Growing As a Leader: Intro

photo by abbyladybug

One of the topics that I am passionate about and have written on before is the importance of personal and professional growth. I am passionate about my personal growth because I know that my personal growth plan has had the greatest impact in my life in terms of “success” and adding value to the world through my gifts and strengths. (I put “success” in quotes, knowing full well that we all have a different definition of success. That will be another blog series itself.)

Today, I want to begin a series of blog articles that focus on personal and professional growth. This series will be posted once a week on Tuesday’s for the next few weeks.

When I graduated from college, I was, all of a sudden, on my own. I had no teachers or advisors telling me what to do next. I still had parents giving me “advice,” which I probably should have followed more, but I was free! Free to plan my life the way I wanted to plan it. For me, that meant going into full time ministry.

But it is interesting to note that after college, there is no set plan for the next steps on what to learn. For 22 years of life, my growth plan was clear. It was called elementary school, junior high school, high school, and then college. That was my growth plan. But now that I was 22, I had no growth plan.

And worse yet, I didn’t think I needed one. But I did need one.

I’ve heard numerous leaders and speakers say the following: “Leaders are learners. Leaders are readers. When a leader stops growing, that’s when they stop leading.”

The question that remained after hearing those statements over and over: how do I intentionally grow now that I am out of school?

I’ve been on a personal growth plan for about eight years now, and it has morphed and changed numerous times along the way. I want to share with you my plan in hopes that it might give you some ideas for yourself.

More importantly, I want to hear from you and have you share your ideas. Ideas that work. Maybe even ideas that don’t work.

Over the next few weeks, here are some of the ideas that we’ll be talking about:

  • Reading: why reading, what to read, etc…
  • Filing: Yes, filing. Stories, quotes, lessons. This is a way to save the stuff that has had an impact on my life.
  • Writing and Thinking: I sometimes have to stop doing all the time so I can start thinking. This is about hitting the pause button in life.
  • Conferences/Seminars: Great places to grow and learn.
  • Learning Lunch: Nothing is better than learning, except when there is food to go with it!
  • Reflection time: Experience is not the best teacher. Evaluated experience is. How do we reflect and evaluate our lives so that we can pan the nuggets of wisdom that come from our experience? This is also about hitting the pause button.
  • Growing with Others: It’s always easier when we create a plan with others.

I look forward to you joining me on this journey over the next few weeks. In the meantime, feel free to share with me some specific goals you might have for this series. What specifically are you hoping that I write about?

John Rinaldo

As the Business Manager at St. Catherine Catholic Church in Morgan Hill, CA, Dr. John Rinaldo serves as the administrator over operations and finances for the parish in support of all parish ministries. Previously, John served as the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of San Jose, empowering parish communities to minister to the needs of youth and young adults. John is also an adjunct professor at Santa Clara University teaching pastoral ministry courses to graduate students.


John Rinaldo


As the Business Manager at St. Catherine Catholic Church in Morgan Hill, CA, Dr. John Rinaldo serves as the administrator over operations and finances for the parish in support of all parish ministries. Previously, John served as the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of San Jose, empowering parish communities to minister to the needs of youth and young adults. John is also an adjunct professor at Santa Clara University teaching pastoral ministry courses to graduate students.



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