Tony Robbins coined the term. He said that financial, physical, and professional growth takes time. Growth involves a process that must be respected. People that don’t respect the process burn out, and you’re familiar with this phenomenon if you’ve ever tried to run a 10K after a two- or three-year hiatus from jogging.
Most people, though, are not starting from zero. Most people are on track, doing what they’re doing with a trail of effort behind them. They strive to be more productive, to do more in less time, and they strive to keep up with new developments in their industries. Yet, when was the last time they looked for opportunities to cross-train? Let’s get personal. How many books have you read, or how many experts have you sought out who could educate you about subjects that overlap ever-so-slightly with your area of expertise? How much effort are you putting into growing around the outer edges of your chosen field?
A friend of mine is a demolition contractor, but he has cultivated an understanding of geology so that he can interpret cross-section projections of the rock layers beneath a building’s foundation. He understands that he might have to demolish a building in a certain manner according to the rocks underneath. His competitors lack this understanding, and it puts them at a disadvantage.
A salesman amplifies his effectiveness when he commits some effort to understanding psychology, value creation, accounting, and so forth. Those MBAs-in-a-book are ubiquitous, and they are wonderful.
In his commencement speech to Stanford University, Steve Jobs said that his foray into typography as a college student resulted in his decision, years later, to include a variety of fonts on the Mac OS. Steve had a drive to grow and to learn, and he had a wide perspective that was integral to the success of Apple over three decades.
So what plan can you implement to sustain constant, never-ending improvement?