Date: May 2, 2022
Author: Edward Maggard
Our success and impact as leaders is not just about what we accomplish. It is also about how we help others have a greater impact with their lives. We all need a plan for our own growth. We plan for our own growth first by focusing on our own lives. The idea of being others centered and focusing on helping others have a greater impact is not as common.
We talk a lot in LeaderImpact about the integration of our personal, professional, and spiritual lives. This provides a good framework for us as we help others.
Professional Growth and Impact
What does it take to have an impact professionally? First, we need to be good at what we do. This may seem obvious, but continual improvement in the skills needed to be successful is imperative for a leader of impact. We help others do this by challenging them to learn from others, to read articles and books that will stimulate their growth, and by networking with others who will make them better by association.
One world-class leader whom I had the privilege of learning from challenged me with the following and you can encourage others similarly.
Know your strengths and weaknesses
Regarding your weaknesses, decide which ones you need to grow in and which ones you can delegate. You can’t be good at everything, but you can see that everything is done well.
Work in your areas of strength. You will be more productive and more motivated.
It is not possible or practical for you to know how to help another leader grow in certain specific areas of his or her profession if you are in another field. That is okay. There are leadership skills like goal-setting, conflict resolution, and time management that occur in every profession known to man. Participating in a small group of leaders who can discuss these issues and bring knowledge and encouragement to each other is a great way to help others.
Personal Growth and Impact
We all know leaders who are highly successful at work and yet their personal life is marginal at best. In fact, the news headlines illustrate this with nauseating regularity. Helping others with their professional growth may be easier for you, but helping them with their personal growth multiplies your impact in their life and will multiply their impact in the lives of others. I know from personal experience that if things aren’t right at home, I am less motivated and distracted at work. I suspect we all are to some degree.
Here are a few practical ideas for trying to help leaders integrate their personal lives into the whole.
Ask how things are going at home. This simple, but often neglected, question can open up a lot of need.
Encourage them to ask their spouse or kids, or close friends if they are not married, “What can I do to make things better for you?”
Encourage them to plan for their personal growth and nurturing of relationships with the same intentionality and intensity that they plan for professional growth.
Many successful people seem to have no life outside of work. They can be productive workers and we can enjoy their seemingly tireless contribution. The eventual and unavoidable problem with this is, ultimately work isn’t everything. It is important to us, to make a contribution doing something we are good at. But multidimensional people who have lives outside of work are more healthy and have a greater impact long-term. A friend of mine in Barcelona has a group of men that spend Saturday mornings together walking in the mountains near their community. These guys talk about life and work and God and everything in-between and this is a great example of helping leaders have personal impact. Do life together!
Spiritual Growth and Impact
Sometimes leaders who are men and women of faith shy away from the spiritual area of life. We think, and are told, that this is private and we should not intrude. A leader of impact, who wants to help others have impact, should not be afraid of this. I had a friend a few years ago who told me about his daughter. He loved her very much and spent lots of time encouraging her and teaching her about life and all the lessons he had learned. His concern was that he hadn’t talked with her about God and he didn’t know how. I told him to tell her his story. He was a man of deep faith and he had lots to share. This is the first step in encouraging others spiritually. Tell people your own faith story. After all, even if they haven’t had your experiences, they can accept that it is important to you and share where they are on their own spiritual journey.
We will talk more about this important area in a future blog post, but here is a resource for those of you who want to know more about how to share your faith with others.
A Very Practical Resource
Do some evaluation together of your lives, covering the area of personal, professional and spiritual growth. LeaderImpact’s Foundations workbook is an excellent tool for this exercise. It’s often one of the first books discussed when you join a local LeaderImpact group. It will give each participant a baseline evaluation of how they are doing in the three areas of growth and then can be revisited later to determine progress.
©1994-2022. LeaderImpact™ All Rights Reserved.