The Stretch: 4 Reasons To Reach For Your Next Level

As Socrates wrote, “if a man would move the world, he must first move himself.” So it is for the leader who aspires to the next level of accomplishment. The next level is most often not primarily financial – it is the internal recognition that one has risked pain and discouragement to achieve something meaningful.

Leaders who are committed to outstanding performance, like consistently excelling athletes, experience multiple benefits that constitute good reasons to stretch to your next level:

  • Stretching to the next level will accelerate your development. Performance stars work through each challenge with discipline and determination and typically experience increased competence.
  • Stretching can accelerate your team’s development. Performance improvement in one radiates encouragement to others, including the importance of good communication and accountability.
  • Stretching on intellectual challenges can enhance cognitive skills. The emerging science involving the neuroplasticity of the brain suggests intellectual challenges approached in a systematic manner improve overall cognitive functioning.
  • Stretching is a confidence builder even when there is a lack of immediate success. People who try have exercised a muscle that is strengthened despite the apparent muscle failure.

After 30 years of leadership experience, I don’t know of a single remarkable leader who has not attempted “the stretch.”