One of the questions I am constantly asked is, “What is the key to a growing organization?”

The answer feels like it should be complicated, but it is not. It is really very simple. We want it to be a magic formula, silver bullet, new strategy, or some secret. Sorry, but there are no formulas, strategies, or secrets. There is a key … a key that unlocks growth at every level.

Here it is … growing organizations are led by growing leaders.

I know what you are thinking. “It can’t be that easy.” Actually, it can. However, while it is that easy, it is also very difficult.

Fiddle Fig

Just as a healthy plant needs constant attention, so does growth. Yesterday’s growth will never accomplish tomorrow’s results.

If you examine companies, teams, universities, churches, or even families that are vibrant and growing, you will find they are being led by people who are growing. On the flip side, when a group of people on a mission is stuck, it is because their leaders are bogged down in busyness and aloof to developing a culture of growing leaders.

The question is, how does a leader establish and maintain a culture of growing leaders?

Consider the following …

Define It – If you want your people to prioritize growth, tell them your expectation, and define what you mean by growth. Unless you say it, model it, and inspect it, growth will never become the norm. Why? Because people are lazy. You must make it crystal clear that if people want to be a part of your team, they’d better be growing.

Watch (and listen to) Stuff – I say stuff for a reason. There is no shortage of content for your team to digest together. Conferences, virtual trainings, videos, Ted Talks, etc … Any of those can spice up your conversations, spur new ideas, and help your thinking to grow. Stagnant teams rarely engage together with outside content.

Read – Growing leaders are consistent readers. A culture of growth is made up of a team who reads together. Consider spending a month or two on a selected resource designed to address an area that needs improvement. Have everyone on your team read the same chapters each week and build in a planned “growth meeting” each month for discussion and to identify best practices.

Visit – One of the most powerful things a team can do is go somewhere together. Travel causes ideas to flow, ramps up creativity, and causes teams to look in the mirror at their systems and structures.

Discuss – Great teams have great meetings, and great meetings consist of great discussions. If you want to speed up growth, take time every week to discuss what you are learning, reading on your own, or takeaways from a place you have visited together.

Budget for Growth – It should go without saying, but if growing organizations are led by growing leaders, then your budget should reflect a commitment to resourcing your leaders.

Are you a part of a growing organization or are you stuck in neutral? The answer to that question reveals one thing – whether you and your leaders are truly growing or not.

The next level is available, but only if you keep your focus on nurturing a group of growing leaders.

Leadership Begins at Home,


What other things can a leader do to establish a culture of growth?

Comment Below …