Please enjoy this transcript of this episode with L3 Founder, Doug Smith. It was transcribed and therefore might contain a few typos. For ways to connect with Doug, check out our show notes.
Doug Smith: 00:00 And here’s what I want you to know about a season of growth. What got you to where you are will not get you to where you need to be in the next season. I’ll say that again. What got you to where you are right now is not going to be enough to get you to where you need to be in the next season or on the other side of the season of growth. This is the L3 Leadership podcast, episode number 221.
Doug Smith: 00:33 What’s up everyone and welcome to another episode of the L3 Leadership podcast. My name is Doug Smith and I am your host. I hope you’re doing well in today’s episode. You’ll hear me teach a lesson on the seven things you need to do when you’re in an intense season of growth and I think it will add a lot of value to you, but before we dive into that, just a few announcements for you. First, I just want to encourage you, thank you so much for listening to the podcast and if you enjoy it, it would mean the world to me if you’d subscribe and share this podcast with another leader that you would think it would add value to and you can also share it on social media, that would mean a lot to me as well. And I wanted to do something new this week. I want to thank our listener of the week.
Doug Smith: 01:08 This is someone that has left a review on iTunes and I want to do this every episode when I can. And if we share your review here on the podcast, I will send you a gift card to Amazon. And so this week’s listener of the week is Seemosteight from iTunes and they said, “Doug Smith does an excellent job of providing value in a powerful and effective manner. There’s no fluff. I’ve learned so much from Doug’s lessons, interviews and guest speakers. If you’re looking to grow in your leadership abilities, this is a great resource for you.” So thank you so much Seemosteight for leaving that review on iTunes. And if you’re listening to this, it would mean the world to me if you would leave a rating and review on iTunes as well. And if you do and we select to read yours on the podcast, we will send you an Amazon gift card as a thank you to you.
Doug Smith: 01:53 I also want to thank our sponsor, Alex Tulandin, Alex as a friend and a full-time realtor with Keller Williams Realty. Then if you’re looking to buy or sell a house in the Pittsburgh market, Alex is your guy. He’s a member and a supporter of L3 Leadership and he would love to have an opportunity to connect with you. If you want to learn more about Alex, you can go to Pittsburghpropertyshowcase.com with that being said, let’s dive right into the episode and the lesson and I will be back at the end with a few announcements. Hey everyone today I’d like to talk to you on the subject, seven things to do when you’re in an intense season of growth, seven things to do when you’re in an intense season of growth. Let’s dive right into this and I want to start by asking you a question.
Doug Smith: 02:33 And the question is this, when is the last time you were in a season that you knew you had to grow? When is the last time you were in a season that you knew you had to grow? And here’s a better question. Are you in one of those seasons now? Are you currently in a season of growth? And if not, I want to challenge you. Maybe you need to check your comfort zone. Maybe you’ve been comfortable for far too long and you need to shake things up a bit in order to get into another season of growth. I know for me personally, I am in a huge season of intense growth right now. Last year I got promoted at my job and I became the director of development at Light of Life Rescue Mission. And that has definitely gotten me out of my comfort zone and into an intense season of growth.
Doug Smith: 03:10 But here’s what I knew when I got promoted. I didn’t realize how comfortable I was in the last season and I was comfortable and I didn’t even know it. And, and sometimes I think we can just drift for years while being comfortable and not even know it and not grow as much as we could be if we were in, in a season of growth in. I’m not saying that there aren’t seasons where we won’t be comfortable for a period of time, but I truly believe if we’re going to grow to our maximum potentials, there should never be long seasons of life where we’re comfortable. We should consistently be being thrown into seasons of growth in our lives if we’re going to grow to our maximum potential. And so, but just something else that I think is interesting and that I’ve found through experience is that seasons of growth often come from seasons of transition.
Doug Smith: 03:54 Seasons of growth often come from seasons of transition. You know, for me in this season, my season of growth has come from a promotion. I have to go to another level, but maybe you’ve lost a job. That’s another transition. And instead of viewing the loss of a job as, as something negative and to be depressed about it, look at it as an opportunity. You know, oftentimes transitions are often opportunities to grow to another level in your development. And again, I’m a person of faith. And so if you’re a person of faith and you’re following God, I would encourage you, let God lead you through transition. I did a whole podcast lesson on transition back in the podcast. I don’t remember what episode number, but if you just Google L3 Leadership, what I’ve learned from seasons of transition, you’ll find it. I encourage you to listen to that.
Doug Smith: 04:36 But if you’re a person of faith, let God lead you. He knows what you need and he knows how you need to grow. And God is pretty good at getting us uncomfortable and the seasons of growth. And so seasons of growth often come from seasons of transition. Don’t be down about a season of transition. Be excited because there’s an opportunity to grow to another level, whether it was a promotion or you lost a job. So seasons of growth, again, come from seasons of transition and here’s what I want you to know about a season of growth. What got you to where you are will not get you to where you need to be in the next season. I’ll say that again. What got you to where you are right now is not going to be enough to get you to where you need to be and the next season or on the other side of this season of growth.
Doug Smith: 05:18 That’s why you need to grow. It’s a season of growth, so if that’s true, here’s what I know. If that is true then the books and the podcasts that you listened to in the last season of your life won’t necessarily get you to where you need to go in the next season. The people you surrounded yourself with in the last season aren’t necessarily the people that are going to be able to get you to where you need to be in the next season of your life through the season of growth. How about this? The systems that worked in the last season of your life aren’t going to be enough to get you to where you need to go in the next season if you’re going to grow. The mindsets that worked in the last season won’t get you to where you need to go in the next season. And so if all of this is true, then you’re going to have to grow intentionally to go to the next level.
Doug Smith: 06:02 And so more than anything, I want to encourage you, recognize and be realistic about when you’re in a season of growth and view it as an opportunity. It’s a challenge. Let’s go. Like I get excited about seasons of growth and sometimes it can be overwhelming and you know, is it scary? Yes. Is it going to be hard when you’re in a season of growth? Yes. Could you fail? Yes. Could you win? Yes. Could you grow? Yes. And is it going to be worth it? Absolutely. Yes. Yes, yes. It is going to be worth it. In fact, I believe one of the most exciting parts of life as the opportunity to make progress. There’s nothing more exciting and fulfilling than to be more today than you were yesterday. In every season of growth comes with the opportunity to become more and so why not embrace the season of growth instead of hiding from it and run away from it?
Doug Smith: 06:52 And so if we’re going to embrace this idea of seasons of growth, how do we actually make the most of our seasons of growth? And that’s what I want to spend the rest of this lesson on. I want to share with you seven things to do when you’re in an intense season of growth. How can you actually grow and adapt to the next level instead of staying where you are, seven things, let’s go. Number one, seek out experts in the areas that you need to grow in. Seek out experts in the areas that you need to grow in. I want to encourage you to make a list of 15 to 20 people who are doing what you’re going to be doing at the next, in the next season of your growth, but are doing it at a much higher level. For instance, I recently got promoted to the director of development in Light of Life.
Doug Smith: 07:29 It’s a rescue mission and so I’ve contacted rescue missions across the nation that are literally two three, four times the size of ours operating at a much higher level and I’ve set up phone appointments with their executive directors, with their directors of development and I set up these phone calls and I just learn as much as I can. I send them questions and I ask for their playbook, Hey, can you share with me your strategic plan for Development? Can you share with me the systems you have in place? Can you share with me what your org chart looks like? Cause I want to be able to grow into the next level that I need to grow into to take our organization to where it needs to go. So find 10 to 20 people who are doing what you’re doing at a higher level, set up calls and meetings with them, send them lists of questions in advance and ask for their playbook.
Doug Smith: 08:11 You’d be surprised what people are willing to share with you. And under the experts field or under the expert’s point, I would also add, get a coach. This is something I’m currently looking into, but I see it over and over and over again. I was actually just listening to a podcast with Tim Ferriss, interviewed Eric Schmidt, who was at Google for a long time and he just wrote a new book called Trillion Dollar Coach. And Eric had when he came to Google, the founders of Google basically told him he needed to get a coach and you know, he just kind of laughed and said, yeah, right. And they said, do you know one professional athlete or Olympic athlete that doesn’t have a coach? And he said, okay, and you got to coach. And actually, the coach really made an impact. I’m going to buy the book Trillion Dollar Coach.
Doug Smith: 08:50 It sounds like an amazing read. So we can this Trillion Dollar Coach by Eric Schmidt, but get a coach. Maybe you need to get a coach in the area to grow to the next level. The second thing I would tell you to do it in a season of growth is to get as much feedback as you can, get as much feedback as you can. And I just encourage you, maybe you need to ask your board for feedback on your leadership. Maybe you need to ask your boss or the leaders around you for feedback, your peers and your direct reports for feedback on how you’re growing and developing it and maybe even potential areas that you need to grow in, you know, blind spots. What do people see in you that you need to grow in? And I, I would just start off by asking the question, Hey, can you help me get better by giving me feedback?
Doug Smith: 09:30 And again, depending on who you’re asking, you may want to bring them information of, Hey, here’s my strategic plan, or here’s what I’m working on currently. Can you give me feedback? But do everything you can to get as much feedback as you can on ways you can grow and develop as a leader, as a manager, etc. Another, this is a helpful tool. Under this, but there’s a tool called the predictive index that we’ve been using it Light of Life and I absolutely love it. And if you’re ever interested in the Predictive Index or you’re getting this, feel free to email me at Dougsmith@l3leadership.org and I’d be glad to connect you with, Eric Guy who does the Predictive Index for us, but they have a tool in there. It’s called the manager report and it’s actually a scorecard for your management that you go over with your direct reports and it allows them to give you feedback, in a really systematic way that will help you grow as a manager and help you give them what they need.
Doug Smith: 10:17 And it’s helped me grow immensely just going over that with our team. Other things you can do, you could also do a 360 report. You know, there are all kinds of tools and assessments out there to get feedback. So get as much feedback as you can, um, to be able to grow. The third thing I tell you to do, an intense season of growth is once you get feedback, you need to develop an intentional personal development plan. You need to develop an intentional personal development plan. You know, we said earlier that the podcast, the books, the people, etc, that you’ve surrounded yourself within the last season won’t be enough to help you grow to where you need to go in the next season. And so what do you need to do is as based on the feedback that you received and, just how you’re processing your growth, you need to come up with a new plan, a to develop a new intentional personal growth plan.
Doug Smith: 11:01 And so I just want to encourage you, you know, list out based on feedback and how you’re processing all the areas that you think you need to grow in. And then say, okay, if these are the areas I need to grow in, then what new books and podcasts do I need to read and listen to in order to level up in these areas? What new conferences do I need to go to, to, to learn and connect in these areas? What coaches can I surround myself with, what people can ask, surround myself within this new season around the areas that I want to grow in? And I just encourage you, be very specific and intentional and developing your personal development plan. Number four, the fourth thing you should do and an intense season of growth take time to reflect. Take time to reflect. I want to encourage you to journal.
Doug Smith: 11:42 If you don’t journal already, I did a podcast episode on this as well. Just look about three leadership, how to journal and you’ll find that. But I really wanna encourage you to journal a weekly about your progress in a season of growth. You know, write down things like how were you feeling, what areas are you growing in? What are you learning and what do you need to change? And I think just mentally getting that out of your mind and onto paper and processing that once a week is very, very healthy for your growth. And I think you’ll, you’ll get a lot out of that. I want to encourage you now, this is something I have not practiced. So I have not led by example in this, but I know it’s a need for me. But I want to encourage you to take a retreat, take a retreat, whether it’s one day or a weekend or a few days, but just get quiet and get alone and just think, again, I have not done this.
Doug Smith: 12:25 I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been encouraged to do this. And it’s actually one of my top 10 goals right now is to get this on the calendar. But I don’t know any leaders that I admire that are leading at a high level that don’t do this. And so take a retreat just to get away and think and process all the, all the ways you’re growing and how you need to grow and plan for your year, etc. And then I want to encourage you to schedule time weekly to think about the big picture and a plan. If you’ve never read Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, he talks about having quadrant two days and just days where you actually spent time planning. I’m thinking through your values, relationship building, personal growth, just taking time to reflect. It’s not easy, the more you grow as a leader, the less time you have.
Doug Smith: 13:05 And it’s so easy to get caught up in the day to day that we never take time to actually reflect. And I think if we add that into our personal growth plan, it will really help us in seasons of growth. Go to the next level. So take time to reflect. Number five, execute on what you’ve learned. Execute on what you’ve learned. So based on everyone’s feedback, based on your personal development plan and what you’re learning there based on what you’re learning from your reflection time and planning time, execute. Now it’s time to actually implement what you’re doing in a season of growth. And I just want to caution you, and this is more for people, like with my personality, I tend to be all or nothing and impulsive and I process out loud. And so you’re going to get a lot of feedback, then you’re going to get a lot of ideas on how to grow.
Doug Smith: 13:48 And if you’re like me, you’ll have a tendency to want to share all the ideas and all the feedback with everyone around you. You want to brain dump all the ideas on everyone. And you’ll try to implement a thousand new things at once. And I’ve done that. And the feedback I’ve received on that is that is not good. Not good at all. In fact, I’ve actually gotten the feedback from me personally that I can be to teachable. They literally, I’ll take everything everyone says and tried to do everything, which isn’t good. And so what I’m learning to do and what I would encourage you to do is take everything that you’re learning and reflect on it and get clear on a few things, right? A few things, you know, I would love to say, you know, five to 10, but the reality is it should be one to three things that you can actually work on and move forward with.
Doug Smith: 14:31 The big word here is focus, focus. And I’ve been hearing that from people since I was in third grade, right? Focus Doug, focus. But the more I grow, and in this season of growth, for sure I’m realizing how important focus is. And so execute on what you’ve learned, but don’t try to execute everything you’ve learned. Try to get clear on one to three things that you can apply and apply well and do with excellence and apply those. Number six, this is simple, but once you started executing, just get better every day. Just get better every day. I truly believe it’s going to take you a year when you’re in a season of growth, to feel like you’re even at a break-even point in your growth where you actually are past or getting past the learning stage and adding value in your new role.
Doug Smith: 15:12 Learn your new season of growth. So, just realize that it’s going to take time to build a foundation and the new season. And with that, I would say give yourself grace. I love what John Maxwell said. This greatly encourages me in every season in my life. But he said this, he said, “In the beginning, you’re not as bad as people think you are. But if you do things right here, not as good as people think in the end. And so somewhere in between those two is where you should live.” I’ll say that again cause I think it’s so encouraging, “In the beginning, you’re not as bad as people think you are. But if you do things right in life, you’re not as good as people think you are in the end and a somewhere in between those two is where you should live there.”
Doug Smith: 15:50 Just realized they’re not as bad as you think you are, as bad as other people think you are, but you’re also not as good as people think you are. Just to live somewhere in there and be humble. Give yourself grace and realize that leadership happens daily, not in a day. Just take it one day at a time. I love what Maxwell says. He said, “The secret of your success is always found in your daily agenda.” Just show up every day and get better today and be better today than you were yesterday. And then lastly under that point is just enjoy the journey. This is something I’m really trying to focus on. It’s really hard and I’ve had some, some great people in my life really said, Doug, just stop and enjoy the stop and enjoy this. This is so exciting. And sometimes in season or seasons of growth, we can get so overwhelmed with emotions and how we have to grow that we just forget to enjoy the day to day.
Doug Smith: 16:32 So more than anything, enjoy the journey. It’s an awesome opportunity to grow. You’re growing to be more than you are today than you were yesterday. Enjoy it. Look around, enjoy this season. You’re going to miss it. And then number seven, and this is very simple, but just repeat the cycle. Just do these steps over and over and over again in every season of growth. So seek out experts, get as much feedback as you can. Develop an intentional personal development plan. Take time to reflect, execute on what you’ve learned and get better every day. And just do that over and over and over again. So as we close, are you in a season of growth? Are you in a season of comfort? If you’re in a season of comfort, maybe it’s time to shake things up a bit. If you’re in a season of growth. I hope this episode helped you and I would be curious to learn from you, what do you do in a season of growth?
Doug Smith: 17:17 What did I miss here? What other points would you add to this? And I would love to hear from you if this podcast help you. I really encourage you to share it with friends and a and other people that you think it would add value to. Thank you so much for being a listener. Please subscribe and again, share on social media. I love seeing how the podcast is impacting you and your leadership and I will be back in the next episode to talk to you guys. Thank you so much and have a great day everyone. Thank you so much for listening to my lesson on what to do when you’re in an intense season of growth. I hope it added value to you. You can find key takeaways and links to everything that I discussed in the show notes at L3leadership.org/221. I want to thank our sponsor Henne Jewelers.
Doug Smith: 17:56 They’re jewelry owned by my friend and mentor, John Henne, my wife Laura and I got our engagement and wedding rings through Henne Jewelers and we just think they’re incredible. Not only do they have great jewelry but they also invest in people. In fact, they give every engaged couple of book to help them prepare for marriage and we just love that and so if you’re in need of a good jeweler, check out Hennejewelers.com as always, if you want to stay up to date with everything we’re doing here at L3 Leadership and get weekly resources, you can sign up for our email list on our website. When you sign up you’ll get a free copy of my ebook Making the Most of Mentoring, which is my step by step process for getting in, cultivating mentoring relationships with leaders. And you also get a weekly email that I send out called L3 Weekly, which is a list of my favorite resources, articles, podcasts, episodes, etc, to add value to you as a leader.
Doug Smith: 18:40 So I think you’ll enjoy getting that. As always, I want to end with a quote, and I will quote Rachel Hollis today, and she said this recently and it made an impact on me. She said, “The rejection you’re facing today is preparing you to become the person you need to be tomorrow.” It goes right along with our lesson on growth, doesn’t it? “The rejection you’re facing today is preparing you to become the person you need to be tomorrow.” Come on Rachel, Girl, Wash Your face. I haven’t read that book yet, but, I admire Rachel and everything she’s doing. Thank you so much for listening and be a part of L3 Leadership. Laura and I appreciate you so much and we will talk to you next episode.