I feel very blessed to be living in Alexandria, MN.  There were a few events in the last week in Alexandria that continued to re-enforce my feelings of thankfulness for living and working in this community.

As I have mentioned in past blogs, one of the key attributes of a servant leader is a never-ending desire for personal growth. In John Maxwell’s book, “The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth” the 6th law he mentions is The Law of Environment.

Personal growth and development thrive in conducive surroundings. John thinks that many of us don’t have a (positive) growth environment around us. He said that in five years, you will be the product of the people you are associated with and the books you read. John’s definition for “providing a positive environment” is being around somebody that lifts you up rather than being with somebody who sucks life out of you.

It was so evident to me in the last few weeks that I am truly blessed to be living in a community that lifts people up, and allows for and promotes the growth of servant leaders. Examples of this positive environment include:

  • Alexandria is blessed with many businesses that have owners or senior leaders who run their business based on Christian principles and values and strive to be servant leaders for their team members.
  • These senior leaders support the continued development of their leadership teams as servant leaders – We currently have 60 leaders participating in a leadership roundtable format to enhance their knowledge and skills of servant leadership.
  • Douglas Scientific was recognized as the top business in the community at a luncheon last week. Over 500 people attended this event to help them celebrate and show their support. Douglas Scientific was a start-up company just a couple of years ago, who now have 75 employees led by a top-notch team of servant leaders who cultivate a purpose driven, values based, high performance culture.
  • Alexandria hosted a fundraising event for Teen Challenge, which was attended by over 600 people and raised around $150,000 for this fabulous organization. Teen Challenge provides a long-term faith-based recovery program from alcohol and drug addiction giving their clients hope, healing, and freedom in their lives. This organization is an outstanding example of what getting in the right environment can do for personal growth and life-changing improvement, which is why the community of Alexandria provides such strong support for the organization.
  • The Alexandria Unity Foundation provides monthly opportunities for people to learn about the importance of living out their Christian faith each day of the week in the marketplace, not just on Sunday in church.

Living and working in this environment, I am challenged, encouraged, and supported to become a more effective servant leader.  

What growth opportunities does your environment provide for you?  What one change can you make in your environment that will improve your growth and development opportunities?

Mark Deterding