economic growth ‘at all costs.’ In this form, it’s usually associated with the consumption (or over-consumption) of resources. My critics point to the damage wrought on the planet. They further indicate the failure to promote economic development outside of a narrow and privileged group of countries and the ‘ruling’ elite.
They have a point. I agree, but then this isn’t how I wholly conceptualise growth. The model that is the foundation of this series of articles shows that I define growth across individuals, their lives and their businesses (or places of work). Let’s deal with the last first before we turn to people and their lives.
Sustainable Business Growth
I’ve demonstrated in previous articles some frustration with the climatological challenges we face. My frustration extends beyond that to developmental and social issues brought about by poor policy and political decision making, often perverted in the name of political populism. Worldwide, it seems that, with a few notable exceptions, we’re bereft of people of exceptional character in positions of power. That applies regardless of political inclination.
In business, I strongly favour B Corporations (certified or not). B Corporations meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. They may achieve high-growth, but it isn’t at the cost of people, society or the natural environment. It isn’t easy to meet these standards, but it isn’t that difficult either. It’s not a question of scale. Small, medium or large enterprises are equally capable of sustainable performance. It’s a question of commitment.
In previous posts, I’ve highlighted what I think are the foundations of personal growth: personality and character strengths; mental toughness; and learning preferences and style. Where do these take us to in growth?
For me, they ultimately take us to enlightenment, a place where we’re at peace with ourselves and with the world. My friend and mentor Matt Church calls it living above the line and illustrates it thus:
I can’t find a better way to summarise this than ‘teach, bring greatness out in others,’ so I’m not going to try. Matt has, as is often the case, nailed it.
Growth in Life
The basis of growth in life lies in health, wealth (extrinsic and intrinsic) and wisdom. They’re strongly tied to personal growth, as we weave our life’s braid. Where do we go with them?
For health, we need a balanced mind and body. For financial wealth, we need to identify the level of financial resources we need to meet personal goals, and then construct the means to get there. It usually takes a decade. Another friend and mentor, Chris Freeman, specialises in this. He looks for a balance between longevity, capita, cash and personal management, while not losing sight of security and flexibility.
Personal management is the intrinsic side of the wealth ‘equation.’ It’s partially what Stephen Covey calls the emotional bank account: your relationship with your family and friends. The other part ties back to you and where you are regarding Matt’s ‘line.’
Breakthrough Growth: at the Centre
How do we balance this all out? It’s a question of alignment between your three worlds, echoing my perspective on integration between life and business. We can’t treat the three elements of growth separately.
We need to look at goals and how we might achieve them as a whole. What are the points of intersection? How can we integrate (not balance)?
Marshalling breakthrough growth needs a whole set of conversations. It requires clear thinking and a measure of wisdom. More often than not, it’s best to have a mentor (or two) walking alongside you who’s been there and done that, especially when faced with opportunity and challenge.