In John Maxwell’s classic best seller, ’21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership’ the third law is the law of process.
This states that leadership develops daily and not in just a day. It is about the power of daily consistency.
The impact of a single day may seem insignificant and even trivial, but combine those days into years and decades and you will see an incredible effect. Rather like choosing to eat a chocolate cake on one day is neither here nor there, but compound that same activity over many years and you will see an observable result!
Or the other analogy is that of successful investing in the stock market. You are unlikely to be successful in a single day because successful investing and leadership is about sustained perseverance over a prolonged period of time.
We see that in nature the way a tree or a plant grows and develops. The seasons come and go, individual days may be helpful to the plant or not, but it still perseveres on and eventually given the right amount of time and circumstances an incredible tree can develop. in fact, given the right amount of time and circumstances it would be possible to fill the whole earth with a forest of trees.
The fact is all of us are in process. We all have things to learn and develop – none of us can honestly say that we have arrived. And yet it is vital to take time out to do and develop those things that are most important.
The problem is, particularly in our day and age, what we want is a quick fix and instant results. Rather like the man who prayed, Lord give me patience and give it to me now!
The law of process teaches that the journey is as important as the destination. For me that has been a lesson I have to keep on learning. I very much love to live in the world of ideas and possibilites. Exciting and as inspiring as that can be, the danger is that it is easy to discount the importance and relevance of the here and now, thinking that somewhere over the horizon is where the real action is.
But real growth and development happens behind the scenes where no one is watching. It is in the hours and toil of the Olympic athlete who trains and exercises in the early morning when everyone else is asleep or resting.
Anson Dorrance, who started the University of North Carolina Women’s Soccer Program in 1979 and has been described as possibly the greatest collegesoccer coach ever and one of the most successful coaches in any sport has said:
The vision of a champion is someone who is bent over, drenched in sweat at the point of exhaustion, when no one else is watching.”
The law of process applies to what goes on behind the scenes when no one is watching. It is about internal discipline and perseverance.
Where does the law of process apply to your own life?
What particular things about developing daily disciplines appeal or do not appeal to you?