The Environment for Team Renewal & Growth
David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer

Last week, I shared tips for ensuring we are in the best environment for personal growth. This week, I would like us to look at tips we can use to create and maintain the best environment for our teams to grow and develop. Just as we see around us in nature, growth thrives in a conducive environment, so let’s jump right in and look at eight tips for creating our team’s environment for growth.

  1. Others are ahead of us – If you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room. As our team members grow and develop, we must ensure they are around other people who are farther ahead in their growth.
  2. We are continually challenged – Complacency and mediocrity will kill growth like a heavy frost in May. As leaders, we need to challenge our teams to stretch their abilities and think regularly.
  3. We have a forward focus – Yesterday ended last night. We need to get over it. It wasn’t as good or as bad as we remember. Having a forward focus will help our team move beyond what is to what could be.
  4. The atmosphere is affirming – Everything worthwhile is uphill, and growth can be tough. Leaders need to affirm the efforts being made. Perhaps CEO needs to stand for ‘Chief Encouraging Officer’.
  5. Outside our comfort zone – It’s been said, “Everything you want in life is just outside your comfort zone.” This is such a true statement. If we want to grow, we need to become comfortable with being uncomfortable. As leaders, we need to model this for our teams.
  6. Failure is not our enemy – A growth environment looks at failure as an opportunity. It’s not that we make excuses, but rather look for learning opportunities in each failure. Thomas Watson said, “If you want to increase your success, double your failure rate.”
  7. People around me are growing – Growth is contagious. I try to spend a few days with my Maxwell Leadership colleagues at our IMC conference twice a year. I even meet with six to eight of them twice a month via Zoom, where we share wins and challenges. We are inspired to grow when we are around others who are growing.
  8. Growth is modeled and expected – Lastly, each leader needs to model growth for their team. If it’s unimportant to us, how can we expect them to put in the effort? We also need to make it clear that we have a team of growth-minded people. Anyone who doesn’t share that mindset will soon find themselves with obsolete skills.

My friend and mentor John Maxwell said it so well, “Growth thrives in a conducive environment.” If you are blessed to be in such an environment, thank whoever is making it possible and create the same environment for your team. Growth is the only way our team can reach its potential.

If you would like more information on this topic, I highly recommend The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth by John Maxwell. Who knows, I might even offer a one-day workshop on this soon.