The success of your business is very much tied to both your capabilities and constraints as a business leader.

What plans do you have to grow your personal abilities and to address the constraints that may hold both you and the business back?

You may have a business plan to increase the success of your business, but what of your own personal growth? This is the difference between focusing on your outer game and more importantly your inner game. It is said that in broad terms the top 6% of achievers are the ones that have clarity in terms of their long term plans.  In fact in a piece of research in America, it was found that the 3% of Harvard students who wrote down their long term goals for themselves faired better in later life than the 97% who had not.

Here is a 7 stage strategy for personal growth, that I believe will comprehensively support you in realising your true potential:

1.  Decide on where you are trying to get to and why. This is in essence your personal vision and purpose. Both are key, as not only do you need an inspiring vision but you must be sure of why you are trying to get there. Many have set a vision without exploring the true purpose behind it and this very often ends in unfulfillment.

2. Address your constraints. We are almost all restricted by our self talk and self belief. You need to become aware of this and work on ways to intercept negative self beliefs and start to form different perspectives. In NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) it is said that “the map is not the territory”. In effect this means that our beliefs are based on perceptions of reality. Perceptions can be changed and beliefs can become more helpful to us. It is a matter of choice. Also, in terms of addressing your constraints, you need to take an honest look at what personality characteristics hold you back. Do you seek too much control? Are you too critical? Do you lack self confidence? Once you have a clear view of the 2 or 3 most dominant constraints, work on an action plan to change your behaviour.

3. Set goals, change habits and get into action.  As indicated in the earlier research, it is proven that achievers set goals and plan. It is as simple as that. We know this both in business and our personal lives. Things do not go to plan, so plans need to be tracked and modified, but the act of planning raising success levels. Also take a look at the habits that have become ingrained in your behavior.  What are those that serve you? Which ones do not? Which new habits would impact on your success? It takes 21 days to bed in a new habit, but once bedded in it becomes more unconscious and automatic without having to think about it. So work on your habits to improve your results.

4. Improve your skills. Look at the areas of your life or business where improving your skills would have a positive impact. Are your sales skills as good as they could be? Do you need to improve you understanding of finance? Whatever it is, look to improve your skills. Read a book, attend a webinar or seminar, book on a training course, get a coach. If an area is holding you back then work on your skills in this area.

5. Leverage your environment. Use the resources at your disposal to make the most effective use of your time and to support you in your endeavours. This might be a piece of technology, a useful business forum. Most importantly it is the people you know. People are our greatest asset. So use the skills and knowledge of others to help you leverage the best results for what you are trying to achieve. Remember too that this is reciprocal, so look to help others too.

6. Serve others. Leading on from the point above. The more positive you are about serving others, the more positive results will come back to you. Whether that be in going that extra mile to serve a client or to help out someone else in your business or in helping a contact outside your business. We are more connected as each day goes by and having a mentality of service is a key to personal growth.

7. Enjoy yourself. Richard Branson believes something is only worth doing if it is fun. When we are happy we grow. If you are doing something you do not enjoy, look to make changes. Get other people to work on tasks you find a chore. Also find ways to get more pleasure out of the tasks that you have to do. Use rewards to make them more fun. Also apply this mentality to those in business with you. Even a smile goes a long way and is infectious. Oh and look for the opportunity to have a good laugh – it releases endorphins and make you feel better. So use humour and see humour in the events of life as it is good for you.