I find that a good question can challenge, inspire, and prompt all at the same time. And today’s powerful query is, What are you doing to equip your people?
As a leader, this question moves me… it refocuses my efforts, reminds me of what’s important, and redirects me to something bigger than myself.
But that’s not the only reason why.
You see, for the first few years of my career, I was pursuing a technical trade. I spent my days in workshops tending to vehicle systems. This is how I expected to spend the rest of my working years – I had planned to become a technical expert.
That changed when our department head, Eric, promoted me.
I was shocked! Leadership was a completely new direction for me – one that didn’t make sense to me at all.
But Eric saw something in me that I didn’t see. He told me that he noticed I was good with the team – not just in my role but in helping them collaborate and communicate and excel – and that I could go beyond just the technical parts that were required of me. He wanted to support me as I explored my potential.
He had asked himself that powerful question – What are you doing to equip your people? – and moved on it. And because he did, I got my first taste of leadership.
And I absolutely loved it!
I’ll admit, at first, I had no idea what I was doing. I was quite the selfish leader. I made it my mission to become irreplaceable – I wanted to do such a great job that I would have no trouble at all scaling the “leadership ladder” in my organization.
I didn’t realize that those are contradictory goals. If I am irreplaceable, how will my leaders ever be comfortable moving me from the role I’m in to another role? It would never happen.
I had to come back around to the question my leader asked himself: What are you doing to equip your people? What was I doing to elevate their level of authority – to develop them as leaders?
I began investing in my team. Again, at first, my motives were selfish. But the more I trained my team, the more I saw them taking the opportunities I offered them to develop themselves, the more I began to love empowering others for the sake of empowering others.
And over the last eight years of devoting my career to the development of others, the more I have realized the truth of pastor Kevin Myers’ words when he said, “Leaders should want far more for their people than from their people.”
When we take a position of leadership for ourselves, we may find we are fulfilled by the authority and the perks. We may see that our results are effective and be content with that level of output.
But alone, you will eventually hit a ceiling.
You can continue to grow, but you can only grow at a linear rate – and you will only grow so much before you realize the growth potential of many far outweighs the growth potential of one.
When you begin to lead for others, you not only far exceed your own results – potential – creativity – possibilities – opportunities – intelligence – perspective…
…but you find you are far more fulfilled. The power of a group dedicated to growth is so much more validating than the perks of one position.
So to close, I will ask you that same question…
What are you doing to equip your people?
What are you doing to help them realize their potential? What kind of people will they be, what lives will they touch or results will they get, because you led them?
That’s all for now,
PS: If you are in the Gothenburg area, I’d like to invite you to join me for a morning seminar where I’m going to reveal 4 Keys to Offering Personalized Feedback that Touches the Heats and Minds of People without Being Seen as Rude or Overly Critical. Click here to save your seat >>
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