Supercharge Your Growth
David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer

For about 12 years, I have been trying to become more intentional about my growth and professional development. This comes as no surprise to you if you have been reading my posts for the last seven years. I was once asked if I got tired of learning and growing, and my reply was simply no, not at all. When we grow, we are energized and get excited about what we’re doing. Legendary basketball coach John Wooden said, “When opportunity knocks, it’s too late to prepare.” Continual growth allows us to be prepared whenever opportunities come knocking.

Lately, I have been conducting many 360-Degree Assessments and I am more convinced than ever that the best way to supercharge your growth is with a 360. I conduct 360s by having one-on-one interviews with people. I don’t believe you can conduct a meaningful 360 online. I have looked into online 360s and have been asked to participate in them, and they lack clarity and depth. When I interview participants, I can ask follow-up questions to bring greater clarity to their statements.

Why a 360? In his book What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There, Marshall Goldsmith writes, “Our career is a journey from here to there, and sometimes our compass gets out of whack.” Goldsmith goes on to write that as we grow in our roles and responsibilities, we often think we are more successful than we are, and we begin to develop flawed assessments of our strengths and weaknesses. At times we may actually identify a weakness as a strength. 360s are the best way to get our compass recalibrated.

So why don’t more people take advantage of them? I think it’s fear. They are afraid of what people might say. Someone once said, “Why would I give people a chance to take shots at me anonymously?” I wanted to reply, “The only thing worse than hearing you’re a jerk is not hearing and staying a jerk.” (Boy, am I glad I didn’t say it!) I understand the fear. I was afraid when I had a 360 conducted for me, but I received meaningful information that helped me grow and develop as a leader. I was also able to hear what I was doing right. Nobody is perfect, so I hear about areas that need work, but I also hear amazing things about the leader. Things that I can then share as an encouragement to strengthen their giftedness.

If you want to be prepared when opportunity knocks, a 360 might just be the tool to use next.