Personal growth LO25088

From: Winfried Dressler (
Date: 07/21/00

Replying to LO25079 --

Dear Rita,

just a few thoughts in order to contribute to the picture on this list, which your quesitons may generate.

> * What would you recommend when you experience that your personal growth
>rate exceeds that of the company employing you?

Usually a company can accomplish more than you could alone. With
sufficient growth rate on your side, I expect that you wish to contribute
to something bigger than you can do on your own. What I would recommend
depend on whether you are able to align your personal sense of vision with
what the company is about.

If you see a chance to do so, you should try to link your further personal
growth with the growth of the company. How? Generally by finding some
partners, start a conversation about you and the company, find where the
stuckness is and take some actions. Make sure that you will learn from
such experiments, which it will be in the beginning.

If you see no chance, the 'how' keeps the same. But the scope of search
for your partners will have to be broader.

> * What to do if this is a pattern you experience regularly (every 2 - 3
>years after a job change)?

If the sequence of jobs reflect your grows, why not. But remember that the
rate of your personal growth will always be limited when you are on your
own compared to the growth possible in a group capable of continued
coherent learning (starting with dialogue).

Systems thinking teaches to explore the structural relations behind any
pattern. As part of current reality, they are often difficult to see
through our mental models. In your case, before taking any consequence, I
would make sure, whether the pattern stems from a blaming or a caring

An indication for a blaming attitude would be if you think in terms of
what you can get out of the job, be it for your personal growth, money,
reputation or what ever. Such separating, transactional view on the
relation between you and your job is most common. Why is this blaming?
Because you make the job responsible for what you need and restrict your
responsibility to choosing and chasing that job that will bring you most.

An indication for a caring attitude would be if you think in terms of what
you can contribute to the greater whole of which you are a very unique
part. If you can contribute somewhere else more and more fitting to you,
then change. But again, a contributing team can accomplish much more if
they care - in both directions: growth of company and personal growth of
it's members - than one alone. So from this perspective you may realize
that you are not longing for the "right" company, but for a nourishing
team through which you can truly contribute with all that is within you.

If the latter is an apropriate direction for a vision for you, work on it
and compare with current reality - the creative tension will start to work
for you. Then learn about the role of delays in various system archetypes
to understand why, while holding the tension, patience is often more
cre-active than direct action (which is often reactiv-ating past patterns
of behaviour).

> * What to do if you have invested as much in the company as you could
>(strategically, as well as in terms of transfer of knowledge)?

Great. But what is the question? And why do you write "invest"? Are you
afraid that you have wasted something? Are you expecting more return on
investment? You perceive yourself on a fast track of personal growth,
which is fine. Yet something sound as if you are deeply dissatisfied. May
be some of what I have indicated above will help you with your further
soul searching.

>* Is changing jobs an option? If yes, where to? If not, what else?

You will have to find your own answer. I have given some inputs above.

> * Have other LO members made similar experiences?

Oh yes. I think otherwise I wouldn't have responded. In my case, the
sequence was 5 years (physicist - university), 3.5 years (technical sales
- company 1, I've quitted during a companywide downsizing program when
cost considerations became more important than structuring the
contributions of emplyees), 4 years (marketing - new company), and now I
am 7 months on my current job (strategy - same company).

Interestingly, I didn't search for the jobs. I regularily was found by the
jobs: "Here is something for you to do, will you care for it?" Otherwise,
the range would have been restricted to the scope of my imagination.

>It was a long decision process for me to post this message to the mailing
>list - it is not meant to be arrogant. I have gone "pregnant" with this
>observation for quite a while and your assessment is greatly appreciated.

Really brave, Rita! Yet ultimately, there is nothing you can lose. On
dealing with mental models, Senge suggests balanced advocacy and inquiry.
Regarding inquiry, he says that the greatest asset is a ruthless
compassionate partner. I hope this and further responses will prove as

Liebe Gruesse,



"Winfried Dressler" <>

Learning-org -- Hosted by Rick Karash <> Public Dialog on Learning Organizations -- <>

"Learning-org" and the format of our message identifiers (LO1234, etc.) are trademarks of Richard Karash.