Episode 17

Published on:

28th Jul 2020

Planning for Personal Growth

Planning for Personal Growth

Personal Growth Initiative

No matter your profession or your role as a leader, it is well known that personal growth and professional growth are linked. Yet, what is not as well understood is the significance of the lag in your personal growth on the outcomes you deliver as a professional. 

Just as balance is needed in your technical skills, called hard skills, and your people skills, called soft skills, so is balance needed in personal and professional growth.

Researcher Chris Robitschek and her colleagues have validated 4 elements critical to personal growth. Last week we talked about “Readiness for Change”. This week we are going to talk about a second skill validated through research that makes a difference in your personal growth: “Planfulness”.

In his book, How Successful People Think, Leadership expert John Maxwell shares several reasons why strategic thinking will help you to grow. Here are three:

 #1: strategic thinking simplifies the difficult

Consider the exercise: STOP, START, and CONTINUE

#2: strategic thinking prompts you to ask the right questions

Consider the exercise: Clarify, Reflect, Confirm  

#3: strategic thinking prepares you today for an uncertain tomorrow

Consider your core values

Some examples of core values:

  • Faith
  • Integrity
  • Community
  • Appreciation
  • Creativity
  • Knowledge
  • Balance
  • Compassion
  • Success
  • Competency
  • Growth
  • Excellence


Let what you value drive your decisions.

You can reach me at https://www.healthyleadership.online/. On this webpage you’ll see a free 15-minute call. Reach out to me and let’s discuss how I can best support your growth and development.


Maxwell, J. (2009). How Successful People Think. Center Street: New York.

Robitschek, C., Ashton, M. W., Spering, C. C., Geiger, N., Byers, D., Schotts, G. C., & Thoen, M. A. (2012). Development and psychometric evaluation of the Personal Growth Initiative Scale – II. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 59, 274-287. doi: 10.1037/a0027310

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About the Podcast

The Art of Leadership
The Art of Leadership focuses on soft skills... some of the hardest skills a leader will ever learn.
The Art of Leadership with Dr. Niña Ellison focuses on the soft skills of leadership, their value and the power of their influence. As a leader, if you are interested in moving from success to significance then balancing both hard and soft skills is essential!

Hard skills are demonstrated through technical expertise that results in clearly measured goals being reached. They are vital to the success of any initiative or program. On the other hand, soft skills emphasize the transformation of people. They highlight behavioral changes and making a difference in people’s lives.

This podcast is for leaders who are seeking a fresh perspective into some of the hardest soft skills a leader will ever learn. You can connect with Niña at https://www.ninaellison.com

About your host

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Niña Ellison

In 2019, after years of leading teams varying from international disaster relief and healthcare to the US Corporate world, Niña founded Healthy Leadership to focus on her passion for partnering with leaders in their growth and sustainability. Her own journey into soft skill development has convinced her that while her technical skills helped her get her foot in the door, her soft skills moved the influence of her leadership from success to significance.

As a soft skill specialist Niña takes monthly deep dives in her podcast series, The Art of Leadership, to explore the underlying dimensions of soft skills. She knows that soft skill development is not so much about WHAT but HOW a leader leads.
• From a 10,000 foot view a leader pursuing soft skills asks, “How do I problem solve; How do I manage time and energy?”
• From a 1,000-foot view that same leader, as they dig deeper into soft skills, begins asking questions like, “How do I listen; or How do gain self-control?”
• From Ground Zero the leader recognizes that there are underlying dimensions of soft skills as they ask, “How do I model respect for all; How do I sustain hope; How do I demonstrate appropriate love in the workplace; How do I maintain the right attitude?” How do I lead by serving?

Nina believes that behind every wildly effective and sustainable system and process are leaders and teams who have interwoven soft skills into every phase of their work.