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How to turbo-charge your growth

You can't do it alone! Daniel Goleman is clear:

Leadership development can only occur in the tumult and possibilities of our relationships. Others help us see things we are missing, affirm whatever progress we have made, test our perceptions, and let us know how we are doing. They provide the context for experimentation and practice. Without others' involvement, lasting change can't occur.

George Leonard advises 'beware of grimness'!

Without laughter the rough and rocky places on the path might be too painful to bear. Humour not only lightens your load it also broadens your perspective. To be deadly serious is to suffer tunnel vision. To be able to laugh at yourself clears the vision. When choosing fellow voyagers, beware of grimness, self-importance and the solemn eye.

And from Arsene Wenger

All great successes, all great lives have involved the coincidence of aptitude, talent but also the luck of meeting people who have believed in you. At some point in your life, you'll need someone who will tap you on your shoulder and say 'I believe in you.'

How great at you at attracting people who 'believe in you'?

To survive the turbulent seas of a change initiative, you need to find ways to steady and stabilize yourself. First, you must establish a safe harbour where each day you can reflect on the previous day's journey, repair the psychological damage you have incurred, renew your stores of emotional resources, and recalibrate your moral compass. Your haven might be a physical place, such as the kitchen table of a friend's house, or a regular routine, such as a daily walk through the neighbourhood. Whatever the sanctuary, you need to use and protect it. Unfortunately, seeking such respite is often seen as a luxury, making it one of the first things to go when life gets stressful and you become pressed for time.

Second, you need a confidant, someone you can talk to about what's in your heart and on your mind without fear of being judged or betrayed. Once the undigested mess is on the table, you can begin to separate, with your confidant's honest input, what is worthwhile from what is simply venting.

The confidant can also pump you up when you're down and pull you back to earth when you start taking praise too seriously. But don't confuse confidants with allies: instead of supporting your current initiative, a confidant simply supports you. A common mistake is to seek a confidant among trusted allies, whose personal loyalty may evaporate when a new issue more important to them than you begins to emerge and take centre stage.

Ronald Heifitz Close