MooDrea 07-03-022


Leveraging the Power of Personal Growth



Steve Moore

Wesleyan Publishing House, 2004, 192 pp., ISBN 0-89827-277-7


Steve Moore is the current president and CEO of the Evangelical Fellowship of Mission Agencies (EFMA).  He is an equipper of leaders.  His life mission is to “inspire and equip the people around him to grow on purpose, fulfill their destiny, and join with God in blessing the nations.” (from the flyleaf) This is an excellent manual for putting together a self-directed personal growth plan.


“Helping people realize their dreams is my passion.” This happens as people realize the power of dreaming, the power of growing, and the power of multiplying. (10)  “God-inspired dreams are not placed in your heart as a taunt.  If your dream is truly God given, you can reach it.” (13)


“Dreams inspire us to reach beyond where we are.  They command our attention, focus our thinking, and energize our actions.  Dreams pull us upward into a higher orbit.” (18)  “…which risk are you going to choose, the risk that comes with doing something, or the far greater hazard of doing nothing?” (21)


“What is a dream?  Simply this: a compelling awareness of what could or should be, accompanied by a growing sense of responsibility to do something about it.”

“There is no richer source of fuel for the engine of self-directed growth than your dreams.” (24)


“When you are receptive to God, you connect with the sovereign purpose He had in mind when he created you.  Then, like a message in a bottle, dreams begin to wash up on the beaches of your soul.” (25)  “If you want your life to be about something more than yourself, if you want to add value to the lives of those around you and leave behind something worth remembering, start listening.” (26)


“Your accomplishments will be framed by your dreams, but they will be built upon the foundation of your character.  The strength of your being will dictate the impact of your doing.” (29)


Timing is critical.  When do you take action?

·        When you are obsessed with the dream

·        When you have a sense of preparedness

·        When you are guided by credible mentors who believe in you

·        When your peers support you

·        When people will follow you.  (35-6)


“Your legacy is more than what you have and what you have done.  It is also who you are and how you finish.” (36)


You can overcome the challenges to your dream only by intentional, lifelong learning. (38) 


Growth demands change.  “A clinical definition of death is a body that does not change. “ (45, quoting Leonard Sweet).


Forces that restrain us from change include consistency, complacency, and competency.  (47)  Inconsistency is often characterized by lack of personal discipline and poor time management.  “There is no replacement for personal discipline.”  Time management is a skill that can be developed.  (48)  To facilitate discipline, explore and realign your values. If you fail to follow through on growth goals it indicates you are valuing something else more.  (49)


“Perhaps the simplest and most powerful way to replace self-defeating thoughts is to plant seeds of affirmation in other people.  One of the byproducts of encouraging those around you is the rewiring of your own mind.” (54)


“…associate with people who are a level beyond you in capacity development and personal accomplishment.  …let it be a source of motivation to keep growing.” (56)

Study the lives of great men and women who have gone before.  (57) 


“A network of supportive relationships is one of the most powerful means to simultaneously reduce the restraining forces and increase the driving forces in your life.” (60)


“Part of the legacy of great leaders is the inspiration they provide, sometimes unwittingly, for those who follow them.” “There is tremendous power in the example of a great leader.” (64)


Common threads among life long learners: intentionality, discipline (devoting regular time to personal growth), a humble spirit that can learn from anyone, creativity in discovering learning opportunities, application of what they learn (73-4)


Your Growth Plan

A healthy growth plan

·        Builds on your strengths

·        Reflects your uniqueness as a person, including these six components of your Identity Profile:

o       Personality,

o       Passion,

o       Talents,

o       Skills,

o       Spiritual Gifts, and

o       Dreams. 

·        Builds on your strengths

·        Encompasses five life domains:

o       personal (physical, emotional, social, mental, and spiritual)

o       family,

o       Kingdom,

o       vocation (your work and everything connected to it), and

o       community  (neighborhood or city, relationships, volunteer service)

·        Seeks to add value to others and bring glory to God

·        Is aggressive but realistic

·        Has time boundaries and helps you form good habits (80-86)


“Truly charismatic people are focused on others.” (92)


“A growth cycle is a framework for planning, managing, and tracking your personal development.” (95)  It’s “a fixed, repeatable, period of time within which you will accomplish certain personal growth goals.  At the end of your growth cycle, you can conduct a growth audit, reviewing how you did the previous year.  Based on that audit, you can develop a growth budget, a new set of goals for the following cycle.” (96)  Select the best time of year and a meaningful starting date.  (97)


“Mark the completion of your growth cycle with an annual event held on or near your start date.  Consider this event a personal growth retreat….  This celebration will create a bookend for your annual developmental journey….”  Block off 24 hours – or at least eight.  (98) 


Maximize your retreat time by preparing in advance, bringing along your growth audit (evaluation of previous year) and your growth budget (roadmap for next year).  Your new growth plan should already be prepared and this is an “introduction” of it.  Include someone else to celebrate with you for part or all of the time.  (99)  You may want to review your life purpose at the same time. (100)


The Personal Growth Assessment shows you where you need to grow.  “Effective self-assessment hinges on self-awareness.  You cannot assess what you do not see.”  First you must be honest about yourself.  Second, you must be honest about yourself with others.  “The hallmark of self-awareness is a deep understanding of your emotions, strengths, limitations, values, and motives.  This requires a high-octane mixture of honesty and humility.” (104)  Self-awareness may be limited by ignorance, confusion or denial but cultivating it is crucial. (105-6)


Identify a few trusted members of your inner circle to help you see through the blind spots.  Develop a set of feedback questions, such as the following:

·        “What aspect of my capacity should I be developing now…?

·        Have you observed any blind spots in my life that keep me from seeing areas where I need to grow…?

·        What personal goals do you think I should focus on if I am to play to my strengths?” (108)


The author’s five categories for increasing self-awareness:

·        “Spirituality – Dealing with issues of character, faith, and moral-centeredness

·        Identity – Dealing with the six components of the Identity Profile (personality, passion, talents, skills, spiritual gifts and dreams)

·        Responsibility – Dealing with the life domains (personal, family, vocation, Kingdom, and community)

·        Destiny – Dealing with life mission

·        Legacy – Dealing with finishing well and ultimate contributions” (109)


The Self-Assessment Tool is available free at 


“Your destiny is the sovereign purpose for which you have been created.  Destiny fulfillment is the ultimate win/win.  When you fulfill your destiny, God receives great glory, you receive great joy, and His purposes are strategically advanced.  Your dreams are to your destiny what stars are to a solar system.” (113)


“Each of the five assessment categories will command varying levels of priority at different stages of life.” (115)


“Keep journal notes of the ways you are progressing toward your dreams.” (116) 


The Action Plan

1. Prioritize your growth areas.  Select from your personal growth assessment the areas that promise the most strategic return, that relate to your current life stage, that will enable you to achieve greater balance, and those to which God is leading me to focus.  (122-24)


2. “…envision the growth attributes that you hope to attain.”  “Visualize yourself embodying the results of your personal growth goals…” (125) 


3. Identify the assets available to achieve these results, such as experiences, people, and resources.  (126) 


4. Consistently participate in growth activities.  Post your goals.  Give yourself plenty of reminders.  Regularly review your growth statements.  Find ways to reinforce your commitment.  Schedule time for growth activities.  Enlist others who will help you follow through.  (130-32)


“Generally, the areas of our lives in which we resist accountability are those in which our need for growth is the greatest.” However, accountability increases productivity, resiliency and security. (138) Accountability types include mentors, groups, spouses, and one-to-one.  One-to-one accountability is a powerful source of encouragement.”  (141) 


Prioritize the areas in which you need accountability.  The goals that involve the highest level of vulnerability require someone from your inner circle.  Decide what type of accountability you need for each goal and then decide who to enlist. (144-45)


Appraising Progress 

Four Levels of Appraisal (Ref. Evaluating Training Programs, Donald L. Kirkpatrick)

       Reaction: How did you feel about the training when it is over?

       Learning: What attitudes, knowledge, and skills were improved?

       Behavior: How were these changes incorporated into life situations?

       Results: How did these changes affect the organization’s effectiveness? (149)


Prepare a Personal Growth Summary Sheet that integrates the components of each growth goal into a single document.  It will contain the details for each goal, including the learning activities associated with it.  The summary sheet includes the Growth Area, Growth Goal, Growth Plan, Growth partners, and Growth Appraisal.  (155-158) (See example in the Appendix.)   



Become a teacher as well as a student.  Motivate others to grow.  Multiply your dream.  All the world is a classroom.  See your relational network as a virtual learning community. (164-165)


Practice “intentional modeling,” living out your growth plan and explaining what you are doing to others.  “Engage the people around you enough to discover their passions, then stimulate their learning with books, articles, and experiences that fit their Identity Profile.” (167) Inspire dreams in the people around you.


“When I read books, I mark ideas, quotes, illustrations, and facts, noting the page numbers inside the front cover of the book.” (168)


“Human beings crave meaning, especially in connection with their work.” Organizations need a meaningful purpose and a climate of growth.  Creating a learning environment leverages the power of growth in your organization. Incorporate a “developmental bias” in your organization.  Help each person discover and fulfill his or her life purpose. (174-76) 


“Project yourself into the future and imagine not just what you will accomplish but what others will accomplish because of you.”  “Plant dreams in the lives of others.” (185-86)


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