Are You Being Stretched?

Leaders are learners. To learn we must stretch. To be stretched, we must be uncomfortable. Are you uncomfortable? Is something in your world causing you to learn new skills, establish new habits or strengthen your character? I hope so!

I’m sore this morning – really sore. I worked out with a trainer twice this weekend. I’m being stretched physically. I’m growing muscle and losing fat. These outcomes wouldn’t be possible if my body wasn’t being stretched.
At the office, we’re changing, stretching and growing. We’re transitioning from a regional brand to a national brand. There are many changes taking place – each will make us stronger; each is stretching us in some way. I mentioned the outside consultants we worked with a few weeks ago. They stretched us! That’s good.
In my life outside the chicken, our family is being stretched as we contemplate the possibility of starting a school for my son with special needs. Beyond the obvious family implications, there are emotional and financial implications as well. We’ll have many stretching conversations in the weeks ahead.
My writing continues to stretch me! This post is being written on Monday morning – 2 hours after it would have normally have been posted. I’ve realized Monday, Wednesday and Friday come around with amazing regularity! My new book is proceeding well. It was my focus this weekend. My copyeditor stretched me with her suggestions on what I thought was a final manuscript.
As counterintuitive as all this seems, it’s all really good! Growth requires stretching.
I was with more than a dozen outstanding Chick-fil-A Operators last Thursday and Friday. One of the questions I asked them was, “What stretches you?”
Their answers were extremely diverse. However. I heard examples in three broad categories…
Problems – Many of the things in our life that stretch us are not planned. Sometimes, they create chaos, confusion and pain. If you miss the growth opportunities in the crucible, you’ve wasted the pain. Don’t be surprised when problems arise – try to leverage them to grow.
Unexpected Opportunities – One of the many traits I admire about Truett Cathy is his eye for unexpected opportunities. On the surface, you could think these are always easy, no brainer, sure things – not in my experience. Sometimes, these legitimate opportunities are extremely stretching. They may even be disguised as hard work. Don’t miss the gift of unexpected opportunity because you fail to recognize it. Be willing to stretch!
Purposeful Activities – These are activities and events that require some courage, vision and discipline. What are you doing on purpose to stretch? Do you have a partner to help you? My oldest son and I decided about a decade ago to do something on purpose each year to stretch ourselves. He convinced me to run a marathon, trek to Everest Base Camp and more! Choosing to be stretched has been one of the best decisions of my life.
Don’t miss the opportunity to stretch today – and don’t be surprised if you find yourself a little sore tomorrow![GLS_Shield]
 

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Doug Smith

7 years ago

Mark,
Another great post! Until recently, I’ve always viewed personal growth through the lens of intentionality. Recently, I’ve been learning the value of growth through unexpected problems. That point really hit home for me. Keep up the great work!
Doug Smith

mark

7 years ago

Thanks for the encouraging words, Doug. Please let me know if I can serve you in the future. Mark

Allen Garner

7 years ago

Mark, thank you for your wonderful work. Your books and blog have been an encouragement to me. Our leadership team at Central Independent School District in Texas has recently completed a book study over “The Secret of Teams”. We truly enjoyed the study. We are planning a study next year over “The Secret”. Please send your summer reading list recommendations. Also, please continue your great work! Allen Garner

mark

7 years ago

Allen, thanks for taking time to comment. I appreciate the encouragement too! Regarding The Secret of Teams, if you need help with translating any of those ideas into action, I’ve created a field guide that may help. You can get it for free. Go to the home page of my site. The free download button is on the right. All that is required is an email – which also subscribes you to my blog. If you are already a subscriber, send me a message and I’ll send you an alternate way to get the free download. Mark

mark

7 years ago

Thanks for your encouraging message, Allen! Regarding my summer reading list, I’m reading a book now you might find interesting – Practice Perfect – 42 Rules for Getting Better at Getting Better by Doug Lemov. Much of the research for the book was done with teachers. It is a great read. Please call on me if I can serve you or your team. Mark

Paul Smith

7 years ago

Thank you for your insight. Ever since your leadercast with Maxwell in the spring you have helped me grow as a young leader. Keep up the good work!

mark

7 years ago

Thanks for your encouraging words. Did we meet at the Leadercast? Sorry, I’m trying to put names and faces together. Please let me know if I can serve you in the future. Mark

Virginia

7 years ago

My favorite saying is, “God didn’t call us to be comfortable, He called us to grow!”

mark

7 years ago

Thanks, Virginia for taking time to comment! Mark

Are You Being Stretched? | TEAM Legionnaire

7 years ago

[…] Mark Miller | Monday, June 3, […]

Gene Bulmer

7 years ago

Great blog post, Mark (reblogged, here: http://teamlegionnaire.wordpress.com/2013/06/04/are-you-being-stretched/)
I prospect…a lot. High failure rate (due, mostly, to apathy, timidity & reluctance of others to take a stand for Liberty & Freedom) – looking for the 4-5%…which isn’t always easy…but it sure s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-s you.

mark

7 years ago

Thanks, Gene! Please call on me if I can serve you in the future! Mark

LaDonna

7 years ago

I just wanted to take a moment to express how much I enjoy reading your articles. They inspire me and confirm my actions as a leader. Thank You!!

mark

7 years ago

Thank you, LaDonna for your encouraging words! Please let me know if I can serve you or your team in the future. Mark

Katie P.

7 years ago

Mark, this is a great post that is ringing true & challenging me on this Monday morning, a week later. It’s so easy to get in a routine that does not stretch ourselves, and this is a reminder that I need to get back to the gym to be physically stretched, and I need to look for new ways to challenge myself in my career this week. Thanks for sharing – your blog is always an inspiration to me!

mark

7 years ago

Thanks, Katie! I understand how easy it is to find ourselves in a place where we’re not being stretched. Stay the course. Comfortable people don’t change the world! Mark

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