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Grow yourself first, then grow leaders

We all have missions, personal items, personal values, downfalls and pitfalls, personal behaviors and habits we must work on. At this point, we recognize some and we don’t recognize others. Some of those behaviors, attitudes, and actions will be easy to work on, and others will be very difficult to work on. But the first key is recognizing those attributes we need to work on. And sometimes it takes some painful adversity, titanic challenges, and even a “rock bottom” moments to be humbled enough to learn one must take the time to sit down, reflect, assess, and resolve those behaviors, attitudes, and actions.

In June of 2005, I was 28 years old and had been fortunate enough Dr. Jerry Weil believed in me enough to sell me his clinic. I had many attributes to make it a successful venture, #1 being I would work longer, harder, and smarter than any one kind of attitude, and #2 failure was not an option way of thinking. But in June 2005 at 28 years old, I had no idea how to lead in great and terrible times, how to deeply care for people in their time of need or in every day regular moments, how to show you deeply cared for people regardless of their awesomeness or nonpleasurable attributes. I had no idea how to communicate effectively in the heat of the battle or in the calm before the storm. And had no plans of asking people or not able to pull the greatness out of each person on the team.

But the overall key, of which I had no clue about, as I had a good number of behaviors, actions, and attitudes I needed to sit down, reflect, assess, and resolve first. I had a great business plan of working longer, harder, and smarter than anyone else along with some entry level business intelligence, with some gut intuitions into the veterinary business, but those don’t allow for great long-term high levels of achievement. And I have 1-2 current team members and a few other former team members that would vouge for the fact I had a number of behaviors, actions, and attitudes to work on. As growth occurred, a few storms, a good amount of failures, and some poorly handled situations and growth spurts, my look in the mirror occurred, and self-assessment began and still continues. I realized I was the source of many of our issues, and it was up to me to grow as a person first before I could truly be a great leader in passionately leading our Family at AMC looking to get our individual people to achieve great things they would not have normally achieved.

Jack Welch is quoted as saying, “Before you become a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” As leaders, it is our job to bring out the best in others. And we must be humble, caring and compassionate, keenly self-aware individuals looking down the road ten plus years. Learning all we can each day as we are submitted to a higher purpose and calling to help grow more leaders. In June of 2005, I couldn’t lead AMC any more than the man on the moon. I had to grow myself as a person first! Are you looking to lead, first become a self-improvement junkie, then look to lead!

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