Equipping doesn’t happen by accident; it’s intentional. And equipping yourself and your team must be a top priority if you want to develop and grow. As a business leader, I’ve found that developing others with me is critical to sustain the type of growth I want to see in my organization.
But how do we find the time needed to equip ourselves and those around us? Most of us collapse into bed at night exhausted, and we still didn’t accomplish everything we wanted to get done! Here are three “equipping” lessons I’ve learned along my leadership journey.
1. Be Disciplined in Your Commitment
If you want to develop those around you, you have to make a conscious decision to do so. Of course, making the decision is the easy part. Putting that decision into action is when it gets hard. It’s easy to say, “I’m going to lose 10 pounds.” But when you actually have to make healthy choices or wake up an hour early to exercise, the decision becomes harder to pull off. If you are committed to developing as a leader, it will take discipline. If great leadership was as easy as merely making a decision, the leadership challenges that we face in our workplaces wouldn’t exist.
2. Lay the Foundation
I don’t hide the fact that I want to act on what I’ve learned, and my teammates know I want to grow as a leader. This allows me to challenge my team because they know that I expect them to act on leadership principles.
I do this by exposing myself, then my team, to various leadership training materials or lessons we’re focused on at the time. I try to make it a point to be an example of the lessons or notice someone living out a specific leadership principle. When I see these leadership actions in motion, I share it, so everyone can benefit from the learning opportunity.
3. Learn Together as a Company
One of my favorite ways to equip leaders is through book study groups. In our company, we have book clubs and lunch and learns. We select a book, everyone in the group reads the scheduled chapter for that week, and then we simply get together during lunch to discuss what we liked about it. We also talk about our strengths, areas where we need to improve, our frustrations, and how we can adjust to meet the expectations the book gives us.
The best part of a lunch and learn group is that we hold each other accountable throughout the week to act on what we learned. We share these “live it out” and accountability stories the next week before talking about the next chapter. This consistent weekly process helps bring to life the reality of leadership.
It Takes More than One Passionate Leader
I know that regardless of how passionate I am about living out leadership, it takes a lot more than my head and my heart to drive the leadership culture and organizational growth that I want to see. It takes a determined mindset to see it through and a well-developed team to help me live it out, and that’s why equipping others is so important.