Have You Outlived Your Usefulness?
By: David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer
I was recently teaching a class on the “15 Invaluable Laws of Growth” by John Maxwell for a member company. They elected to have me run this full-day program for some of their high potential employees. As an organization, they realize that professional and personal growth in the lives of their employees is critical to success. If the organization is to succeed, each employee needs to succeed. This organization realizes that most people only use a fraction of their abilities and rarely reach their potential, so they plant the seeds within their teams that will encourage growth. They encourage their teams at all levels to stretch.
In his book, “15 Invaluable Laws of Growth,” John Maxwell introduces us to Law # 10, The Law of the Rubber Band. The truth is that a rubber band is only useful when it’s stretched. If it’s not stretched it serves no useful purpose. We are very much like the rubber band. Unless we are stretched, we will soon outlive our usefulness. We all know that change is inevitable, but do we also know that growth is optional? The reality each of us face is that growth stops when we lose the tension between where we are and where we could be. We each need to stretch.
According to a 2010 survey, one-third of high school graduates will never read a book after high school. Sadly, 42 percent of college graduates will never read a book after college. So much for growth and learning. What has happened? Where have all the learners gone? What has happened to the idea of building a better tomorrow for our families and communities? Are we settling for AVERAGE? Are we settling for MEDIOCRITY? If so, it’s because we have lost the tension between where we are and where we could be. According to psychologist Abraham Maslow “If you plan on being anything less than what you are capable of being, you will probably be unhappy all the days of your life.” I guess that explains a lot, doesn’t it?
It’s time to wake up and realize that there is a great tomorrow out there. Tomorrow will offer opportunities that we haven’t even imagined. Will you take the initiative to stretch and grow so you will be ready when that opportunity knocks, or will you simply outlive your usefulness?
Please join Marisa and me on The Next Page Podcast as we look at tangible ways to stay in the game, stretch, and grow.