Outside Growth, Inside Growth

art of learning daily growth growth leadership leadership growth the art of learning leadership Aug 16, 2023

Growth can be a vulnerable area, especially when we are working hard to grow on the inside.  In a way, it reminds me of a hermit crab.  The hermit crab is well protected by its shell, until it outgrows it.  As the shell starts becoming uncomfortable, the crab knows it’s time to look for another shell. It goes along and finally finds a shell, then for a period of time it has to be without its shell while it sheds its hard exterior skin that adhered to the old shell, so that it can grow another one inside its new shell and adhere to it.  During this time, the hermit crab is vulnerable and without a shell until it can grow into its new one. 

If we are honest with ourselves, we can feel just as vulnerable and out of our shell as the crab.  And if this creeps up on us, how are our people feeling as they step out to grow?

Maybe you’ve heard the story of Josh Waitzkin.  He has a book titled, The Art of Learning which offers some foundational principles we can apply to The Art of Leadership Learning.

At 9 years old, Josh became a World Class Champion Chess Player, then as a young man he became the 2004 World Champion in Tai Chi Chuan martial arts.

By about the age of 17 his dad had written a book based on Josh’s life… then a movie was made! All based on Josh’s story and titled Searching for Bobby Fisher

Somewhere along the way, Josh fell out of love with learning the game of chess. But then he went on as a young adult to become a world champion of Tai Chi Chuan, which made him a world champion in two separate skills.

There were many lessons Josh learned from his experiences that can be applied to not just the art of learning but also to the art of leadership learning. He calls these Foundational Lessons and I’ll (Cindy) share some of those with you here and in the next several messages.

As Josh was falling out of love with learning the game of chess, he realized hard, focused work brought success but did not bring fulfillment. 

Have you ever experienced a failure in your life or maybe just a time where you’re not reaching levels of success that you expected to? Only to realize you were growing on the outside but you were not growing on the inside?  Therefore you were only going to get so far or even fall backwards?  If we are not growing on the inside, we can only go so far and only stay there so long. That’s a large part of what Josh was experiencing!  Don’t let that happen to you.  Make sure you’re growing every day!