I want to give you a tool about how to do a self-assessment and to make steps to personal growth, to be able to take a look at any area in your life where you might be able to say if you could just change that one thing, it would impact your life.  

We need to talk about the things that keep us from becoming what we strive to be. What I’d like to do is talk about a tool that will help us look forward, that will move us forward on the road to becoming a transformational leader and that will help us undo some of the things that may keep us from that. We call this tool Steps to Personal Growth.  

Step One – Make a Personal Evaluation 

Doing a personal evaluation is step one in the Steps for Personal Growth. All a personal evaluation means is that I see an issue. I see something that I have to acknowledge is there that I haven’t dealt with. I have to see it first and acknowledge it exists. Step one is I have to know it’s there. That could come from an outside source who gives us feedback, or it could be something that we ourselves really know about ourselves. But step one is we have to acknowledge it’s there. 

Step Two – Take Control by Taking Responsibility 

Step two is we have to take control over it. What that means is we have to take responsibility for the fact that it’s there. We have to own it, to accept responsibility, and exercise control over it. Because of our self-identity and its formation from the three things that make up our self-identity, our personal experiences, social comparisons with others, and others’ judgments of us, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we put the issue there in us. It could have been put there by a parent or a school teacher, or someone else may have caused the issue that put something in us that is keeping us bound. At a certain age, after our brains are fully developed in our early to mid-twenties, it’s at that point that it’s time for us to take responsibility for what we’re hanging on to. Again, we’re not necessarily responsible for putting it there, but we are responsible for it. We may not be responsible for putting it there, but we have to take responsibility for it still being there. Otherwise, we always blame other people. 

Just as I control my hand, I control my thoughts. I control my feelings. I control my behavior. That’s what it means to take control. Take responsibility, and that means we own it.  

Step Three – Change Direction by Making an Action Plan 

The third step is to change direction, to change the issue in us. What does that mean? Make an action plan and make a commitment to that action plan. That means now we change it. We make that plan while we’re still in the box so that when we get outside the box and when it then gets uncomfortable we don’t crawl back in the box.  

In our Steps to Personal Growth, we are going to see the issue, we’re going to own it, and we’re going to change it. We’re going to make a personal evaluation so we can see the issue and acknowledge that it exists. We’re going to take control so that we own it, accept responsibility, and exercise control. And, we’re going to change direction so we can change what’s blocking our progress and make a commitment to action.  

If you have a teenager, you might say it this way. Or they may say it this way to you. Get a clue through a personal evaluation to acknowledge that an issue exists. Get a grip by taking control and accepting responsibility and exercising control. And get a life by changing direction and making a commitment to action.  

See it. Own it. Change it.  

Acknowledge it. Take responsibility for it. Make a commitment to action and make it something different.  

Now It’s Your Turn 

Now, let me encourage you to take the first step. Write down an area in your life you want to change. Make a note. What is an area in your life that you’re hanging on to? What is something that if you let it go and if you changed it, it truly would change your thoughts, it would change your feelings, and it would change your behavior. Write down an area in your life that you’re hanging on to, something that might be holding you back from being a better leader. Write that down. What’s that thought, feeling, or action that if you dealt with it, you would be a better leader, it would give you more influence, it would give you greater impact. Take your time and when you’re finished writing, we’ll proceed.  

Congratulations if you had the courage to write down that issue that you’re saying you’re open to acknowledging it’s there, taking responsibility for it, and changing it. That’s a big move. That’s a big step to identify the issue and write it down, because many times just writing it down and looking at it actually helps take a little bit of the sting out of it.  

Change Versus Pain 

When we decide to step toward personal growth, sometimes it is challenging. So be prepared. Be prepared to seek and take feedback as you’re going down this path of becoming a transformational leader  As you go through this process, here’s a quote that I believe to be true. “Change seldom occurs until the pain of staying the same exceeds the pain of change.” Making those changes is what a transformational leader does. And, that’s what a transformational leader looks like. 

Ford Taylor is a leadership strategist, keynote speaker, and the author of Relactional Leadership. As the Founder of Transformational Leadership, he is known as a man who can solve complex business issues, with straightforward practical solutions, while maintaining his focus on people.