I’m sure most of us have passed by a pool of water that has been been left unattended for a while. In fact, you don’t have to pass by it to know, you can smell it a mile away! Stagnation does not happen overnight. It happens gradually, slowly but surely, and when left long enough, the foul smell is just one of the consequences.
Stagnation happens when flow stops. When water stops flowing, then unseemly things start growing. Stagnant water becomes a breeding ground for mosquitoes. It also becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and parasites. Stagnant water may attract flies. Stagnant water darkens over time and thickens with sludge and slime. Stagnant water is often contaminated. Stagnant water is an environmental hazard. Stagnant water is not a pretty picture. It is not something we want to see and be around.
Stagnation doesn’t only happen to water. Do we know that we can stagnate as leaders? Stagnation happens when we stop growing as leaders and what results is stinking thoughts, stinking attitudes and stinking habits. We grow old. We mold. We become stuck in yesterday. We don’t plan our growth, and therefore we do not grow. When we don’t grow, we stop the flow, we stagnate and pretty soon, we stink.
As leaders we need to be mindful about growing. We cannot leave it to chance. Growth has to be planned and followed through. Are you growing as a leader? Are you tracking your journey? What areas do you need to become better at? How are you improving on your strengths? How are you getting from above average to excellent?
John Maxwell advises that we consider the following questions to help us assess whether or not we are growing as leaders:
- When are you growing?
- In which areas are you growing?
- Who is helping you to grow?
- How are you applying what you learn?
When we don’t grow, we stagnate, and stinking follows stagnating.
Be a smart leader. Be on the grow.