Your commitment to growth

The commitment to growth is at the heart of your journey and “success.” It’s the thing you have to rely on if you want to develop, progress and perform.

I experienced this firsthand as a competitive tennis player through college, and I observe it in business through my work in helping leaders develop, progress, and perform in the workplace.

From my tennis instructor lens, the funny thing about commitment to growth is that kids seem to take to it more easily and naturally than adults do. I’m reminded of all of the kids I taught during summer tennis camps who would focus on the basics...like making contact with the ball. One step further -- they would try to get it over the net. But that was it, and they simply had fun.

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In contrast, I reflect on the adults who I taught after college. They also seemed committed to growth (e.g. by investing in lessons), but I observed a significant amount of judgment with every stroke. If they made it, they felt confident. If they missed it, they felt incompetent. There were lots of highly focused questions in between. “Is my position correct? Are my feet set up correctly? Is my wrist doing the right thing?” And while these questions are all relevant, they seemed to result in an extra layer of complexity.

I share this experience because ‘commitment to growth’ is a phrase I use often to describe the types of participants we seek for our NextGen Center programs.

What it really means is that we’re looking for people who are willing to challenge the status quo, push themselves outside their comfort zone and take on new challenges and opportunities with this mindset of “how can I grow?” I’m here to develop. I’m here to progress. I’m here to perform. With as little judgment as possible.

During that process of commitment, there will be ups and downs. But the point is, regardless of outcome, it’s the focus on each step and each moment of the learning that is critical.

In other words - drawing back to my experience in teaching tennis to adults - when they focused on the process of learning, abstaining from judgment, and having fun - on the journey of getting to point B rather than point B itself, the results were better.

The commitment to growth is the same thing. It’s putting yourself in uncomfortable, challenging positions with a vision that something better is around the corner.

How does this translate to the workplace? Here's an example: If you hear someone say, “That conversation was a waste of time. Why did I take that call? Why did I take that meeting?”

Sure, there may have been a more effective way to spend your time. But the reality is that the meeting could create a learning opportunity. Or maybe it opens a new door. If you’re committed to growth, you’re committed to possibilities. You’re willing to stay curious and look at this as a journey.

And that’s who we’re looking for at NextGen Center. People who are willing to challenge themselves, look inward, perform outward, and explore their mindset. With an understanding that discomfort is a component of growth.

Our brains are programmed to conserve energy, and it might be easier to stay comfortable. But wIth growth and that commitment, anything is possible.

Brian Alvo