I am frequently asked, “How can I grow as a leader?”
I suspect what they really want to know is how to expand their influence. Since leadership is influence, expanding it would grow them as a leader. Makes sense, don’t you think?
I think the best leaders expand their influence and leadership potential by continuing to learn and grow in experience. It takes intentionality to improve as a leader. You can read books, follow blogs and Tweets, attend conferences, and hang out with other leaders. These are all good practices to improve as a leader.
In my experience, however, my leadership influence grows the fastest when it grows through the people I’m supposed to be leading. Let me explain . . .
Invest in other people . . .
Allow someone you lead to lead . . .
Promote someone else’s agenda . . .
Celebrate a team member’s success . . .
Invite other people’s opinions . . .
The best leaders I know understand that when the people they lead are growing in their leadership, it spills over into their personal leadership potential. As the team improves, so improves the leader. As others who are following a leader grow in their leadership capacity and influence, the leader’s capacity and influence increases. It truly is one of the win/win scenarios of leadership.
What would you suggest?
Ron Edmondson is the Strategic Pastor and one of the founders of Grace Community Church in Clarksville, TN. He blogs almost daily at ronedmondson.com on leadership, church and family.