Building Your Growth Plan: Step 2
David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer

The first week of school in Central New York is one week closer. Are you ready? While it may seem like ages since you had to prepare for a new year of learning, growth, and development, it is still something that you should be focused on—but now you’re responsible for developing your own plan, instead of having it outlined by teachers.

Last week we looked at Step 1 for building your growth plan. Step one was tough. Napoleon Hill put it best when he said, “Strength and growth come only from continuous effort and struggle.” Growth is not supposed to be easy. It should take effort and should be challenging. You can’t grow by accident. Step 2 brings the challenge of looking in the mirror and facing our personal reality so we can get a clear picture of where we are.

The first step in determining where you are is conducting a Closest Friend Assessment. Pick two people who you feel know you the best. Ask them two simple questions:

  • What is my greatest strength?
  • What is my greatest weakness?

I know this might be painful, but the only thing worse than hearing bad news is not hearing it and continuing on with your annoying or, worse yet, hurtful behaviors. Don’t be too down; you get to balance out the tough feedback with learning about your greatest strengths. These two answers become essential building blocks for your growth plan. We want to build on strengths and identify the weaknesses to see how they need to be addressed.

The second step is to intentionally reflect on where you stand with your values. As an example, the values in my life are:

  • Faith
  • Marriage
  • Family
  • Personal Growth
  • Career
  • Community

Once you have selected your values you need to reflect on each of them with the following questions:

  • What is going well?
  • What is not going well?
  • What is missing in this area?
  • What am I unsure about in this area?

Make sure you set aside the time needed to honestly answer these questions. You need to take your time and write it all down. Your answers will be used to develop a plan that will help you grow in the areas that move you closer to your values. You want to be growing in the areas that have the greatest meaning. The work is tedious, but it will pay huge dividends as you move forward in the next two weeks and beyond.

Please join Marisa and me on Episode 115 of The Next Page podcast as we describe this week’s homework in detail.

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