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day 2312: Cycle Leadership – Growth

“Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall”

We have come to the end of this four-part short series called Cycle Leadership. In the past three work days we’ve explored, “weakening”, “stuck” and “promising”.  Today, we close it off with a good but cautious place to land; “growth”.

We are now in the third longest economic expansion in U.S. history.  No one knows how long it will last, but it has some legs.  That leaves us potentially experiencing growth like we have might never have managed.  All the indicators are up and to the right and that opens up a potential flood gate of investment, hiring, and spending.  However, growth can slip away quickly and I hate to be the one to let the cat out of the bag, but it will.  Growth can’t last forever, so it would be smart to plan ahead and be ready for when the growth runs out. I was talking to a friend who leads HR for a well-known, high growth tech company and we both were concerned that the next generation of leaders might have only managed at senior levels during a growth cycle and never in a down cycle. So, maybe it’s important to be sure that we have those who look at growth as something to be treasured and  thoughtfully managed with measure.

With growth comes confidence.  Confidence though can turn to hubris, which then can turn to arrogance and pride. Growth that comes faster than our competition and peers can also create a sense of power and as we know, power can corrupt.  I know you are probably thinking that I am going to use an example of those who are in the news today (sadly, more daily), but instead we have to look no further than King David.  We are well aware that King David, while on the top of his kingdom (at the time on top of the world), fell prey to the power that he could wield over others from his position.  What do we take away from the fall of King David?  There is much to learn, but today, we can walk away recognizing that with the blessing of growth, comes the perils of pride and power.  If we have the chance to experience growth, and maybe even be a leader during a growth stage, let’s let the lesson of King David keeps us humble and grounded.  If we can, then we will be able to speak into this stage putting the thanks where the thanks truly belongs.

Happy Thanksgiving! We have much to be grateful for tomorrow and the rest of this long weekend.

Reference: Proverbs 16:18 (New Living Translation)