There are many thought leaders out there today, and many leadership leaders out there today, but no others surpass the Dean of Leadership, John Maxwell. I have learned many different ideas, practical and executional ideas from him through his books or even his daily Minute with Maxwell’s as he is one of the most prolific writers and content creators in the world today on helping us better lead people. In his writings, he has a number of “laws”, and my favorite law of his is The Law of the Rubber Band. The Law of the Rubber Band is “Growth stops when you lose tension between where you are and where you could be.” As for a rubber band, it is basically useless until we stretch it. To get the value out of the rubber band, we stretch it around something or several things, and if the rubber band loses it’s ability to stretch, it becomes useless.
There are some people out there today that want to stretch or be stretched, but there are many who are very comfortable and in their routine and don’t want to be stretched. We have to be willing to get uncomfortable and leave our comfort zone to stretch our rubber band, as this allows us to not settle for average and mediocrity each day. We as human beings tend to take the path of least resistance and want to be comfortable with our typical daily habits and routines, and things familiar to us. But over the long term by doing this, we tend to be unfulfilled and less happy in life.
So today, I ask you to begin to get comfortable with being uncomfortable and to make the conscious decision to stretch yourself. We are about to begin a new year, and it is time for you to reach your maximum potential by getting outside of your comfort zone and ask yourself to stretch and grow. I had the pleasure of speaking to one of my longest feed-yard consulting clients “people” at their Christmas party on Sunday, and I asked them to do this very thing. I asked them to stretch themselves and get better each day. As leaders or even anyone, we are surrounded by people whom have never been asked to “stretch” themselves and reach their full potential. But we must ask ourselves and those around us to continually stretch, and to take it a step further, we must make this not just a one time or one year thing, we must make stretching ourselves a lifestyle and habit. This may mean starting to do a daily devotional with your kids. It may mean taking on a new project or venture at work. It may mean starting to hold meaningful staff meetings. It may mean starting a generosity program at home or at work. It may mean changing jobs or starting a new business venture. It may mean praying with your wife out loud each night as you go to bed. It may mean reading one non-fictional book a month.
Each and every human being is capable of more than we are doing today. We are capable of making a difference in the work, and not just settling for mediocrity and our daily, normal, comfortable routine. And we are capable of making a significant impact on this world, but we must stretch ourselves like we have never been stretch before. That stretching may hurt sometimes, may be a bit painful, and may make you feel like you have to puke, but nothing of any sort of greatness will come without stretching ourselves to maximum capacity. We must remember that if we stop stretching, we stop living, and it is our conscious decision for us to make each day, whether you are 22 or 72. No matter your age, your rubber band still has elasticity as long as you keep stretching it.
So again, with the New Year upon us, what goals are you going to set to stretch your rubber band to help reach your full potential? If you want true happiness, soul fulfillment, and satisfaction in life, stretch beyond your comfort zone! Make the choice today to stretch yourself life you have never been stretched before, and no excuses! Our parents and grandparents expect us to reach our full potential, and if they didn’t, I do!! Happy Leadership Thursday!! Have a Very Merry Christmas!!