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“Growth is what separates living things from dying things,” explain Ken Blanchard and Mark Miller in their new book Great Leaders Grow: Becoming a Leader for Life. “Growth brings energy, vitality, life, and challenge. Without growth, we’re just going through the motions.”

In a recent article for Blanchard’s online newsletter, Ignite! the authors warn that if leaders are not continually growing and developing their skills, they run the risk of becoming stagnant. Once you are stagnant—or even perceived as stagnant—your influence erodes.

Growth should never be an optional activity

Still, many leaders do not grow. And it can happen at any stage in a leader’s career. It can be triggered by work-life balance issues, a reactive mindset, or it can be for organizational reasons, such as limited growth opportunities.

But the reality is that all of these challenges can be overcome. As Blanchard and Miller explain, “It is the…

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