Yesterday I had another great conversation with a friend and mentor. He encouraged me to continue stretching myself in various ways as a leader, both in new situations and challenges.
The first way I believe I can put myself into new situations is to join a new group. I'm a very introverted person, and striking up conversation in a group is extremely difficult for me. I'm making it my goal to attend functions that I would normally shy away from, and to not bring along a wing-man to avoid conversing with new people.
The second way is to intentionally make contact with people in important positions. For me, this includes CEO's of companies and organizations, political figures and community leaders. Doing this forces me to find new ways to be outgoing and seek common ground witih other leaders, not just the ones I already know.
Third, I need to continue to travel to new places and events, learning from people and groups that are completely different than I am, or have a totally different way of getting things done than I do.
One of the ways to stagnate as a leader is to just stick with what I've already accomplished, or to simply do more of that. I need new challenges in order to stretch myself. I need new goals, both personally and for the organization, in order to force myself to learn. It's easy to simply allow circumstance to dictate my actions. I need challenges that go beyond just getting things done and solving current issues.
Questions for yourself
What are the ways in which you force yourself to grow as a leader?
What is a new challenge that you might give yourself?
What new situation will cause you to grow?