Growing Pains… not tickles

Leaders do what others won’t, and get the results that others don’t
— John Maxwell

At the time that I am writing this, I have a 4 year old son. One of the things he has picked up in the last year is tickling (which is simply him wiggling his hands near your side and laughing hysterically). He loves to make people laugh. His favorite is to “sneak” away from the dinner table and surprise you by tickling and screaming ‘got you’. Tickling is fun. It brings joy. Unfortunately the phrase doesn’t read ‘no tickles... no gain’ or ‘those are just growing tickles’. Growth involves discomfort 

The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of growth is my time from the age of 10-15. I grew a lot in those 5 years. I’m sure I looked like a baby giraffe trying to walk, all legs and arms. One thing I will not forget about those years is my joints and knees hurting all the time. I would go to bed with a dull ache all over. This feeling is known as… growing pains.

When you grow as a leader, it is very rare for it to happen in a state of joy and celebration. The most substantial times of growth in my life have been in times of adversity, stress, and pain. I like the idea that John Maxwell eludes to in his quote. If you are willing to go through the pain that others aren’t willing to endure, you will get results and growth that they can won’t get by playing it easy.

The hardest truth is there is no magic formula to growth. It takes time and awareness.

Time: To see growth in your leadership, simply go back to 1 year ago and write down your biggest areas of growth and what you had to go through to gain it. Now imagine having all of that growth in 1 hour and going through all you had to go through in the same amount of time. No thank you, I’ll take my time.

Awareness: This is a lost skill, but a very crucial one. Awareness is the ability to step back, either in the moment or after the moment, and become aware of yourself, your thoughts, and your actions. The simplest form of awareness is taking a moment after an event (good or bad) and asking yourself: “What did I do well that I need to do again?” “What should I do differently next time?”

If your mindset is right and your will is strong, you will overcome growing pains and get the results that others don’t.


Growth happens daily, not in a day. One of the best ways you can invest in your growth is hiring a leadership coach. At Leadership Cohort we have 3, 6, or 12 month coaching packages that are tailored to your specific leadership needs. Click the link below to learn more!