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Growth Paradoxes:
Realizing Personal and
Professional Potential
By Thomas Rhoads


s the seasons shift toward warmer, greener, and brighter days,
our psyche is energized, and we feel the desire to grow, to
create, and to fulfill an innate sense that there is more to
achieve and accomplish. No matter where we are in our personal
and professional journey, there is so much more to learn and
apply to fulfill our highest outcomes. The antecedent to realizing
significant and sustained growth always begins in our awareness
and the seemingly hidden inner-world of ideas, beliefs, concepts,
and self -talk. The inner-world also holds the answer to why many
aspirations are unfulfilled. The cost of "the way it is" relative to "the
way it can be" is astounding. Accountability for our inner world,
and not dependence on external events, are the true catalysts for
extraordinary results and the secret of people who are consistently
"outstanding." The courage to take on the inner-world is precisely
the wisdom expressed by Albert Einstein:
We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we
used when we created them.
Paradoxes distinguish greater truths that lead to opening a new
way of observing, interpreting, thinking, relating, speaking, and
acting. Growth paradoxes reveal wisdom, plant seeds of possibility,
fertilize passion, and fuel perseverance for realizing human
potential. Paradoxes have the power to dismantle old frameworks
of understanding that once shed, empower the creation of new
possibility and results with greater ease and speed than the current
business-as-usual expectation.

Slow Down to Accelerate Results
Stepping out of the "busy" and business as usual is essential
to really take on improving awareness, observation, mindfulness,
and listening. Being "busy" can be factual and simultaneously an
excuse to justify and rationalize why people do not grow. "Being
busy" paradoxically is an enemy of learning, growth, and one's
full potential. Having said that, effort matters; and so, does being
accountable for one's learning, growth, and personal and executive
integrity for living into one's potential. "Being busy" is an addictive
pattern that enables business as usual and a "fixed" mindset. The
pattern reveals itself, for example, in over reliance on branding,
blaming, rationalizing, selling, marketing, or strategies that neglect
the real issues restraining potential. Extraordinary growth begins
with a tenacious commitment to "slow-down" and take on the
inner-world first.

To Grow, Let Go
Alvin Toffler wrote that "The illiterate of the 21st century will
not be those who cannot read or write, rather those who cannot
learn, unlearn, and relearn." Growth requires intellectual courage
to face and deal with the possibility that what we knew (i.e., thought
was true) may be the root issue that is holding one back. Not letting
go of a fear of failure, having to control others, having to be right,
needing certainty are the tip of the iceberg. Illuminating "blind
spots," insights from distinctions, and feedback with courageous
conversations are the gifts of someone who will stand for another's
potential and speak truth without judgment.

Growth Through Vulnerability, Not Comfort Zone
Steven Covey, Jr.'s axiom: "Humility is the mother of all virtues"
evokes openness, alternative legitimate views, and examination
of the inner and outer worlds with new eyes, new language, and
framework. Learning (and creating enterprise value alike) requires
vulnerability to lower our EGO-based resistance, i.e., to lower our
guard and defense mechanisms. Growth does not happen in the
barren desert of our comfort zone. Humility and an intention for
growth are the leading edge just outside the comfort zone. Declaring
one's intention for growth is an essential component to significant
and lasting growth.

Being Results-Oriented Screws Things Up
A profound observation from integrating the lessons of growth
paradoxes is that the most miserable and unhappy of people
embrace one side of the paradox. The happiest, most successful,
most generous and grace-filled embrace the whole. The "resultsoriented" are doomed for struggle, suffering, and predictably the
way they see it, "life is happening to them." The growth-oriented
are inspired and inspiring, and "life tends to be happening for them."
Happiness and well-being are not found at a destination, rather
they are found each day of the journey. Accountability for results is
optimized when happiness is a choice, when integrity is understood
as being one's potential; these are the conditions for the fun factor
and the "level of consciousness" is raised significantly.
No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness
that created them - Albert Einstein
The consequence is amazing results in all areas of life, personally
and professionally.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Spring2018

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